Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Don't Peek

I come from a family of readers. My grandmother had bookshelves lining almost every wall in the house. My mom converted her dining room into a library and I have a lovely library that Rob built for me. I love the feel and smell of books and of course we can learn things and visit places and meet people, all while sitting comfortably on the couch with a cup of tea.

This morning Mango Mama brought to my attention that this is Banned Book Week. You can read about it on the NPR website or find a list of banned books here.

Even as a kid, my reading was never censored. Maybe some books were kept out of my sight at times, I don't know, but when I picked up a book I was allowed to read it. I am not in favor of censorship. If the topic of a certain book offends you, then don't read it. I won't force my reading choices on you, don't try to force yours on me.

I don't like all books. Usually I try to finish what I start but I do sometimes give up on a book. There is one book I've been trying to read for over thirty years and can't get thru. I've tried from the beginning.  I've opened it in the middle and I've started at the end, but I can't get into it. I will someday make my way thru that book. Now it's the challenge rather than topical interest.

Our local library has a small gift shop and one day Rob found this bracelet for me. The photos aren't great but a couple charms say "I read banned books" and the others show titles of books that have been banned. Some of the charms are Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, one of my childhood favorites, The Color Purple and To Kill a Mockingbird. They have all been banned, as well as Harry Potter, Brave New World and many, many others.
I'm proud to have read a number of the books on the list. Maybe it's time to open some of those closed minds and allow some fresh air to blow thru.
Check the lists. You've probably read a banned book or two and look how well you turned out.

11 comments:

Marjie said...

My kids have read plenty of those banned books, as have I. I believe that you can't really write or say anything of substance without offending someone somewhere. But some of these books were written at a time when such things were not offensive, or at least were commonplace, and it's useful to look back at and remember the way things were. And sometimes you have to be able to look at destructive behaviors and recognize them for what they are. You know I'm an avid reader, too, with at least a thousand books in my house, and I'll celebrate your enjoyment of reading regardless of whether we like all or none of the same things, or fall somewhere in the middle. Happy Banned Books week, Sue!

Bella Roxy & Macdui said...

Well, with that list, SHE's read a few banned books! Keep going.

The Life of Riley said...

My first experience of censorship was seeing a guillotined copy of “The Little Red School Book” at my New Zealand school in 1972 (I was ten years old), and being told by the teachers that some books were not meant to be read. Since then I have read quite a few banned books!

Susie and Sidebite said...

Yep, Mom has done that and totally agrees with you!

The Mad Scots

rottrover said...

See? and you listen to NPR, too!!! LOL!

Sam said...

I agree. If you don't like something, don't read it. But there are times when the subject of the book so contravenes acceptable social norms that it ought to be banned.

Jeanne Pursell said...

That is really interesting!! I had no idea some of those books were actually banned! Love your bracelet!!

Nichole Burke said...

What a cute bracelet!

Casey said...

Momma says she's envious of your ability not to finish a bad book. She just CAN'T not finish a book once she starts! But she reads tons and tons like you do.

STELLA and RORY from Down Under said...

Howdy mate. We too are all avid readers. My father took me (and my siblings) to the library as pre schoolers and always read to us at night and I continued on with my own children. All five have vast libraries of books and our house does not have enough bookcases. I have read many of the banned books (and some of them I did not know had ever been banned). I agree, read what you want, make up your own mind and if you don't like it, don't read anymore of it.
No worries, and love, Carol

SissySees said...

What a great post! I maintain that especially when trying to get someone into the habit of reading, there are no such things as bad books. My stepson came to reading through "young reader" poorly written bunk about Pokemon and such, but it got him hooked on books.