Banned! Censored! Don’t Read!
It’s Banned Books Week, which is a time of year that I truly enjoy. I love running down the list of top 100 Challenged and Banned Books on the ALA website and mentally checking off the books I’ve read and the ones I’ve yet to read. I reminisce on some of the books that I have read that have been banned or challenged, such as The Witches by Roald Dahl, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume, Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, and my list goes on and on.
Sometimes I read through the list of banned books and wonder how people could be bothered by a book enough to try to ban it from being read. I completely understand not wanting to read a book. There are books I’ve wanted to avoid reading, but it’s usually for lack of proper editing rather than content. Some of the things books get banned for range from sex, language, violence, racism, witchcraft, death, anti-American content, anti-feminist themes and sexism. Those subjects can be upsetting, certainly, some more than others to different people. Those topics make us vulnerable and being vulnerable is something we as humans tend to try to avoid. It’s easy to put a book in “the bad book pile” and decide that no one should be reading it’s contents because it upsets us.
What’s hard is keeping an open mind and knowing that what you find interesting or upsetting may or may not be what other people find interesting or upsetting. There are books in this library I have absolutely no desire to read. So guess what I do? I don’t read them. That’s it. I don’t care if other people read them. That’s their choice and I am thankful they are able to read whatever and think whatever they want because that means I can enjoy the same freedom to choose what I want to read.
To celebrate Banned Books Week 2013, the library invites you to share your favorite banned book (or books!) with all of our Pinterest followers. Just follow us on Pinterest, then pin the book cover to our “Banned Books” board and tell us why you love the book. You may need to be invited to pin to the board, so just comment here if you don’t receive an invite promptly.