Copies of Orwell’s ‘1984’ in High Demand

There's one book that has gained in popularity since the start of Donald Trump's term as president.

It's not Trump's "Art of the Deal." In fact, it was written in the mid-20th century.

In George Orwell's "1984," the government controls people through something called the Ministry of Truth.

Now, that novel is at the top of the Amazon best-seller list and its publisher has ordered 75,000 new copies perhaps because of its similarities to today.

Inside Albright Memorial Library in downtown Scranton, there are books of every kind, ones about the new President of the United States and some that were written long ago, looking ahead to the future for better or worse.

Young adult librarian Anna Kilcullen took Newswatch 16 in search of the library's copies of "1984" written by George Orwell shortly after the end of the second World War.

"It’s popular now because of the political climate," she said.

Kilcullen and others are not surprised people have a renewed interest in the dystopian, fictional story.

"It coined the term Big Brother. Now that’s used ubiquitously all over the place," said Kilcullen.

Tom Borthwick teaches English at Riverside High School and is an adjunct professor at Marywood University. He believes it makes sense that "1984" is an Amazon best seller after the first few days of the Trump presidency.

"You’re looking at a Trump presidency that is saying the facts aren’t actually the facts. In "1984" you have a government through Ministry of Truth that does the same thing," he said.

At Books-a-Million in Dickson City, customers think "1984" and modern-day America aren't very far apart.

"I think we’re living in the premise of the book and the movie of '1984,'" said Edward Lowe of Clarks Summit.

"It’s pretty much coming true what was prophesied in the book. Big Brother is watching us, I believe," said David Marzolino of Scranton.

And when it comes to dystopian fiction, Borthwick is certain Orwell's "1984" should serve as a warning.

"They’re saying, 'Look, if we don’t change it up, this is going to happen.'"

People who've read it say there are plenty of other similarities to "1984" and what we're experiencing now.

The Lackawanna County Public Library system has numerous copies of "1984."

39 comments

  • Givemeabreak

    Everyone needs to understand this book is a playbook of how to control large groups of people and is very dangerous in the wrong hands. Kelly Ann Conway obviously read it if she is using the phrase “Alternative facts”. Much of what is going on today in our country eerily mirrors this book. There is us and them. The elite don’t care about us, only their needs and their lust for power and money. It has always been about the have’s and have not’s. We the 99% need to wake up.

  • Real America

    16 news stories are biased, anti Trump, just report real news and stop trying to further twist simple minds into your socialist agenda, ch 16 is officially another leftist news media like cnn, supporting done hillary and done osama & all the people who want to drag us down into being a poor 3rd world country, thats where your policys are headed..straight down. Support President Trump.

    • Givemeabreak

      It’s a book. Thank Kelly Ann Conway for bringing up “Alternative facts”, a phrase from the book. Now people are reading it and seeing some truth to it. Best thing that could of happened for all citizens of our country. Hopefully we don’t go down the road Orwell feared. READ IT!

      • Oh the madness

        When Kellyanne brought up the phrase ” Alternative Facts ” it was a play against all the media who keep reporting things without out all the facts, only partial facts.

        Like what they did with the photos of the inauguration attendance. Like they did with saying Trump made fun of a disabled reporter Serg Kovaleski. Posting side by side views of Serg arm in a position, and capturing a still photo of Trump with his arm in same position from a video that shows trump moving and flailing his arms , Never mentioning the fact that the disabiliy Serg has prevents such movement.

        Fun fact : Many Democrats refused to attend Abraham Lincolns Inauguration because he had such a radical view about ending slavery. Hmmmm..yep we were all doomed then and now we doomed again.

      • Givemeabreak

        The fact is Trump keeps making statements without facts as well. Neither the media nor him are telling the truth. First the Russians didn’t hack, then they hacked. Now all these illegals voted for Clinton with no proof or real facts. I could keep going but what’s the point. They are all untrustworthy. You need to take off your partisan sunglasses. A liar is a liar. You are basically saying it’s OK because it’s your liar. You are right we are doomed with people like you that just won’t open their eyes and only support their party no matter what. Indoctrination.

  • Nanners

    Obama be like “Yes we can”. Trump be like “I already did”. More in five days than the past five years. Bing bing bing bing bong bing bing bing bing bong

    • Jerry Perry

      Is this story about the book or the author? I mean, I don’t think Shakespeare did any of the stuff that Hamlet did. I could be wrong…

      • Dave

        Tell that to the stable Government of Norway/Sweden and Denmark …For your information happens to be the happiest people on the planet. Sure you can practice capitalism there,but you have to pay for the privilege thru taxes.

      • Silverfish Imperetrix

        The average income tax paid in Sweden last year was 61.40%. If you’re willing to pay almost 2/3 of your hard-earned monies to support an invading army of 3rd world “immigrants”, then by all means go there and be happy. The Scandinavian peoples have a well-earned reputation for their naivety, but they’re finally starting to catch on. Ever hear of the Sons Of Odin? Their governments are getting further away from ‘stability’ every day. Don’t believe everything you read.

    • Nanners

      Another fun fact. They made a movie based on the book. It’s on YT for free and at Big Lots for $2. It will.. Blow.. Your.. Mind !!!!!!! Conan the Barbarian considered himself The Terminator. Look how that turned out.

    • Are you kidding me?

      Nice link, Erich. It’s fitting you lost your job when the wall came down. There is no place for Marxists in a Capitalist society. Remember what the Iron Lady stated, “Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They [socialists] always run out of other people’s money. It’s quite a characteristic of them.” If you need the lesson, just look at Venezuela. The military controls the food supply. Another Communist utopia.

    • Are you kidding me?

      I’ll spell slowly so you can keep up. S-O-R-E L-O-S-E-R-S. See ya in 2020. Please run the same candidate again. Thanks.

      • Nope, no, and nonsense

        “Chuck” is another screen name used by a female reporter on here from what I can tell. Perfect spelling most times, but always forces bad grammar. They like to steal the screen names of people that prove them wrong over and over again as well. Easy way to spot these characters is right after they comment outlandish claims, they are so self absorbed that they like their own comment. Then they jump on their phone and like it again. Whenever you think that you are getting cut down by multiple people, assume it is just one. Hope you all have your adblockers on 🙂

  • WarningFakeNews

    There’s something to be said about liberals thinking Orwell was communist. That’s just unbelievably rich!

    • Are you kidding me?

      “He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.”
      “War is peace.
      Freedom is slavery.
      Ignorance is strength.”
      George Orwell 1984

    • Are you kidding me?

      The liberals don’t realize they are Communists. Well, at least the useful idiots. They think they are Progressives.

      • Nope, no, and nonsense

        Well Jenna, considering that they are BOTH the stepping stones to fascism, not really. Both are social constructs meant to demean and destabilize the current society that you live in and that afforded you to even have the freedom to post a comment here. Not very likely otherwise. Search William S. Lind’s take on Cultural Marxism. Then you can spit out the BS that you have been fed.

    • Nope, no, and nonsense

      This is the new spin to attack Trump. Why else would you see it here? I just caught one of their reporters pretending to be a conservative commentor, but using the same speaking points like “alternative facts” and “You are Putin” about THIS story at 4:31 this morning . Classless harpies that can’t get a real interview because we know how they will spin it, so we walk away. Then we get them here misrepresenting themselves. THAT is Orweelian

      • Givemeabreak

        You are really lost. I am not a conservative or a democrat I am an Independent American that wants the best for our country. I don’t affiliate myself with either group because I see the two party system as one of the biggest problems in this country. Sometimes my ideas may side with the right and sometimes they go left depending on what I think is best for the people of our country. I guess you took my advice and read the books and now you are absolutely terrified. I do find it funny that you call this is an attack on Trump and it seems that you are sensitive to someone else having a different opinion than you. Now we can’t criticize the President. Thought police? Do you think he’s perfect? I just wanted people to think with an open mind by reading some very important books, but you can’t do that because you have bought what they told you. You have been indoctrinated. Also thanks for accusing me of being a reporter. I took journalism in high school but never thought I was good enough for someone to mistake me for a reporter. Your a trip.

      • Givemeabreak

        It has actually been talked about for months now on all different information outlets and message boards. Kelly Ann Conway helped really push it even more by using the phrase”Alternative facts”. Who would of thought two differnet news outlets running the same story? I have never seen that before. Read the book and you will understand why everyone is talking about it. Blame Kelly Ann for really bringing it into the limelight.

      • Silverfish Imperetrix

        What’s happening here is the MSM getting their ducks in a row to try to tie Trump to this book in order to slander him. We conservatives have known about Orwell’s writings for quite some time now, and we felt that that’s exactly what the Democrats (with their iron grip on the media) were doing…that’s why we, and others too, elected Trump to put a halt to it. As per Marx and Alinsky (“Rules For Radicals”), always blame your adversaries for what you yourself are doing. It’s called ‘projection’ as I’m sure you already know.

      • Givemeabreak

        Yes it is. Can you see that both sides are doing it? Democrats and Republicans are not that much different. They are all part of the old boys club. We are the one’s that are different because we don’t have any power. They have divided us into separate parties, ethnicities, and sexes so they can keep their power and control over us and then they blame each other. They then tell certain groups of people what they want to hear to make them think they are like you but they are not us at all.

  • Are you kidding me?

    Trump has been in office for six days and you want to line up 1984 with his admin? Where have you people been for the last 15 years?

  • meh

    Another good read that correlates with control by government is Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, the difference being is that this one isnt fiction………………….

  • Givemeabreak

    Everyone should read this book no matter what party you are affiliated with, along with Animal Farm another George Orwell book. A Brave New World is another good one by Aldous Huxley. Do it in succession and I promise you you won’t sleep for a week.

    • Nope, no, and nonsense

      Don’t get me wrong. I gave you a like here for promoting reading. But I am extremely curious as to how you posted a comment about this story at 4:31 AM? 13 hours and 24 minutes before it showed up here? I think you referenced Nostradamus? That suits you. Seems another WNEP “handle” just got exposed through their own arrogance. This one was the “I’m on your side” screen name. Now I’m wondering why you liberals are promoting this book. Another “spin job” thinking that nobody remembers the “Patriot Act” or Eric Snowden? Here is a journalist trying to interview you on line ^^^^right here people^^^^^

    • Nope, no, and nonsense

      Here is your original comment GIVEMEABREAK
      You speak of morals but you seem to value money more than America the beautiful. You are a severely misguided individual. You state that the EPA kills small businesses with regulation but you don’t have any real numbers or facts. You just have alternative facts. There is no right or wrong anymore just popular opinion. The OP read a book that eerily mirrors what is going on today in our country that was written in 1949. It is so similar to what is happening right now if you read it you probably wouldn’t sleep for a week. Orwell must of been related to Nostradomus and I wouldn’t be surprised if you were related to Putin. If you are just another misguided American who really is looking for some truth, read the book and then watch Animal Farm. The pigs are in charge right now.

      1 0 Rate This
      JANUARY 25, 2017 AT 4:31 AM

      • Givemeabreak

        Actually this story was up yesterday evening and then it was gone early this morn and is back up now. I have no idea why. What I do know is you are a little Bhurt because you just reposted a reply of mine to one of your comments from about 2 days ago that you never responded to and now you try to spin it from it’s original intention. Again you have no facts to support your argument that EPA regulation hurts small business more than big business. Just more spin and untruths. Who do you work for? Is it Puttie?

      • Givemeabreak

        Now I just remembered. It even states it in my comment about an OP. You jumped on here critizing someone else for bringing up this book a couple of days ago before WNEP did a story on it and I jumped in to defend his post. If I recall correctly you viewed it as an attack then too. It is a book written in 1949. It is not an attack, it just mirrors what happens today. It’s not Orwell’s fault that our society is doing exactly what he saw coming. It’s a book written looooooong before this stuff starting happening. I obviously hurt your feelings and you can’t deal with the burn. So we have entered the spin zone. This is what they do. They accuse someone else first to deflect from the real perpetrator, themselves. Nope, No, and no nonsense is a deflector. What are you hiding?

      • Nope, no, and nonsense

        Ok, I’ll bite. The multiple reasons I’ve deduced this in in your speech patterns and talking points, which others have noticed as well it seems. You say i didn’t respond to your post with “facts”? Well we only have so many characters or “trigger words” before our comments get “held for moderation”, so it is in most people’s habit and skillset to search alternate sources to gain their own opinion. Guess what? Search the EPA’s effects on small business’ as opposed to those that can just eat multiple fines annually. As far as you claiming to be “neutral”? You’ve proven yourself to be otherwise by mentioning Putin, and quoting the one thing from “Animal Farm” to show your opinion about our current administration. Indoctrinated much? If you think people will continuously fall for that, it is not my fault. As far as me thinking DJT is perfect? Absolutely not, but he will do more for America than any lawyer can. When he screws up and it effects me or my multicultural family and friends? I will spit my opinion. When he is actively shrinking the opressive government, but hurting peoples feeling on Twitter? Yeah, not really caring about Twitter rants if my lights get shut off to pay my taxes…

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