Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Banned Books Week

(image via the ALA website)

It's Banned Books Week here in the U.S.-- an annual celebration of intellectual freedom in this country. I've long been a fan of the ideals behind BBW, not to mention its slightly-sassy, contrarian underpinnings.

OK, I might be projecting a little bit on that last part.

I find myself feeling a little inarticulate (I just wrote "unarticulate") when I try to express how much this all means to me. Books should be a safe place for people everywhere to explore new ideas, learn about the world, and come to understand themselves better.

In the grand tradition of "putting your money where your mouth is," I'm a big, big fan of purchasing as many books that appear on the Frequently Challenged list as I can. It's hard not to notice that an awful lot of the books on recent lists deal with LGBT issues, along with many other tough subjects I care a lot about. Buying these books is a good way for me, as a reader, to communicate that to publishers-- and to help ensure that publishers will continue to take a chance on these "difficult" issue-driven books.


Jenny said...

Banned books! My high school library always used to do a display for them. I always found it funny 'Where's Waldo' was on the list.

I've read a couple, for similar reasons to you. Banned books tend to be edgy (though I don't quite see how that applies to Twilight...)and I like those type of books. I noticed the Chocolate War cropped up a lot. I read it when I was younger, but I think I'd understand it better now.

Alex said...

Twilight is edgy in its way. We watched the most recent movie on DVD and summarized it afterward as "Do you want the manipulative abusive boyfriend or the raging abusive boyfriend?" It's not as much of a typical "banned book" as others that are banned for political or clearly described ideological reasons, but I could see Twilight pinging the "ban this" sensibilities of both Southern Baptists and super leftists alike.

We found ourselves tuning out whenever it was "love story" time and tuning back in whenever it was "vampires and werewolves tearing pieces of each other off" time.

Alex said...

And, answering the question:

Waiting to read:

The Hunger Games
To Kill a Mockingbird

Have read:

Catcher in the Rye
Harry Potter
His Dark Materials trilogy
In the Night Kitchen
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

Kara said...

In the Night Kitchen is one of my six ear old's favorite books. She asks for it at least once a week. I think I'll celebrate by reading it to her twice this week! :)