Amazon supplier loses warehouse lease, invites the public to loot its books

Bookbarn, one of Amazon UK's largest warehousing and fulfilment suppliers, lost its lease on its Bristol warehouse, so they flung open the doors and invited the public to come in and take all the publishers' consigned books they had on hand, as that was cheaper than returning them to the publishers who still owned them. (Update: It's a used warehouse, apparently!)

This reminds me of when I was working at a scholarly bookstore in Toronto and we bought the entire remaining inventory of Progress Books, the Soviet Union's English-language publisher, whose New York warehouse suffered a "mysterious" fire after the USSR fell apart. For weeks, I unboxed and sorted through smoke-reeking, charred expurgated works of Lenin, Marx and others, stacking the saleable merchandise in one corner, the briquettes in another.


Many arrived armed with crates, boxes and even prams to carry their horde away, some managing 150 books in a single visit.

Available genres range from horror, computing and cookbooks to sports, literary classics and religion - most of which were "musty" but otherwise in excellent condition.

By early afternoon, most shelves had been cleared but tens of thousands of books were left scattered around the floors of the warehouse in Bedminster, Bristol.

Books given away for free at one of Britain's biggest warehouses (Thanks, Kathryn!)