Saturday, July 21, 2007

La Jolla Bookstar, 7/20/2007

Bookstar, La Jolla, San Diego. It happens to be Harry Potter release night (hence the big queue). I go and investigate the science section.


An egregious error on behalf of the staff at this popular local haunt has resulted in six copies of Michael Behe's new religion book, The Edge of Evolution, to be set aside books in the "science", and the "evolutionary biology" shelves. Oops! Well, this bookselling company can't be blamed for a little lack of scientific literacy. I mean, it even has the word "evolution" in the title - it must be science, right? Wrong.


I spring into action. Interestingly, their "New Age" section (which, bizarrely, is as large as "science") is in the same aisle as "science", but on the opposite side.

Six copies of Behe's new non-science book are relocated to their rightful place next to Everyday Magic, The Love Spell, and Grimoire for the Green Witch (what is "grimoire" anyway?).



[Note to self: next time place books in alphabetical order by author to further aid bookstore staff.]

I even find a copy of Behe's truly laughable pseudo-science Darwin's Black Box in the "evolutionary biology section"! After chuckling a geeky chuckle for a few seconds it is also helpfully relocated - this time next to the far more appropriate Pop! Goes the Witch - A Disinformation Guide to 21st Century Witchcraft.

After a thorough scan of the remaining science shelves for other blatant nonsense, I find it all in good order. Mission accomplished. Apart from the Behe error, Bookstar La Jolla did ok.

~ Ste

14 comments:

resonance said...

You are awesome. I want to be a science vigilante too.

Ste said...

Join us.

Tell us of a successful mission. Also, if you go to a bookstore and they have correctly shelved their stock - let us know too. They deserve our praise.

llewelly said...

A grimoire is a book describing magical beliefs and practices.
So in Harry Potter's world, it might describe a textbook - but in this world it describes a delusion.

Ste said...

Hahaha! perfect.

mythusmage said...

Specifically, a grimoire is a magical workbook. Much like a labbook or cookbook. It's where the wizard or magician would write his formulas, notes, musings, and similar. It may includes thoughts on magical theory, the magical properties of items, words, and gestures, and thoughts on the work of other wizards etc.

Real world grimoires tend to be disorganized, confused, and idiosyncratic. Usually full of jargon, anacronyms, puns, anacrostics, obscure references, notes on experiments, and stray reminders to pick something up while shopping. In this they greatly resemble the lab notes of today.

Michael Barton, FCD said...

Shouldn't the God Delusion by Dawkins be removed from the evolutionary biology section?

Ste said...

The Dawkins book was in the general science section...

ned said...

There used to be good bookstores in La Jolla, which I know very well.

You probably know the San Diego Reader.

This is a story about people I know.

http://www.sdreader.com/php/cover.php?mode=print&id=20051123

Shalini said...

You are truly awesome!

jrd said...

Albert Einstein believed in intelligent design. Darwin would not believe in his own theory, given the evidence from modern microbiology and astrophysics, but you book Nazis wouldn't know about those sciences, would you?

Joe G said...

Hey, this is fun!

Yesterday I went to three bookstores and started rearranging their books.

Everything that written by Sean Carroll, SJ Gould, Dawkins, Charles Darwin that I found in the science section I moved to the rightful sections.

Dawkins went to the religious section.

Carroll went to fiction.

Darwin went to the kiddy section.

And I put Gould in with mysteries.

Today three more stores will fall victim...

Joe G said...

3 more bookstores rearranged correctly.

Tomorrow we start with the libraries. We have scouted several and have their labeling techniques down pat.

If you want to find Carroll, Dawkins, Darwin, Gould, et al., do not look in the 500s.

This was a great idea. Thanks STE.

I wouldn't have done it without you.

Scott said...

Too much free time on your hands I see...

velocitygirl said...

Ok, i actually worked at this store when you did this blog. I also laugh that the new age section is right in front of the science section,and i also roll my eyes anytime anyone asks for, "The Secret", however it is due to spacing issues as the store is smaller than most Barnes and Nobles. We do not pick and choose where books are shelved, it is actually a collaborative effort between the publishers and the corporate headquarters. Also, when you move books from where we are told to shelve them, you create more work for the poor booksellers that have to go back and fix what you decided to put in the wrong place. Is it really right to make some poor bookseller that makes min. wage do this work (instead suggesting to customers real science books)? If you really are interested in making a difference in how our society differentiates between real science and psuedo science, I suggest that you talk to the publishers or the corporate office for Barnes and Noble and not punish the booksellers that are there to help you find books and keep the store tidy. Actually, you doing that is quite rude and ineffectual.