Christian Bookstore Puzzled by Drop in Amy Grant Cassette Tape Sales

Church Life

EUREKA SPRINGS, AR–Independent Christian bookstores are similar to that expensive food and vitamin store in your town: no one has the heart to tell the owners that even Wal-Mart has a gluten-free section, or that the last time a customer bought a product from the “New Age Spirituality” aisle, kale chips and promise rings were trending.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg: do they know that TBN’s founders Paul and Jan Crouch are dead and that vaccines and whole wheat aren’t the bedrock of health and prevention for most of their customers anymore?

To answer these questions, we interviewed Jim Bungarde, the bespectacled owner of the aptly named “Christian Bookstore” across from the herb co-op.

“I know that we are the only ones who’ve been in the store all day, but I think we’re going to make a profit this year, for the first time since Focus on the Family’s ‘McGee and Me’ videos were just flying off the shelves. All of those shelves are now filled with this new book called The Purpose Driven Life. These hip, young, trim pastors—Matt Chandler, Joel Osteen, TD Jakes, John Hagee—are writing inspirational books that my customers love. And the godly ethics of these people! The Jimmy Swaggart and Bakers of this world could learn a few things from the likes of Paula White-as-snow, as I like to call her. “

There was a pause in the interview as our reporter choked on his green smoothie, but once he recovered and quickly wiped the traces of cucumber and junior asparagus from the stack of Veggie Tales VHS tapes, the conversation shifted to the billion dollar industry of Christian music.

“I don’t understand why Amy Grant doesn’t resonate with her fellow God-fearing teenagers anymore,” Mr. Bungarde continued as we wiped green smoothie from his glasses.

“Her new album is doing ok, but her cassette tape sales have just really fallen off. Her hair isn’t as big on her newer CDs, maybe that’s the problem. Or do you think Rebecca St. James is stealing her fans? Her hair is bigger than Amy’s, maybe that’s it. Bottom line is, 8 tracks of Stryper’s ‘The Black and Yellow Attack’ are still selling briskly, so I think it’s just a temporary dip that the youth aren’t coming in here to buy my Amy Grant tapes. Maybe I should put them on sale, next to the promise rings made from dehydrated kale.”

Reporter: Dripping Ether

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