Dartmouth Barnes & Noble Plays Politics With Book Selections
I love to read books. I enjoy spending time in bookstores, but sometimes the experience is frustrating because the titles stocked by the bookstores reflect a political ideology different from mine.
A good bookstore should offer titles that appeal to all points of view, particularly history books, and books dealing with current affairs. These are the kind of books I like to read.
Several recent books are critical of American history. Fair enough. The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story comes to mind, as does White Fear. All viewpoints should be available for the consumers of ideas, not just those with which I agree.
Increasingly, this is not the case.
The Barnes & Noble Bookstore in Dartmouth is an example of how a particular ideology dominates the shelves at the expense of another.
There are plenty of titles about Democrats and left-leaning figures such as Barack and Michelle Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Elizabeth Warren, but nearly nothing about Republicans or conservative viewpoints.
Ask where the books about or by Donald Trump and Newt Gingrich are, and a clerk directs you to the store's website or offers to order them for you.
I've included photographs so you might judge for yourself.
Barnes & Noble, through exclusion, is practicing censorship by limiting your selection and is thereby choosing sides in the war of ideology. That is not fair, and it is also not healthy for a free society.
I find myself drawn to used bookstores that put all titles on the shelves as they get them and don't make editorial choices about your reading selections.
I have emailed Barnes & Noble for a comment on this story but have not yet received a response.