Another sign of victory

Old timers here may recall the saga of Abunga Books, an online bookstore with the sole distinction of having a feature that allowed customers to ban books from the inventory that they didn’t like…which meant, of course, that evolution and atheism and anything that touched on those two was promptly purged. You can imagine how people here responded to that empowering policy: they scurried right on over to help ban the Bible and C.S. Lewis. The hypocrisy of Abunga was then exposed: they honored requests to ban Phillip Pullman, but banning the Bible was not allowed. So much for the illusion of vox populi.

You will be pleased to learn that now, after about a year, Abunga Books has quietly expired. There will be no funeral. Nobody cared.


  1. Alverant says

    I’m not surprised. As a business they had the right to do what they want regardless of how tasteless and immoral it was (within legal limits though). And as consumers we have the right to ignore and expose their immorality.

  2. Richard Harris says was launched in 2007 when former Ipix Corp. co-founder Lee Martin teamed up with owners of the Family Book Outlet chain and the Christian book wholesalers SAS & Associates.

    So that feckin’ god-thing of their’s abandoned them, eh. Bwahahaha.

  3. Nerd of Redhead, OM says

    Hmmm… Readers tend to be thinkers. Thinkers want more knowledge, and not have dumbshits tell them what they can’t read. Failure written all over that business model.

  4. says

    In addition to individutal filters, Web site administrators also blocked pornography and other potentially objectionable material.

    They would have to ban the Bible then. Did they forget all the incest and stuff that happens in the Bible? Not to mention the gore… like putting a tent spike through someone’s head.

    I find that objectionable.

  5. tweetybirdie386sx says

    Doesn’t exactly sound like a brilliant plan. The only reason people would shop there would be because they like banning books. Seems kinda like defeating their own purpose or something.

  6. Wowbagger, OM says

    To express my sentiments towards these people I’ll use one of the more charming expressions popular in Australia: ‘suck shit’.

  7. Lynna Howard says

    Local Library in my neck of the woods had trouble giving away copies of Fahrenheit 451 (project to promote reading). Apparently the book was on a not-recommended list. Reason: the story line taught the virtue of thinking for oneself, and of not automatically taking authority figures at their word.

  8. says

    As the Rev says ‘Yeah, that was a fantastic business model.’. Forget the religion vs atheism debate. Nobody would ever go to that site and ban random books just for the giggles would they? That would never happen on the Internet where everyone is sane, sober and over the age of 14.


  9. IST says

    There was a “Christian bookstore” down the road from my house, before I moved. I’ve always wondered how they managed to make enough money to remain open with such a limited market.

  10. Lilly de Lure says

    That would never happen on the Internet where everyone is sane, sober and over the age of 14.

    In my experience it’s a very impressive fundie who scrapes into even two of the above categories, hence the Abunga Saga.

    Depressing isn’t it?

  11. Strangest brew says


    Did they forget all the incest and stuff that happens in the Bible? Not to mention the gore… like putting a tent spike through someone’s head.

    Absolutemont mon brave…but in its defence it also has the baby jeebus to drool over …awww!

  12. says

    @ Nerd of Redhead #6

    I’m from Knoxville, TN and I worked in a bookstore here. Believe me, there are far more religious people who would love this idea than people who would boycott a store for this idea in this area. As a local bookstore idea, this might have actually worked, I’m sad to say. On the internet though, this is a terrible idea.

    But, in every local bookstore, the religious section is completely dominated by Christian literature. normally around 30-35 shelves. Atheism/Agnostic is normally 1 shelf (and often times has non related materials on it as well). The Eastern Religions, New Age, Hinduism, etc. share about a 3-4 shelf space. The Science & Nature section is quite small as well, normally in the 3-5 shelf range and mostly dominated by Marley & Me (which is hardly science).

    Of course, none of this should be surprising to anyone who even drives around in Knoxville. Within 3 miles of my house, There is a total of 4 churches. It’s actually worse in some areas of Knoxville too. It is a very backwards place and it scares me at times.

  13. says

    There business model reminds me of a James Morrow novel, Only Begotten Daughter. In the book the heavenly rules regarding damnation are finally revealed. It turns out that if anyone, during your lifetime, ever thought you should go to hell, you do. So, everyone that has ever been born is in hell. Excellent book, very funny.

  14. raven says

    Bad business model. They should have allowed people to designate books for burning and then buy them and have them tossed on a monthly bonfire. Which would be videotaped, broadcast over the internet and put up on godtube and youtube.

    Fundies like to burn books but never get it together enough very often. IIRC, the last wave of book burning was Harry Potter.

  15. Valis says

    We have a big chain of xtian book stores here in South Africa. They go by the name of CUM. I don’t know if that means anything in their mythology, but I piss myself laughing every time I walk past one.

  16. Nerd of Redhead, OM says

    JPBrowning, I have relatives in Tennessee and I agree there are lots of Xian bookstores there. For a local business, who can cater to niche not supplied by Walmart, Target, Borders, or Barnes and Noble, it can make sense. For an internet business, who needs tech savvy people to find it and use it, not so much.

    Sometimes I wonder how many of such bookstores are the primary economic provider for the family, and how many barely break even, but give cheap access to homeschooling materials for parents.

  17. says

    I was very disappointed because I ordered several books from them and never got them. :(

    I ordered David Hamilton’s “last days of summer” and “Justine” by De Sade.

    They were fair, though, and didn’t charge my credit card.

  18. fcaccin says

    And as consumers we have the right to ignore and expose their immorality mortality.

    It seems a bit more appropriate to me.

  19. says

    I used to live in a VERY red county of Maryland where the local xtian bookstore was indeed a primary source for all the fundie homeschoolers. School must be very easy for them: no science or history. Civics ought to be pretty easy too. Not a lot of deep thinkers there. I miss arguing with the fundies but you can’t have it all I suppose.

  20. Deiloh says

    Never heard of the company. Is that an online version of book burning? I’ll continue to stick to the immoral Amazon and B&N.

  21. Gingerbaker says

    How fucking dare anyone out there make fun of Abunga after all it has been through.!

    She lost her business plan, she went through a resstructuring. She had two fuckin spin offs.

    A business partner turned out to be a user, a cheater, and now Abunga’s going through a chapter eleven battle. All you people care about is….. readers and making money off of Abunga.

    Abunga’s a company! (ah! ooh!) What you don’t realize is that Abunga is making you all this money and all you do is write a bunch of crap about her.

    Abunga hasn’t performed online in weeks. Abunga’s song is called “give me more” for a reason because all you people want is MORE! MORE-MORE, MORE: MORE!.

    LEAVE ABUNGA ALONE! You are lucky Abunga even performed for you BASTARDS!

    Perez Hilton talked about professionalism and said if Abunga was a professional company she would’ve pulled it off no matter what.

    Speaking of professionalism, when is it professional to publicly bash a company which is going through a hard time.

    Leave ABUNGA Alone Please…. !
    Leave Abunga alone!…right now!….I mean it.!

    Anyone that has a problem with Abunga you deal with me, because Abunga is not well right now.


  22. says

    To be fair, many businesses have gone under lately, without having adopted any sucky business model like theirs. The fact is that we don’t know if their model worked well enough, or if it did not.

    It might work as a niche business. Indeed, I believe any number of book stores effectively have much the same policies, sans the advertisement of it. That’s perhaps the worst aspect of Abunga, that they’d actually bragged that they suck up to the lowest common denominator.

    Their business model would never have worked for a large nationwide chain, of course.

    Regardless of the reasons for Abunga’s demise, it is certainly welcome.

    Glen D

  23. Calladus says

    Put the coffee down, Ginger, and back away. You’ve had too much caffeine for today.

  24. Valis says

    @#26 Could you kindly change your handle please. You are giving a brilliant drummer a bad name. Thank you.

  25. blueelm says

    “Nobody would ever go to that site and ban random books just for the giggles would they?”

    This just happened to Amazon, didn’t it? People used scripts to flag certain books until they got removed I think… for the lulz.

  26. Calladus says

    I go to a local Christian bookstore fairly frequently. I found a quite lovely “journal” bible of the New English Translation variety. (Journal bibles are great for making annotations in the margins. You may guess what my annotations are like.)

    From what I can tell, the business model of the local Christian bookstore is based around Christian kitsch, Thomas Kinkade prints (I swear, Kinkade must use a rubber stamp for his paintings!) and home school materials.

    Most shoppers seem to pick up a new bible, a plastic “stained glass” dove to hang in a window, and maybe a wind chime or crucifix. (Sometimes you can find a crucifix wind chime.)

    And sometimes, the kitsch is made in a Chinese sweatshop.

  27. Qwerty says

    I agree with the bad business model. If, as some have suggested, they offered to burn bad books; they might have made a killing. They could have burnt one book and sold the video “proof” of its burning over and over! WOW! My greed button has just been pushed.

    I am ready for a business plan for!!!

  28. 'Tis Himself says

    Calladus #31

    Thomas Kinkade prints (I swear, Kinkade must use a rubber stamp for his paintings!)

    Kinkade’s work is mass produced by a stable of artists, each personally taught by someone who was personally taught by someone who was personally taught by Kinkade in how to paint imitation Kinkades.

  29. Petzl says

    Well, this is problematic. How can we boycott Abunga
    if they’ve already gone out of business.

  30. Rorschach says

    I was actually thinking of looking into opening an online secondhand bookstore just today,when I wasnt able to find any decently catalogued ones in Australia at all.
    The business model of Abunga would not be something to aspire to,however.Good riddance.

  31. Raiko says

    Oh sweet. Now that this is out of the way, I am reminded that I still have to give my rating for the bible on I mean, it’s a cruel, badly written and very inconsistent piece of ridiculous fiction… people should be warned!

  32. aratina cage says

    Ha-ha-ha! That sounds more fun than pharyngulating polls. Too bad more online book sellers don’t allow it. I guess we’ll have to make do with tags and banana-man book reviews at

  33. Neil says

    Hilarious. A bookstore that welcomes and empowers censors to reduce the scope of possible business. Brilliant! Their genius marketing plan has inspired me to open a new restaurant. It will be a mix of various American cuisines, specializing in both southern BBQ and organic vegan dishes. The twist is, the vegans get to select what we’ll serve each day, but we’ll still advertise the BBQ.
    Maybe a sex & fetish shop that markets exclusively to Catholic clergy would be more workable. “Welcome to Nuns & Buns, Father. I’m sorry, but the Vatican wouldn’t sanction the vibrating rosary beads.”

    It’s Friday, and this post tickles me. Comedy. Although I wouldn’t have been too surprised if they had succeeded-here in the land of free speech, broadcast television and radio have used a very similar business model for decades, and millions of dribbling idiots still eat up whatever the censors decide to allow on the menu.

  34. Dahan says

    Seems like just yesterday, how time flys. For once, I don’t give a rip when I hear of a small business closing it’s doors.

  35. MadScientist says

    From the article:

    “In addition to individutal filters, Web site administrators also blocked pornography and other potentially objectionable material.”

    There’s a lesson there: if you want to make money selling printed material to xtians, keep the ones with pictures (porn) and throw out the stuff that requires an ability to read (bible).

  36. MadScientist says

    @Gingerbaker: Britney who? What’s a Britney?

    Well, since so many people are mentioning xtian book shops and stuff – I just went into a bookshop on the weekend looking for John Paulos’ “Irreligion”. The computer tells me the shop has a copy, and where to find it, but no such luck finding it. Non-fiction books shouldn’t be put in the deranged-delusional-looney-fiction section because loonies might take the non-fiction and hide it from the civilized people. I might have to order the book on the internet instead. :( I complained about Paulos’ book being in the “Alternative Religion” section next to New Age and Cow Worship – well, being listed in that section anyway – like I said, it wasn’t actually there – maybe it was resurrected or something.