Nicolaus Nemeth

... Atlas Shrugged is considered a classic

19 posts in this topic

So, I'm shopping in my local Barnes and Noble Booksellers yesterday when I happened to glance up toward the ceiling. Around the top of the store they had large posters of the covers of "classic" books. I had to smile when I saw that, to my surprise, Atlas Shrugged was on the wall... right next to the Illiad. :-D

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Right -- this has been a feature in B & N for several years now. It's very enjoyable to see the book get some of the respect it deserves.

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I was recently in a downtown Border's Books (I'm not sure if that's a large chain or a local thing... I don't often leave the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and I haven't been to many other large cities) and on their shelf of classics was Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead, and (!) We the Living. I'm not certain I would consider WTL a classic (insofar that classic means something similar to "read by a large number of people and critically acclaimed for a long time" or somesuch), but as a great book I'm happy it was up there with the other two.

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I was recently in a downtown Border's Books (I'm not sure if that's a large chain or a local thing... I don't often leave the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and I haven't been to many other large cities) and on their shelf of classics was Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead, and (!) We the Living.  I'm not certain I would consider WTL a classic (insofar that classic means something similar to "read by a large number of people and critically acclaimed for a long time" or somesuch), but as a great book I'm happy it was up there with the other two.

Yes, Borders is a chain :D.

And I saw this too (though at B&N)-and they even included Anthem.

My question though to you-and everyone-is this. Have you seen these at any other time of the year besides summer, or Christmas?

I am wondering if this is just a "summer reading" thing, or if it is more of a generic "all-year" thing.

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Yes, Borders is a chain :D.

And I saw this too (though at B&N)-and they even included Anthem.

My question though to you-and everyone-is this.  Have you seen these at any other time of the year besides summer, or Christmas?

I am wondering if this is just a "summer reading" thing, or if it is more of a generic "all-year" thing.

The Ayn Rand Institute actually pays B&N (I don't know about Borders) to prominently display A.R.'s books for student "Summer Reading", I recall hearing.

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I am wondering if this is just a "summer reading" thing, or if it is more of a generic "all-year" thing.

Now that I think of it, at Border's the books were under a section called "Summer Reading", so I'm not quite sure if they are classics year-round or not.

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The Ayn Rand Institute actually pays B&N (I don't know about Borders) to prominently display A.R.'s books for student "Summer Reading", I recall hearing.

This is quite common throughout the publishing industry, people pay the greatest premiums for the most visible space. There's nothing unwholesome about it nor should there be. I'm very glad ARI does it.

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There's nothing unwholesome about it nor should there be.  I'm very glad ARI does it.

I am too. It's all about marketing the ideas, and the more and faster, the better.

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In Australia, Angus & Robertson book stores have a "Top 100" novels selected by their 'experts', ranging from Harry Potter to - you guessed it - Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged.

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This is quite common throughout the publishing industry, people pay the greatest premiums for the most visible space. There's nothing unwholesome about it nor should there be. I'm very glad ARI does it.

Nowhere did I state or imply there is anything "unwholesome" about it.

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I've been a fan of the Nashua, NH B&N ever since I spotted an Atlas Shrugged poster... :(post-56-1121307656_thumb.jpg

Today, I was in the Beaverton, Or B&N, and noticed the same poster. The philosophy section was about 15 feet away from the poster. I was happy to find a full shelf devoted to Ayn Rand's books. I wanted to see what kind of books they had on Kant. The books on Kant took up about 10 inches of book shelf space. I was happy to see the contrast. A whole shelf devoted to Ayn Rand. :D

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Today, I was in the Beaverton, Or B&N, and noticed the same poster. The philosophy section was about 15 feet away from the poster. I was happy to find a full shelf devoted to Ayn Rand's books. I wanted to see what kind of books they had on Kant. The books on Kant took up about 10 inches of book shelf space. I was happy to see the contrast. A whole shelf devoted to Ayn Rand. :(

I love to see that too, though unfortunately it's the entire rest of the bookstore that's most likely affected by Kantian philosophy, not Objectivism - even if they don't explicitly mention him or his ideas.

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There was a new mall that opened up in a Phoenix suburb about 5 years ago; that store has had the full-size canvas of Atlas Shrugged's original cover the entire time. After finding one there I've looked in other B&N stores--I haven't seen it in all stores, but another new B&N opened in my area last year that had it as well. It's always exciting to see them on the wall.

After seeing it for the first time, I talked to a bunch of people at the stores with them in an attempt to acquire one. None of the stores would sell the one they had up (not that I would want to remove the advertisement), but several mentioned that they sell them online. I've checked occasionally, and B&N does have a section for "Prints & Posters" that you can browse (or search) for book cover posters. You can buy various sizes, including the large canvases, though those do cost hundreds of dollars. Unfortunately, I've never seen Atlas Shrugged's cover there. I occasionally browse their inventory, although searching would probably work as well if they ever had it in stock.

Apparently they have a contract with some company that makes the canvases and the book cover art licensing seemed to be a significant problem preventing the stores to order or sell them directly.

Now I don't look as hard, though. After looking for a long time without successfully finding one to purchase, my girlfriend (at the time) painted one for me for my birthday. :(

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I love to see that too, though unfortunately it's the entire rest of the bookstore that's most likely affected by Kantian philosophy, not Objectivism - even if they don't explicitly mention him or his ideas.

I agree. Another example that I encountered concerning how Objectivism is displayed was at Powells Bookstore in Portland. Powells is a bookstore that takes up an entire city block and is 4 stories high. It is more like a library than a bookstore. New and used books are sold side by side. All of Ayn Rand's books were on display in the literary section. Including "The Ominous Parallels." One day I went to the store to purchase "The Ominous Parallels" but none were on the shelf. I asked for assistance and was told the book could be located in four different sections. The assistant did not know which of the four locations. He decided to help me locate the book and we went to all the locations each being on a different floor. I asked the assistant why it was no longer located with the rest of Ayn Rand's books in the literary section. He said the reason was that the book was starting to be accepted by experts in their respective fields. Because of this Powells had recategorized the book. We eventually found the book in a subgroup(I don't remember what) of the political section of the store.

I do not know if the assistant's explanation was accurate. If it is, I interpret this as a small but significant advancement.

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I agree. Another example that I encountered concerning how Objectivism is displayed was at Powells Bookstore in Portland. Powells is a bookstore that takes up an entire city block and is 4 stories high. It is more like a library than a bookstore. New and used books are sold side by side. All of Ayn Rand's books were on display in the literary section. Including "The Ominous Parallels." One day I went to the store to purchase "The Ominous Parallels" but none were on the shelf. I asked for assistance and was told the book could be located in four different sections. The assistant did not know which of the four locations. He decided to help me locate the book and we went to all the locations each being on a different floor. I asked the assistant why it was no longer located with the rest of Ayn Rand's books in the literary section. He said the reason was that the book was starting to be accepted by experts in their respective fields. Because of this Powells had recategorized the book.

It's great to hear another plug for Powell's! That's my favorite stop in Portland.

What's significant, too, is the assistant having enough detailed information about OP to imply that there is or was controversy about it. For a bookstore as large as Powell's, he must have to deal with a large number of books, so to have that level of information about OP means it is popular or significant enough to stand out from the crowd. Good news indeed!

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It's great to hear another plug for Powell's! That's my favorite stop in Portland.

In one thread involving the response to the Islamo-fascists, Burgess Laughlin made several posts on Powell's, starting with this one. And don't miss Burgess' PROGRESS REPORT on the events surrounding Powell's. Rather encouraging.

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Today, I was in the Beaverton, Or B&N, and noticed the same poster.

Those posters are up in B&Ns all over Southern California. It always puts a smile on my face to see Atlas featured so prominently.

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I saw that the other day and wanted one very badly. I called the store I was in and was given the number to call (215-551-8700) and ordered mine today. A Google search for that very poster lead me to this forum, so I thank you for that.

The posters run between $150-$600.

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