Flyleaf Statement on Free Speech, Censorship and Author Events

To Our Customers

The shelves of our bookstore hold a wide array of titles containing ideas as diverse as the world in which we live. We believe a diverse selection of books is crucial to a bookstore’s role of sharing ideas to bring people together, helping individuals see themselves in the stories of others, enhancing empathy and understanding of differences, and providing diverse viewpoints to broaden perspectives. We hope we have provided a broad selection of books that make that possible for you, and we hope you support our efforts to make that possible for everyone. Just as you have your free expression rights to choose which books to read or not to read, so too does our bookstore. In some circumstances, for instance when we believe a book's messaging is counteractive to our mission, we may use our First Amendment right and choose not to carry the book.

If you have any questions, please contact Flyleaf Books owner Jamie Fiocco: 919-942-7936 or jamie (at)

A Statement on Author Appearances at Flyleaf Books
Bookstores that provide a public forum for controversial authors often become the target of protests, both physical protests and virtual protests via social and electronic media. While most critics would not go so far as to advocate banning the offending works, they draw the line at allowing the authors to read from their books and answer questions.

If any bookseller who makes this possible is interested only in “selling books,” they charge. This view reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of bookselling. Bookstores are not like other stores. Because books contain ideas, bookstores play an integral part in the process by which ideas are disseminated and debated. Debate is essential in a free society, and we take seriously our responsibility to promote ideas, including those that we personally oppose. We do this in a variety of ways-–by suggesting titles to customers who are looking for books about particular subjects, recommending books to reading groups and announcing new releases in our newsletters. Hosting authors for readings and autographing is an important part of the process. It gives customers a chance to meet the person behind the book–-to listen to their voice and observe their manner. Above all, it gives them an opportunity to ask questions and even to disagree. We are not primarily doing a favor for the author, who may, after all, fall flat on their face. We are providing our customers with an opportunity to make up their own minds.

The most mistaken notion about author appearances is that they always “sell books.” Controversial ideas inevitably alienate some people, and when those people include some of our customers, we can lose business. While we do not wish to offend anyone, we cannot allow those with opposing views to censor either the books we sell or the authors we host.

If you have any questions, please contact Flyleaf Books owner Jamie Fiocco: 919-942-7936 or jamie (at)