Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Do You Read Banned Books?

There are many simple pleasures in life. A warm cup of coffee while watching the sunrise.


Feeling the sand between your toes as the ocean breeze blows through your hair.


And staying in bed with a good book on a rainy day.


No book should be off limits if you want to read it. Unfortunately, throughout history, there have been books that have been kept out of the hands of readers. Each year, the ALA lists the top ten challenged books of the year. In 2016, that list included this one:


And this one:


This week is Banned Books Week, which celebrates the freedom to read. We're spreading the word on social media with the hashtag #BannedBooksWeek. Feel free to join in and say why YOU celebrate our freedom to read.


26 comments:

  1. Adults can make their own choice.
    However, Fifty Shades of Grey probably shouldn't be in an elementary school library...

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    1. LOL! I remember in school you could find most of Judy Blume's books...but not Forever. We passed it around among ourselves. Same with V.C. Andrews' books. The best books were the ones your friends handed you after they reached "The End!"

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  2. I know they exist, but I've never been challenged with any banned books. As adults, we should be able to read what in the heck we want. I'm trying to figure out why the 2 books above are on the list. (lol) Hugs...

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    1. Both were banned for containing LGBT characters--the first one for drug use and profanity and the second for sexual explicitness. And those two were the MOST "challenged" in 2016, interestingly. Top of the list.

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  3. I've done the Banned Book Reading Challenge for the last two or three years now. I haven't read any this week though.

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    1. I think that's one of the best challenges out there!

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  4. Banning books just makes people want to read them more. My daughter loved Drama.

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    1. I know when I was a kid, I always wanted to read the books that were banned.

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  5. I agree with Kelly, banned books can end up being some of the most widely read because they attract so much interest. Having LBGT characters is certainly a disturbing reason for wanting to ban something.

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    1. I think we're seeing that more because far more books feature LGBT characters, especially in children's genres. This is an important step toward eventual widespread acceptance, I think.

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  6. I completely agree we should be able to read what we want. The Harry Potter books are banned at my son's school. Lucky for him I have the complete series, and they're the British versions, not the edited American ones!

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    1. I've known people who refused to let their kids read/watch anything Harry Potter. Makes me wonder if they feel the same about The Wizard of Oz...

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  7. Hi Stephanie - lovely photo ... I'd happily read them if I read that sort of thing but don't. When the full unexpurgated edition of Lady Chatterley's Lover was published by Penguin Books in Britain in 1960, the trial of Penguin under the Obscene Publications Act 1959 was a major public event and a test of the new obscenity law. It lost and Lady C was released into the world ... we have moved on and as Alex says - we are adults ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Wow, what great history! So many classics have been banned over the years--the list is extensive, especially when you take into account the books school and public librarians must remove from shelves.

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  8. If a book is banned how does one get it in the first place?

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    1. All of the books are available...usually it's a library that has removed it (and often not by choice of the library staff...). Our government doesn't ban books...although I believe some publishers have withdrawn books for various reasons. (O.J.'s book on the murder of Nicole Simpson is one I can think of.)

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    2. This article is very informative on the topic. In order to be banned, first the book must be "challenged." The above books were the most "challenged," which doesn't necessarily mean the book was removed from the shelves. Parents are often the source of such challenges, from what I can tell.

      http://people.howstuffworks.com/book-banning.htm

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  9. I think adults should be able to read whatever we want to. As a mother and former teacher, I do understand about children, depending on their age. When they're old enough, books might help them understand the world a bit better.

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    1. Yes, I understand that, as well. I've done school visits at Christian schools where the librarians have talked about the pressure they're under because they have to read every book before it goes on shelves. I just remember in school that the most challenged books were the ones we wanted to read--but that was more as we got into middle school than elementary school.

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  10. What makes a book "banned"? Is it that the library won't stock it? Is it that the schools won't allow it? Or is it that the book stores won't sell it? I doubt it's the third. They sell almost anything. I read what I think will entertain me. I don't look to see if it's banned anywhere. Not that I know where to go look for those.

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    1. Bookstores generally will sell anything. Most of the time if a book is "challenged," it's at the school library/public library level, where concerned parents don't want their kids reading certain books. The Harry Potter series has been highly challenged over the years due to its alleged "Satanic undertones." But just because a book is challenged by the public, doesn't mean the library will remove it.

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  11. Banned Books week is so important in highlighting freedom of speech (in writing) and the freedom to read. Reading a banned book can change your perspective on things and open your mind even if you don't agree with everything the author wrote.

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  12. When I was in college, my sociology instructor assigned 'Last Exit to Brooklyn'. When folks found out I was reading it they had a fit. It was banned in Italy, which might explain my Italian family's distress. I can decide what I want to read and I am the best censor for my children, not some school district.

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  13. I agree with all of the great comments above. I do think there is a question of age appropriateness, and that's true for films also. Otherwise, people need to open their minds, question words and ideas. Think! That's often the goal in reading - entertain and think.

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  14. Banned books? Really? Crazy!

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  15. I remember in 8th grade in 1984 my Junior High Principal specifically told us anyone caught reading Judy blume's Forever would be expelled from school. I waited 2 months to get my hands on a copy from the library.

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