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Re: Sales of Lewis's books

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  • Christine Howlett
    I have to admit that the admittedly few religious bookstores I ve been in seem to sell mostly very lightweight books. Most of them would be on the order of
    Message 1 of 9 , Jul 7, 1999
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      I have to admit that the admittedly few 'religious' bookstores I've been in
      seem to sell mostly very lightweight books. Most of them would be on the
      order of daily meditations and books from the popular TV preachers. I
      wouldn't consider many of CSL's books to be heavy - he was targetting less
      educated people - but they do require a capacity for critical thought. I am
      lucky to have a seminary close by (Episcopalian) with a good bookstore and a
      manager who is very willing to order special books. I've found some neat
      stuff just browsing through. Maybe some others of us are so blessed?

      Christine
      -----Original Message-----
      From: WendellWag@... <WendellWag@...>
      To: mythsoc@onelist.com <mythsoc@onelist.com>
      Date: Wednesday, July 07, 1999 10:31 AM
      Subject: [mythsoc] Sales of Lewis's books


      >From: WendellWag@...
      >
      >May I change the subject to another of the Inklings?
      >
      >Has anyone else noticed the following? When I was in a religious bookstore
      a
      >little more than a year ago, I noted that there was only about eight inches
      >(maybe 12 or so copies) of Lewis's books on the nonfiction shelves there
      (and
      >there were a few Narnia books in the children's section). Now perhaps it
      >wasn't surprising that there were less of his books there than in a big
      >Borders that I checked shortly afterwards, where there was about seven feet
      >(maybe 120 copies) of his nonfiction books (along with some books about
      >Lewis), since that store was considerably larger than the religious
      >bookstore. But then I noticed that the copies of Lewis's nonfiction books
      >sold in a hip latenight bookstore/cafe that was only a little larger than
      the
      >religious book store took up about a foot and a half (maybe 24 copies). Is
      >this generally true these days? Does Lewis not sell well at religious
      >bookstores anymore?
      >
      >I remember that twenty years ago the religious bookstore next to the campus
      >where I was a grad student had a whole section called "Lewis and Friends".
      >Am I just not looking at the right religious bookstores these days? Or is
      >Lewis considered too difficult for the people who purchase books at
      religious
      >bookstores? Or is he considered too mainstream? Or does he not fit the
      >conservative political opinions of people who run religious bookstores
      today?
      >
      >Wendell Wagner
      >
    • WendellWag@xxx.xxx
      In a message dated 7/7/99 3:23:28 PM Eastern Daylight Time, Stolzi@AOL.com ... Yes, but I wonder if he still wasn t *explicitly* conservative enough
      Message 2 of 9 , Jul 7, 1999
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        In a message dated 7/7/99 3:23:28 PM Eastern Daylight Time, Stolzi@...
        writes:

        > Lewis himself was plenty conservative politically.

        Yes, but I wonder if he still wasn't *explicitly* conservative enough
        politically to satisfy some people. On the average, his political opinions
        would be considered somewhat conservative these days (although some would be
        a little more conservative than most people now and some a little more
        liberal than most people now), but he didn't tend to discuss his political
        opinions in his books much. Partly this was he considered important issues
        to be "pre-political" (in the sense that they had to be resolved before one
        could even begin to do politics), but partly this was because he was trying
        to keep the issues discussed in his books to what he considered "mere
        Christianity".

        On thinking about this issue though, I now suspect that the paucity of
        Lewis's books in religious bookstores these days is more because the
        lightweightedness of these stores and because many of them don't find Lewis
        to be sufficiently *explicitly* fundamentalist.

        Wendell Wagner
      • Berni Phillips
        The generic Christian bookstore near me, the Lion and the Lamb, has an excellent selection of Lewis books. I haven t been to Berean Christian Bookstore
        Message 3 of 9 , Jul 7, 1999
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          The generic Christian bookstore near me, the Lion and the Lamb, has an
          excellent selection of Lewis' books. I haven't been to Berean Christian
          Bookstore lately to check.

          Ave Maria, my local Catholic bookstore, also stocks a fair amount of
          Lewis, but not as much as the Lion and the Lamb.

          Berni
        • WendellWag@xxx.xxx
          In a message dated 7/13/99 5:29:03 PM Eastern Daylight Time, ... it had to do ... the ... I ve heard of people who think that Charles Williams s books flirt
          Message 4 of 9 , Jul 14, 1999
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            In a message dated 7/13/99 5:29:03 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
            shield333@... writes:

            > However, much to my shock, I recently heard someone call MacDonald's work a
            > little too "new age" for her. After a lengthy discussion she agreed that
            it had to do
            > with some personal perceptions that might be a little skewed, rather than
            the
            > actual work of MacDonald, itself.

            I've heard of people who think that Charles Williams's books flirt with
            occultism.

            In any case, we've established that some religious bookstores are rather
            lightweight. Can people tell me how well Lewis's books sell in non-religious
            bookstores? What surprised me was not only that there were only about 10 of
            Lewis's books in the religious bookstore I checked (a Family Books in the
            Laurel Center Mall), but that there were about 120 of his books (counting
            books about him) in the largest of the Washington(DC)-area bookstores (the
            Borders in White Flint Mall). This was quite a satisfactory selection of
            Lewis's books, I thought.

            The bigger surprise to me was that there was 20 of his books at Kramer Books
            and Afterwords, a hip latenight bookstore/cafe in the Dupont Circle
            neighborhood in D.C., which was as many books as any author in their
            philosophy/religion section. This store is in a neighborhood that likes to
            think of itself as bohemian (and being in D.C., it also tries to appeal to
            policy wonks). Historical note: It was one of the two bookstores subpoened
            by Ken Starr for a list of books bought by Monica Lewinsky. (The other was
            the Barnes & Noble in Georgetown.)

            So while some religious bookstores are a little lightweight, it looks to me
            like some mainstream bookstores are not lightweight. That's why I wonder if
            Lewis's readership is now perceived as being mainstream.

            Wendell Wagner
          • Stolzi@aol.com
            Say, Wendell, Monica didn t buy any CS Lewis titles, did she? ;) I have already reported the mall bookstore I found extremely light in the matter of Lewis.
            Message 5 of 9 , Jul 14, 1999
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              Say, Wendell, Monica didn't buy any CS Lewis titles, did she? ;)

              I have already reported the mall bookstore I found extremely light in the
              matter of Lewis. Will check Barnes & Noble next time I'm in there.

              Mary S
            • WendellWag@xxx.xxx
              In a message dated 7/14/99 10:15:35 AM Eastern Daylight Time, Stolzi@aol.com ... Can you imagine the cross-examination she would get if she had? So, tell us,
              Message 6 of 9 , Jul 16, 1999
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                In a message dated 7/14/99 10:15:35 AM Eastern Daylight Time, Stolzi@...
                writes:

                > Say, Wendell, Monica didn't buy any CS Lewis titles, did she? ;)

                Can you imagine the cross-examination she would get if she had?

                "So, tell us, Ms. Lewinsky, just exactly how did you plan to surprise the
                President, and what kind of joy were you promising him?"
              • Stolzi@xxx.xxx
                In a message dated 7/16/99 3:56:05 AM Central Daylight Time, ... Miracles happen where Lewis is involved... look at Chuck Colson!
                Message 7 of 9 , Jul 16, 1999
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                  In a message dated 7/16/99 3:56:05 AM Central Daylight Time,
                  WendellWag@... writes:

                  >
                  > > Say, Wendell, Monica didn't buy any CS Lewis titles, did she? ;)
                  >
                  > Can you imagine the cross-examination she would get if she had?

                  Miracles happen where Lewis is involved... look at Chuck Colson!
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