TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Some Barnes & Noble bookstores are now including “banned book” sections as school districts and public libraries remove select titles from their shelves.
There are currently 186 books listed by Barnes & Noble in the section online. Those books include “Lord of the Flies,” “The Great Gatsby,” “Critical Race Theory: An Introduction” and many more. Some Barnes & Noble locations have also dedicated small sections in their stores to these titles.
Several of the books listed in the banned books section of the website are titles that were pulled from shelves in Florida’s Polk County school libraries in January. The district removed 16 books in total after a local group determined they were “inappropriate” and contained “obscene material.”
On its website, the book store giant explains that literary works are usually banned on “moral, religious or political grounds.”
“They were believed to be obscene or too controversial to be read by society,” Barnes & Noble explained. “Books that explore race, sexuality and new concepts and ideas are still often prohibited by certain communities, although they can easily be purchased in most bookstores.”
The company does not, however, instruct all of its stores to have a banned book section. A company spokesperson tells Nexstar each Barnes & Noble store gets to decide how to display books.
“We do not direct how choices are made and our displays are constantly changing. Which individual titles are included in any display is chosen by the booksellers in a store. We do not know how many stores have chosen to make a display of banned books. Given the wide discussion of the banning of books, it is probably one that is popular in bookstores everywhere, including those of Barnes & Noble. We also have a page on BN.com devoted to banned books which shows the bestsellers amongst them.”Barnes & Noble spokesperson
The top banned and challenged books, according to Barnes & Noble include:
- “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury
- “Maus” by Art Spiegelman
- “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee
- “1984 by George Orwell”
- “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding
- “Animal Farm” by George Orwell
- “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck
- “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas
- “Stamped from the Beginning” by Ibram X. Kendi
- “The 1619 Project” by Nikole Hannah-Jones
- “Slaughterhouse Five” by Kurt Vonnegut
Blog posts on the Barnes & Noble website relating to banned books include a post about banned books week in 2021, “7 Banned Books That Should Be Required Reading” and “11 Books That Were Banned for Completely Ridiculous Reasons.”
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to identify one of the book titles as “Lord of the Flies.”