The era of buying old books at the big chain used bookstores is ending. The larger chains are much more likely to be targeted for fines than the small local stores, so the larger chains have been quick to react. What remains unclear is what the bookstores are doing with the old books. I hope that the books are placed in storage rather than destroyed.
I have read so many reports of Goodwill stores from various parts of the country pulling their old books that I feel confident that Goodwill has ordered all stores to remove them. What is Goodwill doing with the old children's books? Goodwill may perhaps be selling all of the old books online, but I have noticed that Goodwill has fewer old children's books for sale on eBay than it once did. Of course it seems that everyone has fewer old children's books for sale on eBay, so this might be coincidence.
I checked my thrift stores around a month ago. I seldom go into my Goodwill store since the selection has always been pathetic, but the store always had at least a couple of worthless older children's books. This time, I saw no old children's books, not even worthless ones. I suspect that Goodwill has instituted a blanket policy banning the sale of old children's books.
Walter Olson also reported how one library is "boxing up many books that are likely to have been printed after 1985, because their copyright date falls before then; it is a common practice for children’s books to list only a copyright date even if they were printed many years later. So at that cautious library, at least, the law’s effects are even more drastic than one might have assumed."
This means that under some people's interpretation of the law, even recent books may become unavailable. I have read reports of stranded inventory that companies cannot distribute. The stranded inventory will likely be destroyed. Our economy is in terrible shape, and we have this idiotic law that is forcing many small companies out of business. This law will further weaken our economy. Rewriting this law should be a dire emergency for Congress, but they do not care.
Walter Olson wrote of many developments on March 18 in his blog. Olson stated that the CPSC is "officially urging the nation’s libraries to remove from their shelves children’s books printed before 1986 until more is known about their possible dangers from lead in their inks, dyes and pigments."
Carol Baicker-McKee posted a comment on Olson's blog, stating in part:
I also spoke with Joe Martyak, the CPSC chief of staff, yesterday, and while he did not mention “sequestering” books, he did tell me that there is considerable legal precedent for seeing libraries as “distributors in commerce” so the agency definitely considers them to be subject to CPSIA. Martyak also told me that they are finding older books that under destructive testing do exceed the 300 ppm standard that goes into effect in August...Martyak said that the agency is continuing to test vintage books to get a sense for how widespread the presence of lead is in older books, and they won’t make a final determination about an exemption for the older books until then. Got the feeling that could be a while.The parts that are most important to me as a collector of vintage books are "destructive testing" and "continuing to test vintage books." The CPSC is destroying old books in order to test them for lead. What do you think about that?