People often ask me what is the one book I couldn’t live without, and the answer is Garner’s Modern American Usage, which is why I was shocked to receive the message below (which I trimmed) from the author this morning saying bookstores are not stocking his book:
I need your help in sending a message to the major bookstore chains: they’re not stocking the book because they’ve told Oxford University Press that they consider usage guides a “defunct category.” It’s maddeningly unbelievable. Please help me show them that they’re stupendously wrong.
Meanwhile, in the coming months you might ask about the book when you’re in a bookstore: ask the managers why they don’t stock copies, and encourage them to do so.
If you’re curious to see what effect you’re having, watch the rankings on Amazon.com or Bn.com in coming days and weeks. We’ll be alerting the major chains to those numbers, and we want to get as close to the top 50 as we can. If you’re trying to order and see that the book is labeled “out of stock,” order anyway: the effort is also to ensure that the online booksellers keep adequate stocks.
Thank you for whatever help you can provide in this endeavor to show booksellers that the concern for good English is alive and well.
Bryan A. Garner
How important is this to me? I have my own book to promote this week–The Grammar Devotional goes on sale on Tuesday, 10/27–but I’m using this space today to ask you to support Garner’s Modern American Usage. Buy it today if you can. Ask your bookstore why they don’t stock it. Tell them English reference books matter.
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