Ask any avid reader where she first fell in love with reading and you will hear time and again: “at my local library.” No matter if they are big or small, these repositories of knowledge offer more than just stacks of books; they represent safety, freedom, a gateway into the wider world, to readers from all walks of life. And at the helm of those libraries—serving as guides, gatekeepers, and fierce advocates—are librarians. Continue reading
From September 27 to October 3, the American Library Association is observing its annual Banned Books Week. You may have noticed it’s an event Bas Bleu mentions every year, because we’re firm believers in celebrating the freedom to read, as well as the role of libraries as access points to knowledge for, well, everyone! But while the ALA certainly does yeoman’s work tracking censorship attempts in America, Banned Books Week isn’t just about protecting access to the books themselves; it’s a great opportunity to think about why we reject certain books in the first place. Continue reading
Walt Whitman once declared, “The dirtiest book of all is the expurgated book.” As booksellers—and more importantly, as readers—we have to agree. Here in Bas Bleu’s Bluestocking Salon, we talk a lot about how much books mean to us; is it any wonder the thought of someone trying to block our access to them makes us see red? Continue reading
Which probably leads you to ask: What business does a bookseller have singing the praises of public libraries? Libraries hand out books for free; Bas Bleu…does not. Isn’t that a conflict of interest?
Heck, no! Continue reading
Because this blogger has spent the past two weeks feverishly completing reading assignments and writing copy for Bas Bleu’s upcoming Fall catalog—which, by the way, will be amazing—today’s blog post is going to be short and sweet. Continue reading
Here at Bas Bleu, a banned-books list is more commonly known as a “to-be-read-immediately” list. Call it a remnant of teenaged rebellion, that phase in which we swiped our mother’s copy of Peyton Place or had our young minds blown by The Catcher in the Rye. Perhaps it’s borne of a democratic aversion to censorship. Or maybe it’s even simpler than that: We read controversial books because they often have the most to teach us. Continue reading