Monday, August 23, 2010
Being a bookseller is pretty much a no-brainer as far as how I feel about censorship of any kind.
I don't like it. I don't support it. And whatever book some misguided moralist decides to ban from school shelves - that's the first book I buy my kid to read.
But being a bookseller also means I consciously choose what books to sell and stock. I haven't had a problem up till now - I even sell Mein Kampf, and file it under "those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it".
However,now I find myself having offered for sale books I didn't actually read (not much of a science fiction fan, except for the classics like Jules Verne, Ray Bradbury, Clifford Simak).
And since I didn't read them, I didn't pay much attention to their author. Enough of his books accumulated on the shelf, so I lotted them up on the shelf where they sat forever and finally sold last week.
I sincerely hope the buyer is a huge fan, and is already aware of the author's personal opinions and convictions, because I would hate to think that they had no idea of what they were getting, and by association thought I endorsed or agreed or even vaguely wanted to be in the same room with those opinions.
Anyone interested in the initial back story can read it here:
I discovered the information here at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books (one of my favorite blogs). Initially its a query about a book search, but the comment discussion turns to the author, and leaps off into totally unexpected territory involving politics, religion, and equal rights.
School Library Journal makes it clear that their award to this author “is not for being an idiot in real life..." ( a quote that would probably apply to many award recipients).
All I can say is that one of the most perfect things about owning my own business is choosing what I want to stock. I don't endorse censorship but I also choose not to stock books by authors that make me want to shower after listening to their opinons. I don't tolerate those people in my home, and I don't want them on my bookshelves. If that's censorship, so be it. His books are widely available many other places online or in brick and mortar locations by those readers who agree with him. Just not at Chewybooks, because I have some subjects I don't debate, having already heard the opposing arguments and recognized them for the garbage they are.
I don't even want his name on my blog.