Thursday, October 4, 2012

Banned Books Week: I Support the Freedom to Read!

Banned Books Week is an annual event that promotes our freedom to read by not censoring.  As a future educator and a lover of the written word, I support this amazing cause in promoting books from all walks of life - no matter how "different" they may be.

Reading can open a mind and inspire a person way beyond what's written on the page.  The idea that a book should be banned because it is considered troubling, filthy, frightening, disturbing, inappropriate, twisted, anti-christian, or has homosexual undertones is something I do not support.  Reading should be a personal choice, and not something that is taken away from you based on someone else's opinion.

I support the freedom to read. Do you?

image source: here

For more information about Banned Books Week, visit the ALA website.
Also, check out this timeline for 30 years of Liberating Literature.

Popular "banned" books from the last 30 years.


  1. "I support the freedom to read. Do you?"

    I do, but sometime, I feel that the ban policy still can be done for a reason...such as a book that insult my belief directly. I am moslem and on my religion, it is prohibited that we draw our Prophet so if there is any book which is showed the picture of him then I want the book to be banned...well, it's jut my opinion.

    From the bottom of my heart, I disagree to the whole ban policy...:)

    1. Thank you for your opinion, Joel. I would hope that schools are not encouraging literature that insults other religions. We all come from different places and believe in different things. You should always have the right to read what you want.

  2. In some cases I sort of, teeny tiny support "banning" some books. Not in the "This book shalt never pass the walls of this library/school/home" way, but more in the maaaaybe this book isn't 100% appropriate so I'm not going to insist my students/kid/whoever read it but if they would like to it's in the library and I would be happy to suggest it if they come to me with a request for this subject. I know that's kind of a pansy way of footing around the issue, but while I totally think people should read to expand their minds, expansion shouldn't be shoved down their throat - if that makes any sense. The idea of banning books seems pretty ludicrous though when you take into account all the stuff kids/teens are exposed to. Any idea that is in a book is probably magnified and glorified on MTV's weekly line up. Maybe I'm just more open to books and their content (with the exception of 50 Shades) so I don't get the whole "banned books" thing.

    1. Candice, I appreciate your response. I agree that not every book is appropriate for certain people, but I do feel that it should be a personal choice (or the parent's choice) to decide this and not the teacher, librarian, principal, school district, etc. There are ways to educate and inform people if a book has nudity, language, racism, etc. - I know some school libraries have these books marked and placed in a separate section that requires parents permission before checking out. I agree with this type of behavior. Simply taking a book out of a school's library all together, I do not agree with. Let the parent/child have the choice. It's not right to take that away from them.

  3. For starters, thank you for bringing an awareness to this issue. I don't think a lot of people know or understand that we do still have to deal with book bannings, even in this technologically saavy and "free" age. I wholeheartedly agree with you, I think it should be up to the individual on whether or not to read something. It's a personal choice and should not be forced upon us by someone else who may not share our views.

    Reading books that question religion, politics, sex, etc. allows for another perspective to be shown. I'm not saying everyone has to agree with it or like it, but I do think there's something to be said for keeping an open mind. Well done, Ginger!

  4. Love this post. I happen to be a high school librarian. (First year! Woo!)
    I'm very against banning. But with that said, I also know that when I'm buying books, I have to keep in mind who I am serving. I come from a very, VERY conservative town in Tennessee. Obviously, I'm not going to put 50 Shades on my shelf.

    In grad school, I argued with a lady over the book Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green. She claimed it should never be in a school because it "promotes homosexuality" and also that people who use vulgar language are unintelligent. I tore into her. I couldn't stand it. And when she said, "My tax dollars pay for the books on that shelf. I should be able to control what my child reads." And I said, "And the tax dollars of millions of homosexuals are ALSO paying for the books on the shelf. And maybe you should learn to monitor what YOUR child reads. And not try to control what everyone else should be allowed to read." Ugh.

    Hopping off my soap box before I get too heated.
    Just know that I stand behind you. :)

  5. People definitely deserve the right to have access to all kinds of books, especially if they feature tough or questionable issues. I think, sometimes, books can be a way for people to find solace, escape, connection or even a new level of understanding or a new perspective. I'm not saying that every book is meant for every reader; what I am saying (or trying to say and hopefully it comes across clear) is that books do require some moderation (in terms of prior warning about content, for instance) but that does not mean they should be completely banned for everyone just because of subject matter.


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