5 Ways Barnes & Noble is Facilitating Sexual Exploitation

Most parents don’t realize that their child might be exposed to pornography at their local bookstore, but that is exactly what is happening all around the country. Barnes & Noble is a Fortune 500 company, which operates 689 retail bookstores, is a major supplier of pornography. Barnes & Noble provides hundreds of free pornographic books in their Nook e-reader and sells nearly two dozen different porn magazines at most of its locations.

5 Ways Barnes & Noble is Facilitating Sexual Exploitation:

  1. Barnes & Noble is now selling Playboy magazine after the magazine stopped printing full nudity. Playboy still carries soft-core pornography, and normalizes hard-core pornography, yet Barnes & Noble sells the magazine in check-out aisles often at children’s eye level. Barnes & Noble should not be profiting from publications that are normalizing the objectification and dehumanization of women. It also sells several explicit, or hardcore, porn magazines at most locations.
  2. Hundreds of free pornographic books are available in the Nook library and are clumped together with children’s picture books and teen novels. Often, the covers of these erotic books in the library are very graphic, so anyone looking through the library will be exposed to such content.
  3. There is no filter for the Internet browser on the Nook e-reader. 
  4. The only control now available on the Nooks is if one user makes an account for another (often a child) and bans all access to the Internet and to the library. So, it’s an all or nothing solution. Either the user has access to the library and is completely bombarded with pornography or the user can’t even use the library. This is a possible solution for you children, but what about teens or adults? An adult user is forced to see explicit material.
  5. Barnes & Noble often places pornographic material in and near the children’s sections of their stores.

3 Possible Solutions:

  1. Stop selling sexually explicit magazines, or books, in your stores or online.
  2. Develop a filtering system to block pornographic and abusive content on the Nook. Instead of bombarding the user with porn in the current automatic opt-in system, make the default setting so that the user must choose to seek out the pornographic materials.
  3. Remove Nook e-readers from the children’s sections of your stores and have a warning next to all of them that one may be exposed to harmful content if they browse the Nook in the store.

Proof of Barnes & Nobles’ Profit from Porn & Exploitation:

  • June 30, 2016 – Matt Walsh, a news and opinion writer, shared a message on Facebook about Barnes & Noble’s decision to sell Playboy in the checkout aisle. Here is an excerpt of his message:

“A reader sends me this image [pictured to the left] of the magazine rack at the checkout counter at a Barnes and Noble. Notice the Playboy magazine, situated conveniently right at eye level for little kids, with a gian picture of a woman pulling off her underwear… [Barnes & Noble staff] explained that Playboy doesn’t publish completely nude photos anymore so it’s totally cool… [the magazine] is “conservative” because the models haven’t taken their panties all the way off. Apparently, many, if not all, Barnes and Nobles have now moved their Playboys front and center at the checkout counter. And the list of placed we can go without someone aggressively attempting to sexualize our children continues to dwindle and disappear…Am I some kind of Puritan because I don’t necessarily want my 3 year old son gawking at a Playboy cover with a woman sticking her hand in her underwear?”

  • January 9, 2014 – 4 year-old boy was exposed to hardcore pornography in the store at a children’s Barnes and Noble 1 prooftable through the Nook e-reader. Read full story here or watch video:
  • On January 13, 2014 – Barnes & Noble issued an apology for providing porn on their Nooks and claimed that they always have the “parental controls” on the in-store Nooks. See it here.
  • Chicago Tribune:Porn or art? Barnes & Noble was indicted on child…– Alabama case against B&N for child porn/child erotica
  • After checking all 10 available Nooks, it was found that none of them had parental controls turned on and that pornography was easily accessed both in the library and the Internet browser. When the store manager was confronted, he said there was nothing he could do. See the pictures below.
  • Barnes & Noble has sold child erotica for years. Despite the fact that these books by David Hamilton and Jock Sturges have been found in the possession of many pedophiles over the years, B&N refuses to stop selling them. Here is a list of such books (WARNING: there is some nudity on this page and possible triggers)

The Numbers


NCOSE leads the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation with over 300 member organizations.


The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has had over 100 policy victories since 2010. Each victory promotes human dignity above exploitation.


NCOSE’s activism campaigns and victories have made headlines around the globe. Averaging 93 mentions per week by media outlets and shows such as Today, CNN, The New York Times, BBC News, USA Today, Fox News and more.



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