Bookseller Inspires Others to Lend Support to ABFFE

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When Cammie Mannino, owner of Halfway Down the Stairs in Rochester, Michigan, encouraged booksellers to donate part of the proceeds from the sales of the new Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix to the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE), she spurred Betsey Detwiler, owner of Buttonwood Books & Toys in Cohasset, Massachusetts, to also allow customers to either donate 20 percent to ABFFE or their local schools.

But she probably didn't think she'd motivate the publisher of the Harry Potter series, Scholastic, to pony up $10,000. At this year's BookExpo America in Los Angeles, Michael Jacobs, Scholastic's senior vice-president, trade division, handed over a check to ABFFE President Chris Finan, who said he was "very, very grateful for Scholastic's continued support."

Jacobs was inspired by Mannino's championing of ABFFE and, naturally, by ABFFE itself. "They do great work in protecting the First Amendment. Of course, we're supportive of that. ABFFE works for lots of important causes, especially books and access to books, like Harry Potter, which has been the most challenged book in the last five years," Jacobs told BTW. "ABFFE is an important advocate for booksellers and for publishers. It's important work to support." -- Karen Schechner