HOLYOKE, Mass. — Holyoke Community College is hoping to start a dialogue within the community about banned books around the country through a display at their bookstore.

The Barnes & Noble College Bookstore began displaying a number of historically banned books at the start of the month.

Books including, Malcom XA People's History of the United States, and even The Lord of the Rings have been banned in many areas across the country.

Bookstore Manager, Sara Avery said many of the books have been banned due to religious beliefs and concern over subject matter having to do with intimacy, drugs, alcohol, and abuse.

She said it's understandable that the contents in some of the books may be hard to digest, but it's important to share history with a wider audience and have educational conversations on potentially difficult subject matter.

"Books are supposed to be offensive," said Avery. "Just because They Called Us Enemy is about World War II and the Japanese, doesn't mean that reading it is going to offend everybody. There were people who lived through that who might be able to relate to that and then show it onto generations."

Avery said the banned books display was originally going to last until the end of September, but due to the positive reception from the community they will keep the display open as long as the conversation continues to spark interest.