Local bookstores to pass on O.J. book
November 18, 2006
Park City’s two independent book retailers said they will not carry the new book by O.J. Simpson titled If I Did It, both citing its questionable ethics and morality.
Judith Regan of ReganBooks, which is publishing the work, billed it as a confession.
Simpson, who was acquitted of murdering his ex-wife and her friend Ron Goldman in a 1995 trial, announced Wednesday his plans for a TV interview to air on Fox Nov. 27 and 29 at the end of the critical sweeps week. The book hits the shelves Nov. 30, but Parkites will have to go out of town to pick up a copy.
"It’s not just the O.J. book, but also books about things such as the Scott Peterson and Jon Benet murder scandals; anything that has to do with sensationalism and things like that are not things we support," said Karen Dallett, owner of The Spotted Frog Bookstore. "We will do special orders if someone wants it, but we found that no one special orders them because people around here just aren’t interested. Scandal is not part of what we carry."
Dallett said the 240-page book raises social issues that should be addressed, such as what qualifies as fiction and non-fiction. She also voiced concern over the fact that Simpson cannot be retried for the killings because of the court system’s protection against double jeopardy.
"He won’t be committed," she said. "He won’t be taken back to trial because of this book. I can’t support a publishing house that is going to tell this sordid, dark, deep tale when our court system has not given it their just due."
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"Let him be on Larry King, but we don’t need him on our selves," she added.
Joe Blonigen, who is in charge of buying books for Dolly’s Bookstore, said he received notification a book was being published, but not about it’s title, content or author.
"We did receive notice from the publisher saying, ‘We have a new book coming out, but we can’t tell you the title and we can’t tell you the author, but it’s going to be a big deal. Would you like to buy it?’ We didn’t."
Regan has refused to say what Simpson is being paid for the book, or even who will be paid. The book is listed on Amazon.com for $16.47.
"Regardless of who the money goes to, I think there’s a real difference between something that is legitimate to publish and something that is just a product that you know people will buy," Blonigen said. "That’s what this is, it’s product. No one will be edified by reading this book."
Blonigen said they will wait to see if there is any demand for the book before they purchase any copies, but said that even if interest is expressed Dolly’s still might pass. Although he said the publishing company has every right to produce the book, Dolly’s has the right to not carry it.
"We have not purchased it," he said. "We were going to wait to see if there was any kind of demand for it. I think it will probably be the type of book that people will have some curiosity to look at, but won’t buy it. People will probably have a problem giving him money."
"If 100 people walk in the door today and say, ‘Hey, here’s my money,’ I still don’t know if we’d carry it," he continued. "I think the publishing company made a big mistake."