“We’ve said it over and over again, if libraries did not exist today, there is no way publishers would allow them to come into existence. We know this, in part, because of their attempts to stop libraries from lending ebooks, and to price ebooks at ridiculous markups to discourage libraries, and their outright claims that libraries are unfair competition. And we won’t even touch on their lawsuit over digital libraries.
Anyway, in other book news, you may have heard recently about how a Tennessee school board banned Art Spiegelman’s classic graphic novel about the Holocaust, Maus, from being taught in an eighth-grade English class. Some people called this a ban, while others said the book is still available, so it’s not a “ban.” To me, I think school boards are not the teachers, and the teachers should be able to come up with their own curriculum, as they know best what will educate their students. Also, Maus is a fantastic book, and the claim that it was banned because of “rough, objectionable language” and nudity is utter nonsense.
Either way, Maus is now back atop various best seller lists, as the controversy has driven sales. Spiegelman is giving fun interviews again where he says things like “well, who’s the snowflake now?” And we see op-eds about how the best way get kids not to read books… is to assign it in English class.
But, also, we have publishers getting into the banning business themselves… by trying to capitalize on the sudden new interest in Maus.
Penguin Random House doesn’t want this new interest in Maus to lead to… people taking it out of the library rather than buying a copy. They’re now abusing copyright law to demand the book be removed from the Internet Archive’s lending library, and they flat out admit that they’re doing so for their own bottom line….”