Friday, September 24, 2010

I Read Banned Books

I love books.  I love everything about books.  I love looking at them, holding them, reading them and I especially love how a brand new book smells.  I love the sound of the pages turning, I love cracking open the cover and getting lost in the story.  I love how books make me think and how they make me feel.  I have been in love with books my entire life.  I began reading at the age of 4 and not once do I remember being told there was a book that was inappropriate or that I couldn't read something for any reason.  Censorship was a foreign concept for me.
Censorship is real and it happens more often than we realize.  I support anyones choice not to read a book for their own reasons but I will not tolerate someone telling me that I don't have the right to read what I choose for myself.  I have traveled to Helena several times defending my rights as a bookseller to sell books to you and to uphold your rights as citizens to have the choice of what you read be your decision and not decided for you.

I am always amazed at the books that get censored.  I think the most ridiculous one was "Snow White".  I don't recall where this happened but it was pulled from a kindergarden classroom.  The reason:  There was one woman living with 7 little men.........I am sure every kindergardener in that school breathed a sigh of relief that the book was gone and no longer available to them.  Of course every year the banned book list has the usual suspects, "Harry Potter", "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn", "To Kill A Mockingbird", "Bridge to Terabithia", "Of Mice and Men", "Catcher in the Rye", "Lord of the Flies", "The Color Purple", "The Golden Compass", "Go Ask Alice", "The Bible", "Scarey Stories in the Dark", "A Day no Pigs would Die", "Wrinkle in Time", "James and the Giant Peach", "Grapes of Wrath" and "Cujo".  Roald Dahl, Stephen King, Chris Crutcher and Judy Blume are authors that make the list often.  Judy Blume has received letters from readers responding to the censorship of her books.  Often times the writer is a young reader wanting to know where the bad parts were in her books because they read them and couldn't find it.

On Saturday, September 25th, the literary world begins celebrating Banned Books Week in the United States.   The goal is to draw attention to the pitfalls of censorship in America.   So I encourage you to rejoice in your freedom to read and to go forth into the world and read whatever you want.  Not just this coming week but everyday!  Be Free Read.

Banned Book Week sponsored by the American Library Association go to this link to learn more

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