News & Politics

Help This Indie Bookstore Send Banned Books to Florida

Buy a forbidden title at the People's Book in Takoma Park, and the store will ship it to Sarasota.

The People's Book opened this summer in Takoma Park. Photograph by Matt Bormet.

People’s Book, 7014-A Westmoreland Ave, Takoma Park

People’s Book, a four month old bookstore in Takoma Park, is asking its customers to help combat Florida’s sweeping book bans. During Banned Books Week, an initiative that runs through Saturday, October 7, the store will mail new copies of prohibited titles to the Sunshine State. Customers can purchase books marked “banned,” and drop them in a collections box, which will be sent to mobile bus-turned-bookstore Shelf Indulgence in Sarasota and distributed for free. 

The joint effort is a response to Florida’s removal of 300 books from public school library shelves during the last school year, in accordance with the Parental Rights in Education Act (AKA the “Don’t Say Gay” law). On the forbidden list: Toni Morrison’s Beloved and The Bluest Eye; Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five; George M. Johnson’s All Boys Aren’t Blue; and children’s book A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo. The Act prohibits classroom discussion or instruction about sexual orientation or gender identity, along with books with themes of race and sexuality.  

“The idea that teachers have to pull books from their shelves is just horrific,” said People’s Book owner Megan Bormet, a former elementary school teacher and reading coach. “I’m a really big believer in the windows and mirror theory of reading — kids need an opportunity to see themselves reflected in the books they read and also have books be a window into someone else’s experiences, especially in the formative years.” 

Malcolm Ferguson
Editorial Fellow