Cape and Islands bookstores are proud to be participating in this year’s Banned Books Week (September 18 – September 24, 2022). Launched in 1982, Banned Books Week is the annual celebration of the freedom to read and brings together the entire book community. Local bookstores will be hiding wrapped copies of their favorite banned books in their towns and across the Cape for the first annual Cape and Islands Banned Books Hunt. Keep your eyes peeled! Some books will be hidden in plain sight, while others will require a little extra sleuthing. Those who find a book are encouraged to read and enjoy it, share it with a friend or family member, or give it to a local school. When you find one of these books, feel free to share a photo on social media and tag the nearest participating indie bookstore!
Participating bookstores include Belonging Books of Cape Cod, Brewster Book Store in Brewster, Edgartown Books in Edgartown, Titcomb's Bookshop in East Sandwich, Where the Sidewalk Ends Bookstore and Children's Annex and Yellow Umbrella Books in Chatham, and Sea Howl Bookshop in Orleans.
The efforts to ban books and inhibit the freedom to read has intensified more in the last year than in other times in recent memory. Independent bookstores consider the freedom to read to be a cornerstone of our mission. As booksellers, we believe in protecting the rights of readers and the importance of representation in books. We condemn the current wave of book banning in schools and libraries as threats to both the First and Fourteenth Amendments. Every year, Banned Books Week highlights the American Library Association’s (ALA) Top 10 Most Challenged Books from the previous year. This year’s list, like years prior, includes titles that are by Black or LGBTQIA2S+ persons and address racism, racial justice, and LGBTQIA2S+ stories. ALA tracked 729 challenges to library, school, and university materials and services in 2021, resulting in more than 1,597 individual book challenges or removals. These are the highest figures ALA has seen since it started compiling challenges more than 20 years ago.
Join us during Banned Books Week to condemn book banning, protect the freedom to read, and celebrate the ways books unite us! The Cape & Islands Banned Book Scavenger Hunt is organized by The Brewster Book Store in Brewster.