Banned Books Week is an annual, nationwide celebration of our freedom to read, happening this year September 18-24, 2022. Celebrating its 40th anniversary, Banned Books Week was formed in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in American schools, bookstores and libraries.

At Booksweet, we give banned books our attention and love every week of the year through our Banned Book Club. A monthly spring/summer series, the club brings together teens and adults for monthly conversations about books that have been frequently banned or challenged in U.S. public schools and libraries according to the American Library Association.

Booksweet donates 10% of the profits from our Banned Book Club reads to the ACLU as part of our annual Banned Books Week celebrations. Learn more about how the ACLU defends freedom of speech, including banned books.

Why do we do it? As booksellers and as citizens, freedom of speech, freedom to read, and access to texts by diverse authors reflecting the beautiful diversity of the human experience is essential to who we are and what we do. The future we’re trying to build is filled with curiosity, understanding, and connection—and books are incredibly powerful conduits for all of those things. We want to celebrate books: not ban them.

Banned Book Week Fun

We’re offering two special and FREE happenings during Banned Books Week in 2022:

Sunday, September 18, 3 pm – Room 105: Banned Book Club @ Kerrytown BookFest 
At this special off-site Banned Book Club event at Kerrytown BookFest (held at WCC this year!), we’ll chat about the #1 most challenged book of 2021Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe. Learn more about Kerrytown BookFest!

Saturday, September 24, 7 pm: Banned Book Social 
A special in-shop party featuring banned book party games, a resource/letter writing station, great snacks, and door prizes! Your RSVP is very helpful to our planning.

Banned Books T-Shirts!
We’re also selling super cute, super limited edition “I Love Banned Books” t-shirts (featuring our beloved “book diver” icon) for $25, with 10% of the proceeds added to our annual shop ACLU donation. The shirts are super soft and made locally by the good people at VG Kids in Ypsilanti. Plus, when you buy one, you’ll have our first-ever shop t-shirt (a little piece of history!).

Who organizes Banned Books Week on a national level?

Banned sponsored by a coalition of organizations dedicated to free expression, including American Booksellers for Free Expression, American Library Association, American Society of Journalists and Authors, Amnesty International USA, Association of University Presses, Authors Guild, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE), Freedom to Read Foundation, GLAAD, Index on Censorship, National Book Foundation, National Coalition Against Censorship, National Council of Teachers of English, PEN America, People For the American Way Foundation, PFLAG, and Project Censored. It is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. Banned Books Week also receives generous support from HarperCollins Publishers and Penguin Random House.