Monday, November 15, 2010

Books to ban

I remember hearing about how, in the old days, groups of misguided people were known to "ban books". From print in certain countries, from school libraries. Making them very hard to acquire. Some very great books have notoriously and stupidly been banned. My opinion is that no book should ever be banned, and that censorship of ideas is very destructive.

I don't feel differently at all now, but there is a blog called "PhD in Parenting" that brought to my attention a very disturbing book that has, until today, been selling. They even defended selling it last week when this was brought into the media's attention. Apparently it's been all over the news, but I just found out about this today. The name of the book is "The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure: A Child-Lover’s Code of Conduct."

As a mother of a young boy I am completely sickened that something like this exists, and even more upset that sold it, and even more upset that they defended selling it, saying:

"Amazon believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable. Amazon does not support or promote hatred or criminal acts, however, we do support the right of every individual to make their own purchasing decisions."

But the issue is not book censorship. is not our government. Their not selling a book doesn't mean it has been censored or banned. This is so completely not comparable to book banning. They are not required to sell all books, and there are many many books that they choose not to sell. Why did they choose, until today, TO sell this one? And the LA Times reports they are still selling another pedophilia guide.

I am not someone who thinks boycotts work, but this really makes me want to never ever buy anything from them.

My apologies for an upsetting post- things got serious on this blog recently!- but I learned about this earlier today and haven't been able shake it. I thought this holiday season as we all think about where we are spending our money on gifts that this might be valuable information for some people.


  1. No need for apologies from this reader. I was also sickened when I found out about Amazon selling this book. They still carry another? Outrageous! Thanks for that info.


  2. Hello Anne, I know just how you feel. I actually wrote a post myself about this particular book here on Blogspot. It's located here if by chance you want to read it.

    It sickens me also that they chose to sell this book and not only that they did, but that they defended their right to do so. It's not violating anyone's 1st amendment rights by not choosing to offer their book. I could write a great book about motherhood and parenting and try to self-publish it as a Kindle offering and they could very easily say "No thanks, we don't want to carry this."

    It's disgusting to me that they were this insensitive about a clearly illegal activity that is not only a legal issue but a moral issue and a good conscience issue as well.

  3. I'm sorry, I didn't put that link to my blog right in my previous comment. It's located here.

    Also, that second book that the LA Times reported was still up? The listing for it doesn't exist anymore and I get a 404 error when I try to go to the link from the LA Times article. So that's a good sign that it's gone.

  4. Good morning Annie. Like you, I'm not one for banning books but I do enjoy a good boycott from time to time. Amazon really screwed this one up. Like the old saying goes "just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should.'

    I can't even imagine why Amazon is doing this. It's not even a good marketing scheme because the number of customers they could potentially lose would far outweigh the number of people who would purchase that book. Now perhaps they believe that because they are the "WalMart" of the book industry, that people are suckers for cheap, easy to get books, without the hassle, that customers will somehow overlook this because they like saving money. But I don't think so. I think it'll come back to hurt them.

    There's just to rationale to selling a book like this. They can't even convince me from a pure monetary point of view that it's a good thing. That must mean either they're trying to make some kind of "free speech" point (I don't even SEE the argument here) or they're just idiots.

    Thoughts anyone? :)

  5. Pryllie: I read your pot and I am so glad you were so pro-active in contacting amazon yourself!
    And Jess, yes I think "just idiots" sums up Amazon right now.

  6. I did my part and emailed them. Jerks.

  7. >>My apologies for an upsetting post

    Please, dont do this. It's so pathetic..

    >>suckers for cheap