Sunday, September 22, 2013

Banned Books Week (9/22-9/28/13)


So today is the first day of Banned Books Week. Thus, I decided to talk a bit about it. I assume you know what Banned Books Week is.

It honestly makes me sad that people would go so far as to ban books. If you don't like it, can't you just simply not read it? Plus, most of the reasons books are banned are relevant to life. It ranges from sexually explicit language and themes to language to religious reasons to violence to homosexuality. But all of these topics are important in life. Language? Go to almost any high school or even middle school, and you'll find kids using curse words. They're already exposed to that. It would be realistic to have that in books. Violence? What about all those shootings or bombings or even wars going on all over the world? And religion and homosexuality/sexuality make me the most upset. First of all, who gives you the right to deem what's correct/incorrect or acceptable/unacceptable?! A book talks about or supports Satan? FINE. A book has a homosexual character? FINE. A book has a heterosexual character? FINE. A book talks about or supports Catholicism? FINE. I don't see how the last two are any more appropriate than the first two. They're all FINE.

The thing is, if you don't support these, fine. It's your life and your choice. But don't stop others from reading those books. Don't ban them from libraries and book stores. I would go so far as to say don't keep your kids away from them. It's important to read and learn about these subjects, whether you support them or not. Books affect people differently, and people interpret books differently. Just because you don't like the lessons it teaches or the language that's in it or the themes in the book doesn't mean that the book shouldn't be out there.

And to anyone that's been told not to read a banned book, I say go ahead. Read to your heart's content. Don't let someone determine for you what you should or should not read. Don't let someone determine for you what's appropriate and what's not. Figure it out for yourself. Don't read books you don't want to read (unless it's for school...then sorry). Read what you're comfortable with, but don't take away what you don't like from others either. Sure, give them a warning if you'd like. But let them decide, just like you'd like to decide on your own.

As for myself, I'll read whatever I'd like. I'll choose what I want to read. I'll choose what I don't want to read. I'll read banned books and celebrate them, especially Harry Potter. I'll treasure books that have touched me or helped me or changed me or shaped me, and I'll treasure books that have affected me in one way or another, whether banned or not. I'll still recommend books I love to people, whether they're banned or not. Because other people's opinions shouldn't shape my own.

What are your thoughts on Banned Books? What are you doing to celebrate Banned Books Week?
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