May 16, 2016
A new Literary Litterbug strikes Colorado, one year later
by Taylor Sperry
There’s a new Literary Litterbug in Longmont, CO, Karen Antonacci reports for the Denver Post.
Last spring, we wrote about Arvada man Glenn Plasden, who was caught dumping hundreds of old books (mostly “bargain-bin romance novels”) from his car as he drove down US 287. “I didn’t even know anybody even cared,” he said at the time. “I just thought they were being blown in the ditch. That’s what I thought was happening.” Pladsen, who said he couldn’t sell his books online, and couldn’t be bothered to dispose of them properly, was sentenced to thirty hours of community service and fined $1,725 for clean-up and court costs.
But now, “the books are back”—this time along Colo. 66. Some other notable distinctions in this case: 1) These books are “definitely not from a bargain bin”—they include Kurt Vonnegut’s A Man Without a Country and “a pristine dust jacket” for George R. R. Martin’s A Dance with Dragons; 2) “Confoundingly, nine books, both hardcover and paperback, sat stacked in the dirt on the north side of Colo. 66”; and 3) Among them was a handwritten note, “Please, there is no reason to block the sidewalk when you park.”
The imagination reels. But for the moment, the Colorado Department of Transportation remains hopeful this is an isolated incident (“This is a safety concern for drivers and pretty annoying for our crews who have much better things to be doing than picking up books,” spokesman Jared Fiel said), as does the community at large. “Gosh darnit,” Kathe Heinecken, owner of Longmont’s Barbed Wire Books, said, “So many people need books . . . it makes me so sad.”
Taylor Sperry is a former Melville House editor.