Acknowledging Banned Book Week: Metro Atlanta bookstore’s efforts to keep books in the hands of readers

“Banning books has been going on for a long time.”
Published: Oct. 2, 2023 at 6:36 PM EDT
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BROOKHAVEN, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Some of the books are classics, some are new, but they have one thing in common — they have all been banned at one point or another.

“Banning books has been going on for a long time,” said Jan Bolgla with Atlanta Vintage Books.

The books on the “Banned Bookshelf” at Atlanta Vintage Books have been banned in some schools across the country over claims they are violent, anti-family and contain sexually explicit language. The staff at Atlanta Vintage Books has made a point of keeping the banned books, and countless others, on the shelves available to readers. Atlanta Vintage Books has been around for 35 years. At least 80,000 books line their shelves, mostly used.

“We are a used bookstore but we do order new copies of banned books because we want to have them here for people to read,” said Bolgla.

RELATED: 2023 seeing ‘continued uptick’ in attempts to ban, censor books

The shelf is up year-round but there are a couple of additions the shop added for Banned Book Week, like a banned book trivia game and a banned book tote bag.

The shop is full of stories, the real and make-believe, and full of different perspectives. The store’s crew feels there is value in every one of them, even if there are people who don’t agree.

“It opens up the rest of the world to you. Things that you would never know about if you hadn’t read about them but people seem to be afraid of diversity, knowing how other people live and accepting that. A book can tell that story,” said Bolgla.