Yesterday i walked into a Wanchai bookstore, one of the many Dymock bookstores that have mushroomed in HK. Though not a big fan of their selection, i went in to browse titles and kill time between classes. To my dismay all books were wrapped in a plastic film, to ensure that nobody would leaf through them. I am one of those people who don't judge a book by its cover, and always read the first page of a novel before buying it, as the writing style to me is just as important as the content. Most readers leaf through the pages before deciding what to buy....the way most people shopping for clothes or shoes try them on.
Wrapping each individual book in plastic certainly achieves the desired result of stopping people like me from browsing, but what are the other, unintended consequences of this ill-conceived decision? Bad news for the environment. A pile of discarded plastic wraps that end up in our full-to-the-brim landfills...not to mention the emissions caused by the production of those wraps.
Dymocks bookstores in Hong Kong are franchised, so it's hard to tell whether the Australian Group that owns the Franchise System is aware of this practise in one of his shops in HK. I have lodged a complaint and will tell you what their reply is.
Off to the library now...where books can be browsed and enjoyed at no cost for the reader and the environment.