Scribd is making its library free for February in protest against banned books

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While book bans aren’t new, they’ve been in the news more often recently. weeks ago, a school board in Tennessee fired Art Spiegelman’s Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel “Maus” from eighth-grade Holocaust lessons. In other cases, parents requested books like “Becoming” by Michelle Obama to be removed from schools.

In response to the upward trend, reading app Scribd is offering free access to its digital library of millions of ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, documents and podcasts for 30 days if you sign up before February 28. (No credit card information is required to register).

If you’ve never heard of Scribd, it’s one of our favorite reading services. A Scribd subscription will typically cost you $10 per month, and with it, you’ll get unlimited access to a surprisingly wide and deep library for the fee. You’ll find New York Times bestsellers as well as classics on your rainy day reading list.

Collage of commonly banned books including To Kill A Mockingbird, The Handmaid's Tale and George 4x3

Some frequently banned books.

Amazon; Rachel Mendelson / Insider

In addition to the promotion, the company also curated a list of frequently banned books, based on the American Library Association reports, as well as new books banned at this time.

Scribd’s lists include a combination of famous banned books like “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood, “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker, and “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley. You’ll also find more recent works like “Milk and Honey” by Rupi Kaur and “A Good Kind of Trouble” by Lisa Moore Ramée. In both categories, people primarily challenge books about race, gender, and sexuality.

In one blog post, Scribd co-founder and CEO Trip Adler wrote that he found the recent increase in book bans alarming. “These bans disproportionately impact stories that present diverse perspectives.”

Sign up for 30 days free of Scribd here until February 28.

Colin L. Johnson