Wiccans protests Books-a-Million sign now

October 13, 2006, the new Port Richey store manager of Books-a-Million pulled the plug on our planned Psychic Fair which has been meeting there for the last five years! Whats more, she did it late Friday evening, October 13, 2006, hours before it was to happen the next morning. (Apparently in an obvious attempt to ensure that we couldnt find another place to hold the fair on just hours notice!) Please read this petition and, if you agree, sign it so I can forward it to the Executive Chairman of the Board and the CEO/President of Books a Million. Lets flood this company with many more protests than the measley 150 they received to stop the Psychic Fair! Also, if youd like to write your own letter (be firm, but polite we want to present ourselves as intelligent but angry about the situation!), the names and addresses of whom to address the letters is listed below:
Sandra B. Cochran, President, CEO and Secretary
Books-a-Million, Inc.
P.O. Box 19768
Birmingham, AL 35219
also you may send letters to:
Clyde B. Anderson, Executive Chairman of the Board
Books-a-Million, Inc.
402 Industrial Lane
Birmingham, AL 35211
You could also send letters to Alexis Brown, the manager of the store who did the dirty work; the address is listed in the opening sentenceof the petition. PETITION IS BELOW:
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For over five years our local Books-a-Million store (store #781 at 9570 US Highway 19 North in Port Richey, FL 34668) has supported a small local group. Every month, on the second Saturday of the month, they have hosted a Psychic Fair at the Joe Muggs Cafй in the Books-a-Million bookstore. The Psychic Fair offers Tarot readings for interested people. This is not only a community service to the Port Richey area, but a place for those persons with an interest in New Age or Metaphysical topics to come together, talk, commune and buy new books. Five years ago one psychic reader began the Psychic Fair with a reading here and there throughout the day; now six readers cannot keep up with the demand. The readers are constantly busy from Noon to five oclock, bringing many regulars back month after month. This fair has really built a sense of community in this area.

On Friday evening, October 13, 2006, the host of the Psychic Fair received a phone call from Alexis Brown, the store manager of this particular Books-a-Million, telling the host that she could no longer host the Psychic Fair which was scheduled to take place just hours later (the following morning, Saturday, October 14, 2006). Allegedly, Books-a-Million corporate had received over 150 letters of complaint from a local Christian Fundamentalist group who had just become aware of the Psychic Fair; and, after five years, Alexis had been instructed by corporate to not allow it to continue. If this was truly the case, she could have had the common courtesy to let the event coordinator know a few days in advance, not less than 18 hours in advance, so that an alternate location could be obtained and the Psychic Fair participants could be notified. Instead, the manager called late Friday evening, telling the coordinator she could not show up the next morning! Not only was this spiteful, rude and inconsiderate, it was downright disrespectful to the fairs coordinators and many of Books-a-Millions customers. Many dollars had been spent advertising this event and half a dozen readers were booked to show up for readings. Dozens, if not hundreds of patrons of the psychic fair (also potential book-buyers and cafй patrons) were planning on attending this event.
I would not blame these customers if they chose not to patronize Books-a-Million stores in the future. Books are the same no matter where you buy them. The content is the same, the cost is about the same; they provide the same entertainment, knowledge and enjoyment no matter where you get them. In purchasing books, the difference is the atmosphere of the store, the confidence in the store, the friendliness and helpfulness of the staff, the sense of community the store possesses and the vastness of the selection of books to choose from which brings up another issue. The New Age/Metaphysical section of the store has been dwindling noticeably ever since Alexis Brown became the manager of the store in question. Under her management, it is becoming more and more difficult for one to buy a book they are interested in buying from this Books-a-Million store. She is single-handedly pushing the readers of New Age/Metaphysical books out of this store and right over to your competition. Before Alexis took over management of this store, I wasnt aware that Books-a-Million catered only to Christian patrons. There are many bookstore chains out there who do willingly carry this genre of books (Barnes and Noble, Borders, etc. not to mention online stores such as Amazon.com who carry books in ALL categories). With so many other options and after these bad experiences make themselves known, many previous patrons of Books-a-Million will undoubtedly be looking for other vendors.

Before you lose patrons and lots of business, I request that you, as a corporate entity, call Alexis Brown and inform her that she should repopulate the New Age/Metaphysical section of the store under her charge (store #781) and that the Psychic Fair should resume at this store. Personal prejudices against people of other religions has no place in business, nor in society as a whole. It is a shame that people pass judgement and make assumptions about religions that they have obviously not taken the time to find out about; they only believe what they hear from certain oppressive groups. Christian fundamentalist bookstores are not currently number 1, 2, or 3 on the Largest Bookstore in America list although I believe you are now number 3. Its situations like this that could make that number even lower.

In closing, we would like to see the Psychic Fair back in the store we have been bringing business to for so many years (peacefully, lovingly, and without incident from us, I might add); and we are also awaiting restocking of New Age/Metaphysical books to the shelves. As we believe that America is founded upon diversity among citizens and peaceful freedom of all religions, we have confidence that you will rectify these situations. If your patrons are to believe that Books-a-Million has decided to cater only to Christian fundamentalist groups, we will be sorely disappointed in your choices. I await your reply.

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Anthony BenderBy:
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Books-a-Million President/CEO and Executive Chairman of the Board

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