culture

Scarcity and Savagery

As it was sponsored by a local branch of a national organization, the used book sale was held in a nearby suburb. Housed in a public community center, nestled off a main road, the sale offerred more than 40,000 items and included videos and CDs as well as books. Too big for this venue, and inefficiently arranged, the sale incited the worst in its patrons. As though they were paid to push, prod, bump, grasp, and grab, the people behaved like savages. Scarcity breeds disrespect, even among book nerds, a group one would expect to behave more civilly.

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