From the Editor

by Craig Stark

#30, 1 November 2004

This month's Gold Edition takes on a topic that has interested me for many years-banned, censored or otherwise suppressed books. I don't collect them, but I do look for them, especially first editions; more often than not they'll have significant collector value. It's not difficult to understand why. Suppress something, and you can almost guarantee that interest in it will explode, especially if it promises edgy content. Since suppression also tends to reduce the number of copies in circulation, this is the best of all possible worlds: high demand and low supply. Music to the bookseller's ears.

One method for reducing the supply of a book, of course, is to burn the thing. Book burning has a long and checkered history, beginning in earnest in the 15th century, and it hasn't let up much in recent times. In keeping with the Gold Edition topic, today's BookThinker will look at book burning - not in the more conventional, pejorative sense; no, I believe that it makes good business sense to do it as well. Our feature article, in fact, lists 10 specific reasons why you might want to give it a try. Believe it or not, some of them are serious.

Also, it's time for a second ScoutPal Update. I got one of Dave Anderson's Nextel scanner phones into my bookselling hands last week, and a detailed report follows.

NOTICE TO NEW GOLD EDITION SUBSCRIBERS: In response to several questions that have come up, if you buy the annual Gold Edition subscription, yes, you certainly do have the option of beginning it with the current issue, even if it's been out for most of the month - for example, if you subscribe today and would like to find out how to make a few bucks on banned books, simply specify in the PayPal note box that you want your subscription to start with GE0009.

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Contact the editor, Craig Stark

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