Book bans hit record high, overwhelmingly targeting titles by or about queer or Black people

Originally published at: Book bans hit record high, overwhelmingly targeting titles by or about queer or Black people | Boing Boing



Something something Cancel Culture something something.


Meanwhile, book banners in the Texas state legislature say they’re more than willing to ban everything, including “Lonesome Dove” – which is honestly not the kind of thing you want to admit in Texas.

And in Tallahassee, they fired a teacher for the crime of exposing kids to naked peen – IOW, Michelangelo’s David.


It might be useful to know what proportion of the books are necessarily recently-published.

What if publishers deliberately take measures to promote and publish books that they expect will be controversial because they expect that a book getting challenged is a good way to boost sales?

… Of course, that’s definitely not always the case, but then history seems to demonstrate many cases where facts don’t get in the way of business decisions.


So, 1619 wasn’t a project to discuss american history, it was a plot for better sales, a mere cash-grab designed to profit off bigots propensity for book banning? :thinking:

I’m unsure why we should assume bad faith on the part of the publisher/author, vs. the book banners?


I think we can safely apply Occam’s Razor here. While it’s heartening to see a book’s sales go up after the fascists try to ban it I don’t think that any publisher’s marketing department wants to rely on such an unpredictable process to drive sales.


Seems like something someone would do if they agreed with book banning but didn’t want to own up to it :woman_shrugging:


“We really enjoyed your book Billy the Gay Bison, Mx. Jones, but we’d like to hold off publication until next year’s banning season for maximum public attention.”



It’s always a mix of titles. While there are always good old grassroots campaigns to target specific current books, there are also perennial favorites. Thus you’ll still see many old Judy Bloom titles as well as new targets like Gender Queer.

No. This is false hope, at best.


Originally published at: American Library Association reports book banning at an all-time high | Boing Boing


When fascists become comfortable enough to crawl out from under the paving stones, book banning and attacks on libraries are never far behind.


If your deeply held beliefs are so fragile that words on a page of paper threaten you, it’s time to rethink what you stand for




My nesting partner is the head of the Collection Management department in the library where we both work. She’s queer, advocates for very leftist social policies, and is a fierce defender of intellectual freedom. It’s this last part that’s most relevant to this discussion, of course.

She’s told me about some of the books that have passed through her department that have required her (and other members of her team) to grit their teeth and not only process it, but file it correctly, possibly even interact with someone who actually requested the material if it was purchased as a patron item request. The thought of not putting DeSantos’s garbage book or anything by Bill O’Riely or someone of that ilk simply would not occur to them.

(Of course this doesn’t mean outright hate speech books are accepted. The exit clause of the paradox of the tolerance of intolerance absolutely applies here.)


As a gay kid back in the late 50’s I searched libraries, magazines, art books and anywhere else I could think looking for any kind of clue that other people like me existed. I seriously was convinced that worldwide there were very few of us who existed. In a nursing textbook I found case studies of boys in an orphanage who were caught, one boy was under a blanket giving oral sex to his friend. The textbook went to talk about the over the top cruelty that was dealt to the boys including separating them from each other permanently. At once I was happy for them for finding each other and deeply saddened by the levels of punishment and then separation that was inflicted on them. Now that kids can find affirmation that they aren’t singular freaks these sorry-ass religious swine want to shove kids right back into the pit of ignorance that crushed many young souls. Religion is one of the cruelest contrivances of mankind.


Liberals (The Left) wanted to ban the n-word in the 1800s. It didn’t work out that way. Somehow that argument doesn’t seem relevant anymore.

Conservatives (The Right) want to ban stories about the existence of entire groups of people. It is happening right now.

One of these things is not like the other.


I think the ALA most banned books is a decent start. Top 10 Most Challenged Books Lists | Advocacy, Legislation & Issues This year a lot of the books are newish, but not new releases and there are some that have been sitting on the list for years.

Looking at the top couple, a controversy driven profit model seems like a long shot. The number 1 challenged book, Gender Queer was a short first run indy memoir graphic novel. It won a stack of awards and was into reprinting prior to major controversy, not making the top ten until the book was about three years old.

Lawn Boy was a sophomore effort and was put out by a publishing company known for the long publishing life of their books, more than stunts. This too came to national attention for bans years after release.

All Boys Aren’t Blue was at least new. But even it had already been optioned for a short film and television series before the bans really took off.

So it looks like the book publishers would be working a deeply weird long con if they were pushing this, but in contrast every single year we see the same themes being banned. It is almost like, and this may blow some minds, the book banners are the ones behind banning books, the very same people who have been doing it for decades. There are thousands of challenges every year, maybe a handful pop in the media enough to get a backlash sales boost.


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