Tom Wayne has amassed thousands of books in a warehouse during the 10 years
he has run his used book store, Prospero’s Books.
His collection ranges from best sellers, such as Tom Clancy’s „The Hunt for
Red October“ and Tom Wolfe’s „Bonfire of the Vanities,“ to obscure titles,
like a bound report from the Fourth Pan-American Conference held in Buenos
Aires in 1910. But when he wanted to thin out the collection, he found he
couldn’t even give away books to libraries or thrift shops; they said they
So on Sunday, Wayne began burning his books in protest of what he sees as
society’s diminishing support for the printed word.
„This is the funeral pyre for thought in America today,“ Wayne told
spectators outside his bookstore as he lit the first batch of books.
The fire blazed for about 50 minutes before the Kansas City Fire Department
put it out because Wayne didn’t have a permit for burning.
Discussion in a travel forum:
„Our mission is to put unwanted books into the hands of those who want them.“