Reacting To State Book Bans, Ripley’s Will Provide Free Books to Floridians

( – Book bans have been a controversial topic for quite some time. Many states have enacted legislation or otherwise taken steps to remove books that are believed to be too sensitive for children. In Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis (R) has taken a hardline stance. Now, a company is stepping up to provide its books to people who want them.

On Tuesday, February 20, Ripley’s Believe it or Not! announced in a statement on its website that three of its titles had been flagged for removal in Florida’s Escambia County Public Schools district. Those books include “Seeing is Believing,” “A Century of Strange,” and the company’s coffee table book celebrating its 100th anniversary. Ripley’s took the news in stride, saying it “is in excellent company,” alongside prolific authors such as “Stephenie Meyer, Maya Angelou, Ernest Hemingway, and Charles Dickens!” Rather than getting mad, it’s getting creative.

From now through May 15, the company is offering Florida residents the chance to get a free copy of their books through the mail. Or, as an alternative, they can pick up the books immediately at the company’s attractions in Orlando, St. Augustine, or Panama City Beach while supplies last. It is also offering a copy of the “Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Level Up” annual publication for free.

Ripley’s isn’t the only target. There are 1,600 books on the list that the school district flagged. Surprisingly, that list also includes several dictionaries and encyclopedias, along with hundreds of other reference books. The district says the books violate the Florida law that prohibits materials showcasing “sexual conduct” in schools. Ripley’s doesn’t publish sexual books by nature, but the company does document strange occurrences, some of which might have been deemed too sensitive for school-aged children.

Nevertheless, those who live in the Sunshine State and want to request the free books can do so online at Ripley’s website.

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