Last night, dear husband and I went off for a round of errands at our local mall. Needed to get some small gifts for our soon to be daughter-in-law and her lovely daughters. Need a dress for the wedding. A local home show to browse through (I really wanted the wood flooring and the newest jacuzzi (sigh)) We also made our pilgrimage through the Barnes & Noble Bookstore. The Hubs likes to browse and I wanted to pick up Home of the Brave.
Since it is a newly released book, I went to the two fairly large "Just Released" tables, but the book wasn't among the 40 or so books displayed on either. So I went to the reference/help desk and asked a college-aged young man who looked the book up, walked me to the "Military History" shelves, and handed me a copy of the book -- shelved at the bottom under the "W" authors.
I said, "I was expecting this to be on the Just Released tables. After all," I continued, "it is a new release." To which he replied in a flippant and somewhat condescending manner, "Welllll, we can't fit all of them up there." To which I immediately and forcefully said (in a quite clearly "I am ticked" voice), "Well, THIS one should be there. It's about the Heroes who are protecting the rights of people to read and write what they want and to keep places like this in business." I didn't wait for a reply, but turned and walked off.
The Hubs and I continued to browse the store for a few more minutes, but I was so piqued by my earlier exchange, I stopped by the reference desk a second time and sought out the store's assistant manager (the store manager not being there on a Saturday evening) and I again voiced my disappointment that a book showcasing the stories of our Heroes while we are still at war is a book that should be front and center in the store. She politely told me that she would relay my request to the store's manager.
As we exited the store, I browsed the display window of the store which contained multiple copies of various newly-released books, but not "Home of the Brave". There was plenty of room to display at least one copy of Weinberger's book. And judging by some of the other crap on the "Just Released" tables, there certainly should have been room for a notable book like it as well.
This was the topic of conversation for the next few minutes between Hubs and me and I decided that with Memorial Day fast approaching, I was going to write a small note to the Barnes & Noble store manager and hand deliver my request that they create a special display of books on the US Military, its Veterans and Heroes in honor of Memorial Day. After all, it is only fitting and appropriate for the reasons I reminded that twit of a clerk: These are the men and women who have fought and continue fighting to this day to preserve our way of life -- including one of our most prized and precious -- our Freedom of speech and expression.
I urge all of you to do the same.
The text of my note is below. Feel free to copy it and use it as your own and deliver it to as many bookstores -- and not just B&N -- in America as you can.
Copyright Some Soldier's Mom 2006. All rights reserved.
To: Manager, Barnes & Noble Bookstore
Recently we were in your store to purchase a copy of the newly-released book "Home of the Brave" by C. Weinberger and W. Hall and were greatly disappointed that the book was not included on the "Just Released" tables in your store. Given that this country is still at war and that this book honors 19 of the most highly decorated soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who have fought in this War on Terror, it seems to us that this book should be prominently displayed in your store. After all, these are the stories of the men and women fighting to protect the rights of people to read and write what they wish and to keep places like your bookstore in business.
We would also like to request that, in light of Memorial Day's fast approach, you develop a display of books that herald and tell the stories of the U.S. military and the brave men and women whose love for America compelled them to serve and continues to compel them to defend freedom each day (with a nod to the dedication from "Home of the Brave").