Tom Wayne has amassed thousands of books in a warehouse [in Kansas City, Missouri] during the past 10 years he has run his used bookstore, Propsero’s Books.
His collection ranges from best sellers, such as Tom Clancy’s The Hunt for Red October and Tom Wolfe’s Bonfire of the Vanities, to obscure titles, like a bound report from the Fourth Pan-American Conference held in Buenos Aires in 1910. But when he wanted to thin out the collection, he found he couldn’t even give away books to libraries or thrift shops; they said they were full.
So on Sunday [May 27th, 2007], Wayne began burning his books in protest of what he sees as society’s diminishing support for the printed word.
‘This is the funeral pyre for thought in American today,’ Wayne told spectators outside his bookstore as he lit the first batch of books.
The fire blazed for about 50 minutes before the Kansas City Fire Department put it out because Wayne didn’t have a permit for burning.
Wayne said the next time he will get a permit. He said he envisions monthly bonfires until his supply – estimated at 20,000 books – is exhausted.
For the rest of the story, by Associated Press writer David Twiddy, please see this site
or simply Google “Kansas City Book Burning.” For a picture of Tom Wayne in action please check here.