Bookmans combats censorship all year around, but September holds a special place in our free-expression hearts. In conjunction with Banned Books Week, we focus on the freedom to read, watch, play and listen to whatever media we want. This month, each Bookmans location hosts free events as homages to our favorite banned books, movies, music and video games. We encourage the right to speak up and speak out! Discovery, knowledge and enlightenment are never crimes and we want to keep it that way.

Fight Censorship with Bookmans

Banned Books Week occurs the last week of September and is an annual celebration of literary freedom on a national level. Libraries and bookstores around the country spread the word against censorship with creative campaigns, displays and events. Launched in 1982, Banned Books Week is a response to the rise in number of challenged books in schools, bookstores and libraries. The freedom to read ’em is critical to building intelligent, free thinking (and rad) communities. Check out the videos we created in support of Banned Books Week Virtual Read Out:
* Bookmans Does Banned Books
During Bookmans’ 36-year fight against censorship, the shattered light bulb emerged as one of our more powerful symbols. In this video, combining passages from banned books read by customers and employees, we created a statement about how books inform, engage and inspire the light in each of us.
* Bookmans Does Banned Books 2013
Combining passages from challenged books read by customers and employees, this video expresses our concern about censorship. Not all inhibitors to free speech are as sensational as book banning. Censorship can be stealthy. It creeps into our lives without us recognizing what is free and what has been redacted.

Your favorite Bookmans supports your free speech with free events.
* Bookmans Flagstaff hosts a special engagement of their popular Free Friday Night Classic series featuring Charlie Chaplin’s challenge film, The Great Dictator. Also at Flagstaff, a twist on weekly storytime with Banned Books Read to Me Storytime.
* Bookmans Phoenix plans a tribute to Max and this monstrous friends at Romp With the Wild Things.
* Bookmans Mesa also celebrates the great Maurice Sendak with Saturday Morning Storytime featuring Where the Wild Things Are.
* Bookmans Grant hosts a Harry Potter Banned Book Party complete with wand-making and costumes.
* Bookmans Speedway exercises our right to rock with musical performances by Orion and Matt and Two Simple Strangers.

In addition to these fight censorship events, each store has interactive Banned Book Mugshot backdrops for your rebellious pleasure. Stop in any time or during Banned Books Week to snap a photo with your favorite challenged media. We also want to see your banned book selfies taken at home, on the streetcar or anywhere. Tag Bookmans if you post on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook and use the hashtags #FightCensorship, #FreeSpeech or #BannedBookSelfie.

Take a look at our Events Calendar for more information on these events and others. Here’s to keeping the freedom to write, publish and purchase. Long live good reads!