A bookseller is the being who is most aware of the futility of a book, and of its importance.–Hector Yánover
Like most of our cultural institutions and workers, bookshops and booksellers have worked hard in the last few years to respond to political and social issues in our society. They’ve formed committees and hosted panels, held training sessions and had difficult conversations in both their private and professional lives. Yet books by White supremacists, fascists, misogynists, and other dangerous ideologues are bought and sold in independent bookshops across North America every day. What are the economic, social, and moral consequences of stocking and selling these titles? In The Least We Can Do, Josh Cook, bookseller at Porter Square Books in Cambridge, Massachusetts, takes up these questions and more, embarking on an urgent and insightful reckoning with critical issues around freedom of expression, public discourse, industry ethics, and moral culpability.
The first in a new series of pamphlets to be published by booksellers, for booksellers and those invested in bookstores and book culture, The Least We Can Do is a call to action and the beginning of an essential conversation.