I work at a book store, and we do an annual event with the American Library Association to highlight books which have been challenged or banned from public and school libraries. The titles are, of course, the usual suspects: Harry Potter (witchcraft), Huckleberry Finn ( "nigger" ), The Color Purple (rape, incest, a clitoral "how-to" ), and so on.
But as I like to point out to people who ask about our big window display, there is no such thing as a "banned book" in the United States of America. There are books which are not carried at your local library or your child's school, but there is nothing that prevents a person from buying and reading a copy of The Anarchist's Cookbook or The Turner Diaries or The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty or anything else. The market is the only force in America that can ban books, and normally it does it because the books just plain suck.
Anybody ever want to ban a book?
Last edited by calypsoidal1 on . Total edits: 1
Total posts: 22
Apparently PayPal does:
This story does worry me as this is how censoship does work. There is no real list of banned books. They just don't get published, you can't buy them or find them in a library. The end result is that writers will know, what they shouldn't write about and write only things that are acceptable to the censors if they want to get published.
It happened to me before this way. I used to post my XXX Adventures of Space Cadet Candide at xxx.spacegirls.us. They were happy to have it (because it was free to them), and I liked having an audience for my work.
Then they changed credit card companies, and suddenly, I get a letter from the owners, "No Rules Entertainment," with a new list of...yes...RULES. No lolitas. No blood. No fighting. No rape. No incest.
With the new laws being mooted all over the established markets to track content, whether it's pirate copies of Metallica songs or images of little children being raped by their fathers, once there is commerce involved, the liabilities become quantifiable. Every card company is now wondering if they're going to be prosecuted for taking payment for something illegal.
For the same reason you can't climb trees in national parks (what if you fall and sue?)...For the same reason it costs US $20,000 to deliver a baby...
The markets are supposed to select from all that is possible only that which is profitable...