Banned books and other forms of censorship

On the banning of books, censorship and other freedom of access issues

Monday, May 26, 2008

Independent bookstore in Moscow challenged

Moscow News reports, May 15, on the many challenges faced by the Falanster bookstore in Moscow, which has faced many challenges in the years since it was opened in 2002: "It has undergone numerous inspections to check books on its shelves for conformity with the law on extremism, pornography and drug enforcement. Moreover, three years ago, the old store in Bolshoi Kozikhinsky Pereulok burnt down one night, allegedly as a result of a deliberate hand grenade explosion. The culprits were never found." The store reopened in another location, but in Dec. last year it was almost closed on charges (apparently unsustantiated) that it sold pornographic works, and this month was raided by the police. Radio Moscow comments:

What's good about having independent bookstores like Falanster? First, they can sell books put out by small publishers that would find it extremely difficult to get their books to the market elsewhere, especially in a market getting monopolized by huge publishing houses and huge bookstore chains.

Second, stores like Falanster are not as afraid as bigger stores of carrying "risky" titles that may be condemned or even banned.

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