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Showing posts from March 12, 2008

Comment: Books and the Environment, or, Can we be proud of what we sell?

This is the tip of the iceberg of a huge conversation, but I just want to get it started. This week at the ABA publisher forums, the first evening was a session where publishers answered questions compiled from a number of booksellers. One of the biggest was, of course, what publishers are doing to make their industry more green. I admit to being a tad disappointed by their answers up there on the dais -- most of them had to do with making their offices more green, like not using water bottles and not printing out emails. That's good, but obviously the question really refers to the huge impact of the massive amounts of paper used to create their product: books. I jumped up and made an impassioned (and okay, slightly drunken) plea that publishers start talking about whether we can be proud of where books come from, in terms of both the environmental impact and the labor impact. If books are being made from paper from trees cut down in the Amazon and printed and bound in sweats