Why you won’t find Disney books in my store.

pinnochioLong ago when my children were young, I was reading them the story of Pinocchio in a Walt Disney book. I started telling them about the Italian who had written it so long ago, but couldn’t remember his name. I looked all over that book. Carlo Collodi was not mentioned. It was ‘Walt Disney’s Pinocchio.”
What would it have cost them to give credit to the creator? Were they afraid that people might seek out the original and realize that Disney’s version was a mere shadow of what Collodi had written? How many people today believe that Pinocchio is a Disney creation?
That experience and, later, some reading of Joseph Campbell made me realize that Disney takes the great myths and the great literature and reduces it all to the level of a TV sitcom, removing any deeper meaning or values. What’s left is the literary equivalent of a Twinkie.
I give away surplus children’s books, or donate them to the local thrift shop, to encourage future readers, but Disney books, among others, go into the blue box. I don’t want them falling into the hands of impressionable children.
I confess (halo slips a little, here) that if I come across a collectible Disney book I put it on the internet, justifying this with the idea that someone willing to pay $25 for it, isn’t going to let his kids play with it.


3 thoughts on “Why you won’t find Disney books in my store.”

  1. Hi. Looks like this is an interesting blog. I came over here to check you out after you added me on Twitter.

    I totally agree with your sentiments, here. I’m not really a fan of Disney. They seem more interesting in franchising than value. If/when I have children, I’m going to read them all the old stories.

    Interestingly, though, you have just reminded me that as I child, we used to have the original story book of ‘The Little Mermaid’ by Hans Christian Anderson. I think my sisters and I used to prefer that one to the Disney one.

    (PS. There is a type on your page: “RSS feed. This will send you all of our posts as they are published so that you won’t [MISS] a thing”)

  2. I was an adult when I came across a copy of Carlo Collodi’s ‘version’ of Pinocchio. I had never heard the story had an author and to be honest never thought about where the story had come from. I was amazed when I read it at how much Disney left out.

    I agree with your statement, “What’s left is the literary equivalent of a Twinkie.”

  3. Most used books stores still in existence remain in the hands of people who would count themselves among the legions known as book lovers.
    I understand the position of book lovers and their sense that as much pure literature should be preserved and passed on through the ages.

    Unfortunately we are in a dying business and in a weakened position for determining what is best for our customers.

    Disney has been one of the companies instrumental in keeping reading alive and if they serve only that purpose – no matter how diluted their offerings may be – they are helping us all.

    I didn’t check to see how many “Disney” books we sell every year but I’m sure it is in the hundreds and would pay at least one month’s rent during the year.

    As used books store operators we are already blessed by living our dream – now we have to become better business people and concentrate on serving the reading public if we want to survive and have a chance to grow.

    I wish all the best to everyone connected with our business.

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