Crazy Al's crazy idea for a book sale died a horrible death shortly after leaving the drawing board.
Image courtesy Al Stanford

Bookzilla vs. Reality

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A Student's Union commissioner's used book sale ballooned up to the extravagant sum of at least $4,000. That's a lot of used reading material--around 20,000 books worth.

SU Vice-President Events Alex Vyskocil had originally allotted $500 to "Crazy" Al Stanford's Project Bookzilla. The initial small sale quickly grew out of control. Apparently after a communication meltdown, Stanford decided to take matters into his own hands, accepting "some books" from the Calgary Herald who had put on their own sale earlier this year. The 20,000 books accepted proved overwhelming, with a large portion of the proposed $4,000 being used to store and handle the books. The books are being stored in a 48´X 10´x 5´ trailer for the cost of $150 per month.

"This is ridiculous!" exclaimed Academic Commissioner Ashley Martin, who felt that it wasn't plausible to sell enough books to make a profit. "Let's just cut our losses, get rid of the books and move forward."

Understandably, "Crazy" Al wants to move these books and continue with his plans even though the logistics involved in selling 20,000 books are quite daunting. Stanford's plan goes a little something like this: advertise, hire some workers, get some volunteers and try and sell 20,000 used books at $0.50 each over three days, from October 4-6. In order to break even, the SU would have to sell approximately 40 per cent of the books. That's 8,000 books over three days or, if you really want to impress Stephen Hawking, that's over 2,660 books a day.

The motion was brought before the Students' Legislative Council Sept. 14 to go ahead on the proposed book sale, but in the end, Stanford's pet project Bookzilla was struck down 6-12. SLC was quite vocal on this issue.

"Go big or go home--we should go home on this one," said SU VP Operations and Finance Greg Clayton.

One option presented is to give the books to a group called Servants Anonymous who is willing to take the books off the SU's hands at a relatively small cost. Some SU members also suggested a Mini Bookzilla, where only a portion of the books would be sold, but this still leaves storage problems. While students would get books at the ridiculously low price of $0.50, they still have to front the bill for storage through the SU.

"This is a commissioner project gone sour," said Vyskocil after the meeting, adding that the books will probably end up going to Servants Anonymous on the SU's tab.




Damn the man!!!
PS: Did you get any free books out of the deal?