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Amazon Sells Out of 1984 as America Decides to Read a Goddamn Book for Once

George Orwell’s dystopian classic 1984 occupied the number one spot on Amazon’s best-selling books list yesterday, where it remains today. A cautionary tale about a brutal, amoral dictator has evidently felt relevant to people lately. But as of today, Amazon—the world’s largest bookseller—is unable to keep up with demand.

Currently 1984 is printed by Signet Classics, and both the hardcover and softcover versions are listed as “temporarily out of stock.” As CNN reported yesterday, Penguin (the parent company of the New American Library, Signet’s parent company) is racing to print more copies of Orwell’s novel. Under the Trump administration, quotes like, “The object of torture is torture” and, “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever” must be resonating with people. Go figure.

Digital editions aren’t consumable so anyone seeking to reread a piece of their middle school curriculum can easily do so on an e-reader or use Amazon to purchase used and out-of-print copies through third party sellers. Realistically, this isn’t a big deal and copies will surely be back in stock soon for those of us who prefer our speculative fiction on dead trees. It’s still bonkers to think Amazon would manage to completely sell out of a classic, mass-market book this widely read.

We’ve reached out to George Orwell to see why he thinks his book is suddenly experiencing a surge of popularity. Orwell has been dead for over 60 years, but we’ll update if we hear back. Until then it’s anyone’s best guess.

Update 1/28/17 5:40pm EST: Amazon now lists the mass market paperback version as being in stock starting February 3rd.

Source gizmodo.com

15 Comments

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  1. Do you realize that corporations own you? right now the only bills that make it through the legislature are ones that make corporations money, it’s been like that for about 50 or 60 years now. And an individual will die in the current society, no more Facebook, no more cities, communities, public schools, state colleges, the individual lives in a cabin in the woods and hunts for his food, he doesn’t get to go to a restaurant for nice meal, he doesn’t get to go to the grocery store and by food to take home, no more hospitals to go to if you are injured or sick, that is socialism. Sorry to say. You have been living in it for years, but rampant capitalism is destroying it with pollution and slave wages and profits at the expense of the peoples wealth. Right now companies are using socialism to subsidize themselves and out bought and paid for politicians are writing the rules for them to do it. Both the 2 parties have sold us all down the river to them.

  2. We use socialism every day. Public transportation, parks, police, firemen, social security, highways, all of these come from socialism. Now that we know that capitalism and trickle down economics was a huge mistake democratic socialism is our best hope for the future. People need to stop being so greedy. Corporations cannot be allowed to run amok destroying the planet and paying slave wages!

  3. The issue is that Orwell was spot on, but it started in the 50s. It’s unfortunate that America is only now waking up to these facts…60-some years later, because of one fascist, forgetting all the fascists who came before him. The only time they get mentioned is by the current fascist’s blind loyalists who use the argument, “But..but…the other guy!”

    • We use socialism every day. Public transportation, parks, police, firemen, social security, highways, all of these come from socialism. Now that we know that capitalism and trickle down economics was a huge mistake democratic socialism is our best hope for the future. People need to stop being so greedy. Corporations cannot be allowed to run amok destroying the planet and paying slave wages!

    • I prefer strong citizens to strong government. But that is because I understand the strength of the individual. I suppose that if a person is weak or lazy they would not have a problem ceding there individual human rights to big brother.

    • I don’t shop at a super market and I don’t believe in western medicine and a college public education is advanced brainwashing. All the benefits that you mentioned are a tool of the man. I can’t blame society for my short comings. I own them myself. I don’t know you, but I would guess that you are a millennial.

    • Jeff Struble A college public education in economics, finance and computer science kept me from slob jobs like hamburger flipping, janitorial work and gave me a pension and life long medical care.

    • God bless the slobs. Charging interest is a horrible sin that relies on envy to promote pride, greed and vanity. But at least you are set for life. Congratulations.

    • And what rights do you not want to give away? As far as I know we are all limited by a bunch of stupid laws as it is. I never said anything about taking away rights whatsoever I was talking about how we all live in a society that uses those things that come from socialism. Whether you use them or not they are there. I am 42 and I do live with my parents because my grandmother can’t afford to be put in a senior care facility and she needs help that people that are 95 years old need done. I also work as a taxi driver and do PC repair for clients. I am doing fine by the way. And I refuse to let the state take care of my grandmother because I know what goes on there. I agree that there are too many laws but I also think that the wealth gap is ridiculously outrageous and that anyone working 40 hours a week should be able to afford a home and food on the table and if necessary medical care. You are free to do as you please also. I don’t like either Rs or Ds.

    • My right to choose my own form of healthcare and not support the pharma industrial complex that is killing for profit. My right not to support state funded abortion. My right to choose not to support welfare. My right not to support the National debt. My right not to support public education. My right not to support the prison system. My right not to support the war on drugs. My right not to support the IMF…

    • Nathan, I am glad that you have a strong family and that you love your grandmother. Don’t give up that privilege. Supply and demand unaltered by tax and tarriff and subsidy is our best hope for the future. The banks are keeping us dependant on socislism because they want money from everyone. If our neighbor can’t afford to pay their way, the banks will come for us. Socialism is an IMF scheme to drag everyone into the web.

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