Banned Books Week Not Necessary?

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Banned Books Week Not Necessary?

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Out 9, 2007, 1:39pm

The Inkwell Bookstore seems to think that Banned Books Week is unnecessary and selfreferential. Read the blog post below. And comment. I'm curious your thoughts.

Out 9, 2007, 2:32pm

Reading the blog, I got the feeling that it was against the commercialism of the Banned Books Week that he was railing against not what the week is supposed to stand for.

Out 9, 2007, 2:37pm

Upon reading the article, it seems that The Inkwell Bookstore doesn't think it's unnecessary, it's just silly that the banned books upon which bookstores focus are ones that are now so acceptable as to be required reading in schools.

I like what libraries do for Banned Books Week, since it gets kids interested in the topic of censorship, but bookstores ought to either display the real banned books the article mentions or do nothing at all.

Out 9, 2007, 3:36pm

It sounds like the best way to celebrate Banned Books Week is to go to one of the bookstores that's advertising it, and ask to buy The anarchist cookbook. And if they don't have it, point to the sign and complain.

Editado: Out 9, 2007, 4:42pm

I'd prefer if people go to bookstores and buy my wife's latest novel. If they don't have it, ask for the anarchist cookbook, menacingly.

Out 9, 2007, 6:22pm

....bookstores don't have Mein Kampf? I've never had trouble finding a copy when a patron at the library asks me for it. I could have sworn I'd seen it in Banned Books Week displays, though I didn't work much last week so it didn't really register what we had out this year.

Out 10, 2007, 12:43pm

#6 -- I found Mein Kampf at my university's library. Still kind of weirded out by it sitting under my bed, but I promised myself I'd read it to celebrate Banned Books Week.

Editado: Out 11, 2007, 10:59pm

I saw Salmon Rushdie speak a couple of weeks ago. To see him standing in front of me, knowing what he suffered for intellectual freedom, was indeed powerful. I agree with another poster who said that Banned Books Week is more relevant than ever. The feeling that came over me while reading the Inkwell post was that this week should be a learning, thought provoking experience, not trivialized or turned into just another "sales event". I think that's what they meant.

Editado: Out 22, 2007, 10:41am

I worked for Barnes and Noble in an upscale, conservative part of Texas and aside from the 'standard bearer' banned books like Huck Finn, we alwas had at least two copies of Mein Kampf (teenagers seemed to love asking for it to shock a bookseller or show how 'rebellious' they were. We didn't have The Anarchist's Cookbook on hand, though I did order it. Not stocking the Cookbook at all times is not the same as refusing to carry a book. We also didn't stock Abbie Hoffman's Steal This Book and I never felt like it was 'the man keeping me down'.

I think Banned Book Week is more important for libraries than book stores in general. All bookstores are going to use it as an excuse to sell books. They are businesses, what do you expect them to do?

(Now, if they had actually refused to carry the planned O.J. book, that might have been a different story...)

Editado: Out 22, 2007, 10:48am

When I was young I was told that Mein Kampf was greylisted in the Netherlands, such that you could get a copy from the library, but you had to justify your request. That way it was available to historians and such and not to the common people.

I don't know if that was actually true, but I did believe it at the time.

Out 22, 2007, 12:45pm

#10 Amtep,

Who would decide whether a request was justified?

Out 22, 2007, 1:19pm

I don't know. I was in school at the time. I took authority for granted, so the question didn't come up.

Out 29, 2007, 5:09pm


It's supposedly only 'greylisted' in Germany, too:

Nov 16, 2007, 11:37pm

At the reference desk in a public library this past summer, a man asked with a German accent if we had Mein Kampf. When I gave him the call number, he explained that he was traveling, visiting the US and only wanted to ask for the book. He said to his friend that he admired our freedom

Dez 5, 2007, 3:25pm

When I dropped off a book at the circulation desk before starting work at the library today, I saw that Final Exit is actually on one of the displays by the line to check out.

Dez 11, 2007, 2:45pm

Avoid the Anarchist's Cookbook. Some of the formulas in there are wrong. Should someone be inclined to try them, the results could ruin your day.