Wang Yi, 32, filed suit after 906 books he had paid to publish privately were taken from his home in Chengdu in western China. However, he told the International Herald Tribune he realized his chances of success are slim.
"The chances of victory aren't high, but even if the courts let us present our case, let us play the game -- that will be a victory, because then we can speak out against this censorship in the public arena," Wang said.
He said China's suppression of critical ideas and opinion is tightening despite leadership claims to the contrary.
"We must guide the media to strengthen its political awareness," said a recent commentary in People's Daily, the Communist Party's main newspaper. "When the news media correctly express the party's positions they are truly expressing the voice of the people."