No, I haven’t totally lost my cookies telling you to promote banned books. Commercially, yes, it is a great idea, and one that is well suited to an internet based business. Philosophically too it is a great idea.
Just look at those books above. They are but a tiny selection of books that have been banned! Harry Potter has been enjoyed by millions of readers, young and old. Shel Silverstein’s In the Attic is a classic of children’s poetry — I looooved reading from it when I was a children’s librarian. The Color Purple, The Kite Runner — absolute and total classics.
Thousands, yes thousands, of outstanding titles have been banned.
This issue has come to my attention because one of the outstanding small book shops in town has had a display of banned books for a while now. People really enjoy seeing these titles displayed; it has been a major draw for the book shop. Then a small group of people got angry about seeing one of the books there and got in a real snit. The verbiage that flew over the pages of our local paper nearly set the town on fire. One side totally backed the objectors, the other side totally backed the book shop. (fyi, I was on the side of the book shop.)
Ladies, this is a HOT topic.
You can promote Lady Chatterly’s Lover if you want to, but you don’t have to. There are thousands of other books that have come under the censor’s black pen. Telling about these books, their history, the author, other books by the same author, etc., — all of this adds up to creating a fascinating website.
And do talk about censorship in general. It is an important topic, and one that you will become well versed in very quickly. Who censors? Why? How effective is it? Should there be censorship at all? If so, how should it be defined?
This is an incredible topic for engaging your reader. Invite her participation with open ended discussions on when she has experienced censorship. Has she censored her children’s reading? How? Do schools censor? Aren’t librarians censoring when they select titles for their libraries?
If you feel particularly ambitious, include some cover art that has been censored. Include some that should be censored, but haven’t been.
Another option is to look for first editions of the banned books, and signed copies. These have to be rare and valuable. This is an excellent reason for you to travel to any number of locales, searching through dusty bookshelves for your treasure.
This topic could be approached from so many fascinating angles. Let your imagination run wild, and your fingers run off inputting all the great info you will discover!