Reshelving Books March 19, 2007

Reshelving Books

Dan over at Gimme Back My God! has an idea.

He got it after reading this post by Saint Gasoline.

Saint Gasoline writes:

Intelligent Design books like Behe’s Darwin’s Black Box or Wells’ Icons of Evolution can be found in the science section of these book stores, along with real science books…

Simply because the books are about science doesn’t necessarily make them science books, for the same reason that a fictional story based upon an historical event isn’t placed in the history section. Perhaps the biggest reason I find this disturbing, however, is because it is very misleading to the general public, many of whom falsely believe that Intelligent Design is a science only to have this hollow belief solidified by finding these horrid books in the science section of the store.

Here’s Dan’s idea (via email):

I got the idea to start a Book Reclassification Day where on a specific day (July 28th) atheists all over can go to their bookstores and move this propaganda back onto the religion shelves at their local bookstore. I even came up with a poster and also a prize to give away to the person or group with the most creative idea of spending Book Reclassification Day.

Personally, I don’t go for this idea. I think it hurts the bookstores more than it does any “damage” to the ID/anti-Science movements. Most bookstore workers have nothing to do with where books are filed. They do need to know where the books are shelved, though, if customers ask. And if atheists (or others) reshelve them, it would just frustrate staff members that have nothing to do with the placements in the first place.

If there was a way to make a case against putting books like Behe’s in the Science section to the CEOs (or whoever makes these decisions) of Borders/Barnes & Noble, I think that might be worth pursuing.

What do you think of Dan’s idea? Is it something he should pursue? If not, is there an alternative idea along these lines that you would support?

[tags]atheist, atheism, Gimme Back My God!, Saint Gasoline, Intelligent Design, Michael Behe, Darwin’s Black Box, Jonathan Wells, Icons of Evolution, science, Book Reclassification Day, Borders, Barnes & Noble[/tags]

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  • No it’s an awesome idea. I did it myself the other day: I moved Darwin’s Black Box into the New Age section (there wasn’t a religion section).

    Next time though do what I’m going to do:

    if you find a book in the science section that doesn’t belong there, take it up to the counter and while being both friendly AND helpful, inform the staff that you discovered a book that was in the wrong location.

    Instead of having everyone reshuffle books on a certain day, have groups of people go up ONE AT A TIME in whatever bookstore they’re in, informing the staff the books are in the wrong location. One person going up and saying it won’t do much, but when 5 people come up and say there are non-science books in science section? 10 people?

    So: one person takes up Darwin’s Black Box, talks to staff. Few minutes later, a different person arrives with a different copy (or different book) and helpfully let the staff know it was in the wrong spot. Repeat for as many books they have.

    It would get annoying, but would probably break the tedium of the poor retail-employee’s days anyway 😉

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