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snopes
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Comment: I have a boss who occasionally uses racist notions to make
points. He claimed that during the looting which followed hurricane
Katrina in New Orleans that the "only stores that weren't looted" were
book stores, such as Barnes and Noble, because those people have no desire
for books." (his words.) Something really didn't sit with me there. I
would like to know the answer to the question of whether book stores
seemed to be immune to the mass looting.

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guruwan2b
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Let me think... Hurricane, no food, no water, no shelter..... Books would have been one of the last things I would have looted, too.

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Too much of this navel gazing and we'll disappear up our own arses.
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Sara at home
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I probably would have looted books if I were looting for food and water, but I would have looted from the stores where I got the food and water. Wouldn't make a special looting trip for books. The idea of lugging a stack of books through flood waters.....ehhh......doesn't work for me.

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snopes
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quote:
Books would have been one of the last things I would have looted, too.
Especially given how well books stand up to wetness and moisture ...

- snopes

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abbubmah
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I bet you couldn't find any copies of "Hurricane Survival for Dummies" in the remaining inventory, though.

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Fundamentally Unfundie since 1975

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DemonWolf
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I don't know. A good survival guide like the Boy Scout's handbook would probably come in handy.

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forceflow15
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Let's see. I am robbing a store for the fun of it. Do I steal the 10,000 dollar HD t.v. or the 25 dollar book on wine? I think I am going for the electronics.

Now that I have excised my sarcasm, it is extermely inappropriate for anyone to say something racist like that. As a minority and someone who likes to read, and has survived many a hurricane (granted that none were as bad as Katrina) if I were to loot something, a bookstore would be number one. There is no need to blame those people for doing some of the more legitamite looting (I hate those who stole televisions and the like). And everyone else is right. Most people had no need for books at that time.

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Forceflow

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The Amazing Rando
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I'm wondering how much book stores are robbed compared to other stores anyway, considering that almost anything there can be borrowed for free from the library.
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Cowboy Joe
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Had the late, great Burgess Meridenth been around, a book store or two migh have been looted, along with a couple of optomitrist's offices.

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"See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda." -George W. Bush, Greece, N.Y., May 24, 2005

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First of Two
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I don't live in Louisiana, and that's all I have to say about that.

First "no, officer, I'm a librarian. I'm rescuing the books." of Two

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Cervus
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quote:
Originally posted by Cowboy Joe:
Had the late, great Burgess Meridenth been around, a book store or two migh have been looted, along with a couple of optomitrist's offices.

It took me a few hours but I finally "got" this. [Big Grin]

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Won't somebody please think of the adults!

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Gerard Morvan
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That wasn't Burgess Meredith. That was Roddy McDowall. That is, if we're thinking of the same thing.

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"Kentoc'h Mervel !"

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Faith
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quote:
Originally posted by Gerard Morvan:
That wasn't Burgess Meredith. That was Roddy McDowall. That is, if we're thinking of the same thing.

Hmmn - not sure about the Roddy McDowall ref (although I'm intrigued to know what you're thinking of!) but the others are referring to this:

Time enough at last

Off topic, as a huge fan of the Twilight Zone, it fascinates me that THIS is the one that everyone remembers.

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Gerard Morvan
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Roddy McDowall played the Bookworm in the Adam West Batman series. Burgess Meredith was, of course, the Penguin. Of course, I failed to catch the Twilight Zone reference.

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"Kentoc'h Mervel !"

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Malruhn
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I immediately thought of "Time Enough at Last"... I can't recall Roddy McDowall in Batman.

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Mickey Blue
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Well, I imagine people would loot for one of two reasons:

(1) To get things they need to survive, food, water, shelter/clothes, etc.

(2) To steal things they could not normally afford for either themselves or to sell later (the criminal side of it) which would lend itself to things like jewelry, high end electronics, money, etc.

Books, generally, don't fit either of these categories, sure some may be useful for survival but few if any that would be carried in a normal book store are terribly expensive, nor am I aware of a major black market for books or "book fences" available.


I don't think it has to do with people of any specific race or class not being interested in reading, more there being no terribly good reason to loot a large amount of books since they are heavy, easily damaged by water, not worth a large amount and (generally) not necessities for survival.

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"All people are responsible for the good that they didn't do"

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Il-Mari
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quote:
Originally posted by Mickey Blue:
Books, generally, don't fit either of these categories, sure some may be useful for survival but few if any that would be carried in a normal book store are terribly expensive, nor am I aware of a major black market for books or "book fences" available.

There's not a huge market for black market books, but thanks to the returns system used by most publishers and book stores, there is a fairly large number of people selling books that were supposed to have been destroyed, usually at flea markets or on eBay.

Of course, this wouldn't apply to the NO situation much, since you wouldn'tbe able to unload such bulky, high mass-to-value items easily in a disaster area.

- Il-Mari

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Mickey Blue
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quote:
Of course, this wouldn't apply to the NO situation much, since you wouldn'tbe able to unload such bulky, high mass-to-value items easily in a disaster area
Beyond that you'd have to hope a regular book store carries said books (as opposed to, say, a rare book store) and then you'd have to find a buyer for the book, which may or may not be difficult, and you have to know which books are rare and valuable and which aren't.

Compared to, say, a plasma TV, which are all essentially the same, finding a buyer would be fairly easy, and there is no question of which ones are the pricy ones.

Of course for large electronics you have the weight to contend with, and they are even more vonerable to water then books, but I'd imagine you'd stand to make alot more.

I'd think, in the looting mindset, the best choices would be small valuable items, such as small electronics (movies/games/ipods/phones/etc) and of course jewelry.

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"All people are responsible for the good that they didn't do"

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skeptic
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quote:
Originally posted by guruwan2b:
Let me think... Hurricane, no food, no water, no shelter..... Books would have been one of the last things I would have looted, too.

Not sure if this deserves its own post but it seems relevent. Soon after the hurricane, G.W.Bush was quoted as saying something to the effect of "we have sent food, water, boxes of bibles ".
Now, I think GWB is a mad idiot, but even I think this is too much for one fool.
Obvioulsly some people did send bibles, but did Bush say this.

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Roy012
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quote:
He claimed that during the looting which followed hurricane
Katrina in New Orleans that the "only stores that weren't looted" were
book stores, such as Barnes and Noble, because those people have no desire
for books." (his words.)

Either way, his comments would probably address more how Louisiananians feel about books than "black people." I'd have to believe that there weren't a whole lot of Barnes and Nobles (or even Books-a-Millions!) located in the Lower 9th Ward even before it was decimated by a Hurricane Katrina because people in areas categorized by grinding poverty can seldom afford designer coffee.

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Aud
We Three Blings


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You know what is cool though. I just checked the Wishlist at Alibris.com for New Orleans Public Library and every book they requested was sent to them. There's still a high school in NA that could use some books.
http://www.alibris.com/wish/list.cfm?id=176480&key=73AD3BE901AE39DDB3CE

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Astra
The "Was on Sale" Song


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I'm sure there are several high schools in New Orleans that could use books - the performing arts school just happens to be the only one with an Alibris list right now.

If I recall correctly, NOCCA's worst damage is from the fact that so many of its students relocated. They weren't sure if they would have enough to justify reopening for a while there, but it did open for the summer term as planned.

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This has been yet another... USELESS POST.

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