The controversial release of O.J. Simpson's quasi-confessional book about the killing of his ex-wife and her friend has divided book retailers in Canada, some of whom plan not to stock it.
If I Did It, in which Simpson speculates on how, hypothetically, he could have killed Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, has been at the centre of controversy since its release was announced earlier this week.
While Canadian retail giant Chapters Indigo has indicated it plans to stock the book, other smaller chains say they plan to avoid it. The book is scheduled for release Nov. 30.
Nicholas Hoare, who runs retail chain Nicholas Hoare Books, told CBC Radio the book has no place in his stores.
"I don't think our customers want to be turned off. I think they want to be turned on," he said. "If you really want the details of O.J. Simpson, you just have to stand in the check-out line of a supermarket and you can see the whole thing plastered in front of the National Enquirer.
"This is not our bag at all," he said.
Toronto-based retailer Book City is also not planning to stock the book, according to the Toronto Star.
Aspokeswoman for McNally Robinson, which owns retail chains in Winnipeg, Saskatoon and Calgary,told CBC Arts Onlinethe owners are still discussing the decisionwhether to stock the book.
Simpson was acquitted in 1995 of murdering Brown Simpson and Goldman in a widely viewed and controversial case. He was later found liable in a wrongful-death suit filed by the Goldman family but has failed to pay the $33.5 million judgment.
HarperCollins Canada had reportedly been offering the book to retailers without revealing the author, subject or title. This practice tipped Hoare off as to what kind of content to expect, he said.
"That puts the hackles up immediately in the sense that one takes to the hills instinctively," he said. The last time a publisher tried this technique it was for a tell-all book about Diana, Princess of Wales,from her former boyfriend, he said.
Hoare said while his bookstores won't be stocking If I Did It, it would be available if customers asked to have it ordered. He also admitted the book will likely "sell like a rocket."
Earlier this week, Fox News announced the former football player would be appearing on the network to do a two-part interview in conjunction with the release of the book, to be published by HarperCollins imprint ReganBooks.
'It was personal'
Under a storm of criticism, ReganBooks publisher Judith Regan said in a release issued Friday she chose to go ahead with the book because she was a victim of domestic violence and thought proceeds of the sale would go to Simpson's kids.
"I didn't know what to expect when I got the call that the killer wanted to confess," Regan said in an eight-page statement titled "Why I Did It."
"But I knew one thing. I wanted the confession for my own selfish reasons and for the symbolism of that act. For me, it was personal."
She said she was in an abusive relationship in her 20s and saw Simpson's confessional as a way to get closure. "I made the decision to publish this book, and to sit face to face with the killer, because I wanted him, and the men who broke my heart and your hearts, to tell the truth, to confess their sins, to do penance and to amend their lives," she said.
Though Simpson does not actually admit to the killings, Regan said she considers the book a confession.
ReganBooks has published other controversial books like former baseball player Jose Canseco's steroid-confessional Juiced and Jenna Jameson's How To Make Love Like A Porn Star.