Burning bad books

by Rachel Wagner

If I see a book that’s racist or liberal or whatever just terrible somehow, I don’t give it away I destroy it. I don’t just not want it. I also don’t want you or anyone else to have it. I want it to not exist. When I had in my possession to possibly sell a kid’s book praising Barack Obama, I resisted. Got rid of it. I’m not contributing to that myth. I also threw out a book that was about an allegedly true story about a girl who was on a hijacked plane by Palestinians. I don’t even care if it was real, I’m not having any anti-Palestinian stuff in my possession.

Then when I was selling books at an event a few weeks ago, I realized that I actually was selling an anti-Palestinian book. Damn damn damn. I was standing there behind the table and people were leafing through titles. Two guys stopped at this one title, read it, and were like “um no.” I was like oh no. I knew exactly which one it could be. Damn it. I grabbed it after they left and hid it. Then I went home and skimmed the back and ripped it in half a few times from it’s spine. I put it in the recycling before I could even write down the racist ass line–something on the back cover talking about how it’s fucked up people focus on “little old Israel” when there are many other ways Jewish people get persecuted in the world. I was like yea you’re going down.

Why the Jews. That was the book. I got it at a book sale on craigslist. I was there with this dude who liked me and went on craigslist often and would find books around the area. So anyway I don’t know why I grabbed that except that I was curious about maybe why the holocaust involved that group primarily. I remember going to read it and expecting to see something about the history of Judaism, but it was actually some guy being like “it’s because we’re better, we’re an ethnicity on top of everything else. That’s why they’re mad.” I was like okay? So I never read beyond that back then, years ago before I knew anything Palestine.

But now I know and that copy of that book is no more.


My blogs:
–  Girtalk
–  Read or Die

My books: 
– Jacob’s Hip: Poems
– FEM: New Millennium Beauty & Fashion
– Abandonment Issues: Alive in New Jersey
– Back Like I Never Left: Dating as a Single Mother

My bookstore: Ten Dollar Books

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