While at the Book Store…

…I noticed something odd on the shelves and it was a little disconcerting to see. I went to the big chain bookstore in Franklin to see what kind of garden books they were carrying with the intent on purchasing one with some leftover money I received for my birthday last July. I know it’s been a long time since July but while there are things that I would like to have I just couldn’t find anything really worth spending it on!

I perused the shelves with my two year old daughter while my oldest was spending the day with her grandmother. You know how two year olds are – constantly exploring, searching, playing, and handling everything their little hands can get a hold of.  She picked up books and I put them back, I told her no, I went back to looking, she went back to picking up books. This little scene played out many times but I noticed that the book that she kept picking out was a rather peculiar one in the gardening area. It was within easy hand reach of any little child which I suppose wouldn’t be a big deal normally but this book was about growing something that is illegal pretty much everywhere in the United States. It was a book about growing marijuana! I knew those kinds of books existed, but to actually see it on a shelf in a book store was surprising. There wasn’t only one either, there were easily 5-6 different books on the subject.

Now I realize that simply reading material about the plant does not make you a criminal. I also realize that some people claim that it should be legalized. I’m not writing to get into a debate on that subject but should the biggest bookstore in Williamson County carry something that could so easily fall into the hands of teenagers? It’s illegal to grow here in Tennessee for any reason, why help people break the law by carrying books on subjects like this? Why carry books on growing illegal plants that tell you how to do it (and though I didn’t not read any of the material I’m assuming that it tells you how to skirt the law) and not carry at least as many books on growing tomatoes and other vegetables? I’m not saying that the other books weren’t there, in fact I saw a great number of large resource type books from the American Horticultural Society, The Garden Primer (Nancy Damarosch), and many other books that discussed gardening in general but books that hone in on a single vegetable or plant as subject material seemed very rare compared to the marijuana books.

Then again maybe it’s just me but shouldn’t books in the garden section be about plants we can actually legally grow? Maybe the marijuana books should be in the “How to” section instead…


Dave has written GrowingTheHomeGarden.com since 2007. He gardens on an acre and a half where he raises his 4 children. He enjoys growing vegetables, herbs, and propagating plants. Dave has a side business growing and selling heirloom vegetables and herb plants through Blue Shed Gardens and works as a real estate agent in Spring Hill, TN.

This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. Yea it seems to be like that in all the big book stores. I wish they could just put them somewhere else. It really weird when your sitting there looking at garden books, and someone comes and picks one of those books up. I would rather not see them anywhere near the garden section.

  2. Interesting indeed. Hmmm, makes you wonder.

    I purchased a few garden books this evening too. McKays bookstore on the corner of White Bridge Road and Charlotte Parkway is the BEST place in this state to purchase books, bar none. The books are all used but great quality and the store is well organized. I got four books and two dvds-each book was a specialty (ferns, natives, groundcovers and I forgot the other). The price for all of this? $22. Goes a long way. Check it out when you are in Nashville. Don't look at the funny stuff. Though you know marijuana was featured on that show a while back….

  3. Perhaps it is a clever sting operation. When the book is scanned at the register, an alert is sent to the police, much like a silent alarm.

    The police are then waiting outside in unmarked cars to play "follow the reader."

    Pardon my humor.


  4. While I agree with you Dave, there is that 'Freedom of…' in our Country which makes it so grand to live in. What about books on how to use household items to make bombs, or sawed off shotguns….communicate with your children, always!

  5. Ben,

    That would be kind of odd! I didn't have anyone else floating around the garden section that day just me and my daughter. Perhaps they need moved to a law section…


    I'll have to try McKays sometime, it's a little further out of the way but it might be worth visiting. I'm not sure which show you are referring to.


    I had a similar thought! Humor is welcome here – no need for pardons!


    I'm not really talking about freedom of speech here. I recognize it and support it. I'm thinking more about the bookseller's responsibility in the community. I don't support censorship but certainly the manager/company can determine the types of books they sell and their value. It's a tricky balance between the right of freedom of speech and what is right isn't it?

  6. I still agree Dave. Makes me wonder how much revenue they are making off of such books…some people/companies will do whatever regardless of right or wrong to make a buck. What is our responsibility in all of this?

  7. Darla,

    I suppose our responsibility is to not purchase these publications first of all (no problem here). Educate ours kids on making the right choices (like you mentioned). Maybe even to ask questions of those who are selling questionable materials. I suspect it's more corporate indifference than in any blatant attempt to make a buck but you never know!

  8. Maybe the bookseller should have these types of books in a special area, or at least on the top shelf. Any teenager wanting to know this stuff would look online anyway. There are worse things, like the bomb making, that scare me. Where to draw the line?

  9. I agree with you Dave. But books like everything else is out there to be purchased by someone.

  10. I had read a similar comment on another blog not too long ago and I thought. "we don't have that problem here." Then the next time I went to Books-a-Million in Valdosta, GA (the closest bookstore to me), there they were! In the middle of the gardening books – it was disconcerting to say the least. Kind of made me feel guilty to be in that section and I wasn't even looking at them. Maybe they should move them to the alternative medicine section (although I know that most people don't use it that way).

  11. France,

    Putting them on the top shelf might help but I guess my question is should a retail outlet (not talking internet website most of those are personal) not sell products that support illegal activities? I don't know if they have books on bomb making but I suspect the purchase of those kind of things would alert the government. I know they watch the internet sites.


    That's true, there wouldn't be a book if someone wasn't out there to sell it to!


    That might make a better fit – alternative medicine. As far as things go that is the most "reasonable" reason someone should be growing it. I'm not advocating it or supporting it in any way just saying that that makes the most sense – marijuana is definitely no tomato!

  12. This reminds me of why I decided against purchasing a radar detector for my car many years ago. I know those are illegal in some states, but they're sold in a great deal of places. What is their intended purpose? To alert you to police radar so you can slow your speed down to a legal limit. Anyone who says they don't buy them to help them break the speed limit is fooling no one.

    I still break the speed limit on a regular basis, so maybe I'm just fooling myself, too. But anyway, that's another matter.

    I'm with you on this one, Dave!

  13. I noticed a FEW books here in Lexington, KY at Barnes & Noble. Jospesh Beth's was where I saw about 5 different books on growing and cultivating Marijuana. Not sure if you have those that far south, but it was shocking to see there.


  14. Wow, I cannot believe they would sell such a book. But then again, it is all about making a buck to some companies. And Freedom of Speach to others. Do they sell Risky magazines as well? Probably so as it is about making money… It is so out there on the internet so why not in a bookstore? Hum, but on the child's eyes level? Give me a break, if they must sell such books, then put them on the top shelf…

    I once made an order through a catalog company and received some free items for my order. One of the Free items was a book on Suicide! I did not even want the book in my house as it freaked me out. Guess that one was not a good seller so they were giving them away…

    There's some crazy stuff out there and yes, up to us adults and parents to teach the children…

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