Again this year, in honor of Banned Books Awareness Week, we present a couple of perennial reading-list favorites that have been censored and banned.
The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
First Printing, Little, Brown & Co., 1951
In 2015, one of our two featured books during Banned Books Awareness Week was J.D. Salinger’s first book. That copy sold out of one of our Minnesota stores, and this year a Texas store has acquired another first edition in Very Good condition.
The Catcher in the Rye has remained a popular and critical favorite since it was published, appearing near the top of the “greatest American literature” lists of Time, Modern Library and many other listmakers. Many school districts and libraries have restricted or banned it for profanity, sexual references and for being “negative” and because it “undermines morality.”
This nice copy of the book is at our Cedar Hill, Texas, store. It is a first edition, first issue, with the credit to photographer Lotte Jacobi on the rear panel of the dust jacket. It is a nice copy, priced at $4,000, with minor chipping and closed tears to the dust jacket, as well assome browning to the dust jacket spine and to the endpapers.
Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
Simon & Schuster 40th Anniversary Edition, 1993, signed by the author
Author Ray Bradbury was opposed to all kinds of censorship, and his landmark work on book burning is certainly an appropriate representative for Banned Books Awareness Week. Ironically, this book about censorship has itself been banned for obscene language. And incredibly, one of the book’s publishers, Ballantine, issued editions of Fahrenheit 451 that had been censored. When alerted to the fact, the author was not pleased and demanded that the “offending passages” be put back in.
Bradbury’s book was, according to its author, more about the threat of technology drawing people away from books. He said, “You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.” Amen, brother.
Our Bethel Road store in Columbus features, a copy of this classic book with dust jacket in Fine condition. Bradbury has dated his signature 9/26/93. Price: $400.
Biker—Ray Bradbury never got a driver’s license; he rode a bicycle or took public transportation.
Vet—J.D. Salinger was an army staff sergeant during World War II and spent some time in a hospital for stress related to combat.
Nonagenarians—Both Bradbury and Salinger lived to the age of 91.