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If books didn’t matter, nobody would try to ban them.


In a nation struggling to cope with polarization, disinformation, acrimony, the power of books—to inform, enlighten, and inspire—is more important than ever. To honor Joyce Meskis, the legendary bookseller who founded Denver’s Tattered Cover and became a champion of First Amendment freedoms, a team including some of today’s leading publishers, booksellers, authors, and free speech activists offers reflections on the vital role of books in our nation’s cultural, civic, social, and economic life.


Why Books Still Matter includes:


  • U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper on bookselling as a mission-driven form of entrepreneurship—a way of nurturing communities and enriching culture while helping city economies flourish


  • Freedom of speech activist Chris Finan on a century of battles against censorship and the crucial role of books and booksellers in defending liberty


  • Book marketing guru Carl Lennertz on how a generation of innovative booksellers transformed the magical process by which authors and readers discover one another


  • Bookseller Clara Villarosa on creating one of the nation's greatest Black-owned bookstores—and why representation on the printed page is so important for Americans of every background


  • Librarians Nick Higgins and Amy Mikel on why they decided to make banned books available to young people from communities across the U.S.—and how they did it


  • Civil liberties attorney Steve Zansberg on a new way to think about the right to free expression and its vital role in a democratic society


  • Bookseller Carole Horne on how independent bookstores from Cambridge to Austin to Salt Lake City pioneered the "buy local" movement, glorifying what makes every city and town unique


. . . and other noteworthy figures from the worlds of publishing and bookselling providing unique insights into the glorious past, the embattled present, and the essential future of books.


All proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to the American Library Association Office for Intellectual Freedom.

WHY BOOKS STILL MATTER edited by Karl Weber

Excluding Sales Tax
  • This is a downloadable digital version of the book in EPUB format, readable by most smart phones, tablets, and laptop computers. For a Kindle version, visit the Amazon page for the book. For a print version, click here.

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