Banned Book Week is officially over— which means the random sentence posts on Facebook are gone for another 51 weeks — but any true bibliophile knows that books are an every day thing (and in my case, the cheapest, healthiest sleeping pill I’ve ever found). But the freedom to choose, the freedom to express one’s thoughts, and the freedom to have access to the ideas of others should be an everyday thing. Honestly, I can’t imagine myself as myself without having read some of my favorite classics that happen to be among those most banned & challenged — The Great Gatsby, The Catcher in the Rye, To Kill a Mockingbird, 1984, Lolita, In Cold Blood — and I can’t picture well-rounded school and college curriculums without these either.
That is why I am so liking the Banned Book Tote from Out of Print. Fifty banned books adorn one heavyweight cotton canvas tote. An inner pocket and flat bottom ensure that your $18 gets you more than a flimsy bag. Also, 10 percent of all sales are donated to the Uprise Books Project, a non-profit dedicated to ending the cycle of poverty through literacy, providing underprivileged teens with new banned or challenged books.
If you go to the site, definitely take a look around, as you’re sure to find something else you cannot possibly live without for another moment. All their T-shirts, stationery, phone and eBook cases, even matches are emblazoned with iconic book covers. For each product sold, one book is also donated to a community in need through their partner Books For Africa.