Tuesday, September 28

Banned Books. Read, Think and Speak up!

It's Banned Books Week, and I don't think there's a book blogger out there who hasn't heard of this week. But for anyone who isn't familiar with this week, this is an annual event, where each year from September 25 - October people everywhere celebrate their freedom and ability to read what ever they choose. This also helps spread the word and aims to prevent censorship of books, book baning, book burnings (sad thing is they still happen).

Book Banning and Book Censorship is something I am very passionate about. It irks me beyond belief when I read another story about how someone is trying to have a book removed from the library, bookstores and from school reading lists, because people disagree with it's contents. Or it is deemed inappropriate. As a library technician and bibliophile I think it's important to support mine and others freedom to read. No one should control what another person reads. Of course there are books out there I don't agree with, books I find morally disturbing but, I have no right to prevent others from reading those books.

In a world of hundreds of different religions, cultures and personal beliefs, attempting to ban a book because it puts religion/culture/belief X values over religion/culture/belief over Z value is one of the most ridiculous reasons for wanting a book pulled off the shelves.

Questioning a books age appropriateness is something I can understand parents wanting to do. Although I find many jump the gun to soon, and underestimate a books true intentions. Or listen to rumours and not bother to read the book them selves. As the title of this post says Read and Think. And I encourage all readers to do this, really think about what you're reading, before you try to have it removed from shelves. And Speak up for books that are in fire, and are being questioned for it's content. Don't let others choose what you read. And please, keep reading!

Okay, so stepping down from my soap box now! It's taken me since Saturday to get the words out properly. And there is so much more I want to say, but I tend to get over emotional and angry with this topic at times, especially after reading some of the most recent attempts at censorship that have happened this past week. But I want to put this in a positive light, and really show people what book banning is, and that even in the twenty-first century, still happens.

So as I celebrate this week, I'm reading only books that have been banned or challenge. I'm also showcasing these books, and a book or group of books each day on Facebook. Reviews of the books I read will be on my blog. For anyone who wishes to see what I've posted on Facebook, please feel free to add me. I'm Julie Dobson or dobson.j.m@gmail.com for email. Just let me know who you are when you add me.

Books I've showcased so far(this week):

The Color Purple by Alice Walker, which I have already finished reading

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway, which I'm currently reading

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien and Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling (dual showcased of the day), which I've read in the past, but want to show an example of books that are trademarks of today's culture have also been victims of bans, challenges and burnings (2001 Tolkien's books were actually burned by a group. See the ALA - Banned Book Week Website.)

I hope to read more banned books before the week is done. I will update the post with what I've read/showcased on Facebook. I've read many banned/challenged books in the past, and I plan on doing it in the future. I encourage you all to do the same, and to fight against censorship. Fight for your freedom to read, and as always happy reading!

Also check out the ALA Website that talks about banned books, including lists, information and history of this event and the books that are often banned/challenged. ALA - Banned Books Week


  1. This is a wonderful post, Jules. I would have to agree with you this subject is a touchy one, especially amongst book bloggers. It makes me so frustrated and mad to hear that there are people out there who want to take away our right to read what we want. I don't have a list of all the banned books, but I am always surprised to find out when another favorite shows up on the list. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy? Really? This subject is so upsetting to me. You did a great job articulating your thoughts on the subject.

  2. Zibilee - It is VERY frustrating to see people prevent me and others from reading what they want to read. Lord of the Rings has been challenged because it is said to promote santicism or something like that. Sigh. Fantasy books really take a hit it seems. Thank you so much for your comments. :)