Apr 26 2007
The Baltimore Sun had an article criticizing the selling of books online at ABE and Amazon by the not for profit organization, Book Thing. Under the name, Boards & Wraps, Russell Wattenberg has over 4,000 titles listed for sale online. These are books that Wattenberg receives in the form of donations. Many books are given every weekend, but the cream are being sold.
Booksellers would like Wattenberg to disclose how much profit he is making and where those dollars go in regards to operating Book Thing. Wattenberg is not the only recipient of book donations that sells the best books. Friends of the Library groups do this regularly.
On the one hand, if the money is going to run the charity, it makes sense to skim the cream. On the other, if all the best books are being given away, the people getting the donations aren’t getting to read the best books, or at least the popular ones. I do think that Wattenberg should be more up front with where the dollars are going. People who donate books and money want to be assured that the money is going where it is said that it is going.