Amidst a shocking increase of efforts to ban books from shelves and classrooms, here at Powell’s we firmly believe in everyone’s freedom to read.
Throughout centuries, the act of banning books has been employed as a means of suppressing ideas and controlling information. From ancient times when works deemed heretical were burned or destroyed, to the more recent history of banning books that feature LGBTQ+ themes, the world has witnessed attempts to stifle dissenting voices and alternative perspectives. Yet, despite these oppressive measures, the power of literature has always prevailed.
When we prevent people from finding difficult, fractious, or simply different ideas, we end life-changing conversations before they start. On this page, you’ll find guest essays, recommendations, and curated, in-store displays filled with banned books that have opened our horizons to new perspectives and ideas. Book by book, let's fight for our right to build bridges toward one another, and toward a future of unity founded on mutual understanding and respect.
(Last updated: August 2023)
"We believe in the power of language to illuminate and explicate challenging ideas and realities."
"Learn what the OIFC is, what is does, and why its work is vital to maintaining everyone’s right to intellectual freedom."
"Since 1990, Amnesty International has worked with partners to draw attention to those who suffer human rights violations by government and opposition groups because of their work."
Book Buyers Kim T. and Madeline S. talk censorship and recommend some frequently challenged books to add to your reading list.
"Thoughtful, candid responses to the predicament of publishing a book and then being told no one should read it."