In what appears to be one of the worst cases of literary censorship in modern United States history, Amazon.com has listed a wide range of books as what the company calls ‘adult material.’  It would appear that they have included any title that contains any material related in any way to homosexuality.  By being placed on this ‘adult material list’, the books were essentially stripped away from any search results and made very difficult to find by browsing.

The following is from Amazon:

In consideration of our entire customer base, we exclude “adult” material from appearing in some searches and best seller lists. Since these lists are generated using sales ranks, adult materials must also be excluded from that feature.

Candlelight Stories thinks that this represents one of the single most moronic statements ever delivered to the public by a prominent book seller.

The company has announced that this was due to a ‘technical glitch’ but there are very few bloggers who seem to believe that explanation.  It would seem that plenty of ‘adult material’ was left available and that this effort was focused largely on non-heterosexual material.   This is a terrible thing for a major bookseller to do.  It’s a form of book banning.  It reeks of ultra-conservative fear of ideas or differing lifestyles.   Amazon says it was engaged in an initiative to protect its wide customer base by listing certain books as ‘adult material’ so that they would not appear at the top of search results and possibly offend someone.   The complaints of someone who is offended by a book for adults showing up in a list of search results should not be listened to for even a moment.  It is a very short step from this kind of censorship to a book burning.  This is truly indicative of the danger in primarily relying upon a single online source for books.

It would be advisable to immediately move away from Amazon as a source for books.  This kind of behavior, though given a flimsy explanation by the company, tends to indicate a general direction or pattern of behavior in a company.  Candlelight Stories is looking into fully disengaging from our relationship with Amazon and will not be offering their products through our site.  This blog stands fully opposed to discrimination, censorship or book banning of any kind whatsoever.

Once again, we cannot over-emphasize the importance of moving away from Amazon for book purchases.  This is a very serious problem and the company’s explanation is insultingly false.

Here are links to several of the best book sellers on the internet:

Powells.com
Indiebound.org
Barnes & Noble
Borders

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