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Artscroll discovers that 95% of their books are never opened

artscroll seforimAfter surveying 10,000 of its customers, Artscroll has discovered that 95% of the books purchased were never opened and merely used for interior design purposes. Artscroll was curious about whether people purchase their books for actual usage or just for looks after one of their interns mentioned that her father owned 3 sets of shas, the entire gadol biography collection, and every single kiruv book ever produced. She expressed utter surprise when she saw these very same books in the Artscroll headquarters beis medrish and many editors wondered how she could not know.

Blogger, Telz Angel himself admitted that he received a shas from his shver which were “opened briefly”, he explained to us that he had opened every single masechta, pounded them several times with his fist, while shuckeling at a shtender he made at camp one year. He then proceeded to spill coffee on the sides and fill out his name. He admitted freely to doing this only to make the appearance to his guests that he actually used them. He acknowledged to us that most of his former classmates didn’t have the brains to do such things and that their chosson shas sets probably looked obviously unopened.

In our own travels we have seen thousands of cherry bookcases in perfect condition that contain perfect condition seforim that have obviously never been used. We aren’t certain why people purchase seforim, but one interior designer explained that it made the house look more “lived in”, certainly there are cheaper ways to do such a thing, but we don’t want to jump to any judgements about people’s actually being koveah ittim.

Find out more on 4torah.com


{ 100 comments… add one }
  • Michael Makovi April 29, 2013, 11:10 PM

    Reminds me of a short story by my classmate at yeshiva: “The Classics” by Benjamin Fishebein

    • Anonymous May 8, 2013, 7:43 AM

      LOL !!

  • Shlomo April 29, 2013, 11:15 PM

    Very true, and very funny, but not limited to Artscroll 🙂

  • Telz Angel April 29, 2013, 11:18 PM

    Wait.. What?
    OK, I admit to a few shelves of red-covered, gold lettered sforim that I’ve never read and only put up for show. I do read the Artscroll gedolim series though — it’s amazing to read how, as baby tzadikim, they even made a brocho when they were nursing their own mother’s milk. They each knew gantz shas by their bar mitzvah, they never read any secular newspapers, and the only non-frum friends they had were donors to the yeshivas. I enjoy reading a 350 page biography full of pictures of a gadol’s life and times, and not see a single female in any picture. It’s inspiring to see what can be published when you set your mind to it.

    The only problem with my show-off Shas, those books are heavy!! My wife wanted me to replace the paper with syrofoam blocks. She even offered to pick some up at the art supplies store. “You just need the covers” she telz me. “It would save us a lot of money if we ever moved ‘cuz they charge by weight.” For all I know she already did it. I’d probably never know.

    By the way, that shtender I made in camp was very dear to me. Thick sturdy legs, it was the perfect height, with a nice rocking motion. As they say “you never forget your first lover.”

    • fact checker April 30, 2013, 4:21 AM

      There is not a single AS book that says that they knew gantz shas by BM. Several DO talk about reading newspapers. None says anything about non-frum friends, and AS biographies DO have pictures of women.

      Methinks you’ve never cracked open an AS.

      • Ben April 30, 2013, 6:37 AM

        Looks like someone read the comment but not the article.

        • fact checker April 30, 2013, 6:58 AM

          read both.

        • Telz Angel April 30, 2013, 8:07 AM

          Maybe he thought the comment was funnier 🙂

    • Alter Cocker April 30, 2013, 12:28 PM

      One of my rebbeim told me a story about someone who had one of the original shas, and some rich guy wanted to buy just the covers from him, so he could have it on his shelves. The content, he didn’t care for.

  • Devin April 30, 2013, 5:24 AM

    lmao I know so many ppl who just fill up their book shelves with these books and never read them. I personally love Artscroll though the prices are sinful, but it wouldn’t be kosher if its not ripping off other Jews.

  • Michael K. April 30, 2013, 7:14 AM

    The books on my shelf are just a facade, like Rock Ridge to fool Hedley Lamarr’s henchmen.

  • Shragi April 30, 2013, 9:36 AM

    This is why Oorah gives away thousand dollar gift certificate to ArtScroll and why this prize is listed right between the kitchen set and bedroom set.
    If they would give a $1,000 gift certificate to the iTunes store though, that would be useful.

  • BZ April 30, 2013, 10:02 AM

    I would think Artscroll is a bad candidate for this. Wouldn’t you want your show-off sforim to be in Hebrew? As for myself, I have no place and no reason to show off my sforim, living in a tiny studio in a non-Jewish part of town, so I actually use or have read most of the sforim I do have, which explains why most of them *are* Artscroll or other English translations with commentary. I admit, I don’t often use the extra-large extra-heavy Jastrow a lot, but I’m hardly showing it off anyway, and it could come in handy some day.

  • Alter Cocker April 30, 2013, 12:27 PM

    “She expressed utter surprise when she saw these very same books in the Artscroll headquarters beis medrish and many editors wondered how she could not know. ”

    Not sure what this means?

  • JewishAtheist April 30, 2013, 3:27 PM

    Very interesting, but I was wondering if you could share your source – whether it’s an article or something you heard from an insider. Thanks

  • Devin May 3, 2013, 10:57 AM

    Worst book I ever read was Partners with Hashem. Like all things Jewish, it sucked and was over priced!

    • Alter Cocker May 3, 2013, 12:13 PM

      If you hate Judaism, why did you buy it?

  • jane May 9, 2013, 10:52 AM

    Yikes. I’m scared. People need to READ books.
    Anything Akiva Tatz is great. Also Yehuda Ashlag and J. Soloveitchik.
    Don’t miss out, everyone!!!!

    • Women are our slaves May 9, 2013, 11:12 AM

      I love Tatz too. Artscroll has many other great fiction authors.

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