This week starts one of my favorite, yet oh so controversial, weeks of the year... It's Banned Book Week! And why do I love this week so much? Simple, I love discussing, arguing, and debating people about why certain books should be banned. Spoiler alert, I don't think ANY book should be banned. I may not love every genre, I may not love every author, but I am HERE for the discussion around them. Let's also add this to the mix, we live in a ridiculously diversified world. There are so many stories out there not being told on a daily basis that when someone finally does tell a different story, people freak the fuck out. (Not even sorry for the language today.)
Some of the top banned books this year have been requested to be, and actually removed from, classrooms, school libraries, public libraries, bookstores, YES they are coming for our capitalistic nature as a society because a book is THAT terrifying, groups have even requested books be removed from private homes and destroyed.
I'm going to say this loudly and clearly,
NO STORY IS WORTHY OF BEING DESTROYED!
No one is going to love and support everything that's out there, but none of these books deserves to be lit aflame or destroyed.
The American Library Association (ALA) has comprised a list each year for the top most requested banned books. This year that list includes:
Banning books, telling people what they can and cannot read, eliminates choice. It is a huge detriment to intelligence and education, and it implies that people cannot be held responsible for their own actions. As a kid growing up books had to be vetted for me, I had an over active imagination and some serious night terrors, but my parents didn't ban books; they either had to read them first or told me to wait if they didn't think I was ready. Eventually I was such a voracious reader they just let me use my own judgement. The books I read growing up, the ideas, values, stories, and experiences I was exposed to have helped to shape and mold me into the adult and reader I am today. I can't find a single reason to ban a book that doesn't have negative consequences or implications.
Every story deserves to be out there, even the ones we don't agree with.
Until next time readers,