Hey all, Dani here.
Today is the first day of Banned Books Week. It is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read, and is an event I wholeheartedly support. This year it takes place September 25-Oct 1
So many books are challenged and banned in schools and/or libraries nowadays and the sad truth is that a lot of times the adults who make the requests to remove certain materials from circulation have never even opened the book themselves.
Books are wonderful items that transport us somewhere else and often times have wonderful lessons behind them. As a massive reader I have grown close to so many characters within the pages of some of my favorite books. I journey with them, befriend them, and sometimes develop a crush on them–there are many swoon-worthy characters out there.
I love books because they help me travel to faraway places and experience people, places, and cultures I might not ever experience in person.
So when people try and take those experiences away from others, it stings. I can accept that a parent might not want their child to read a certain subject matter but other parents might not see that as an issue.
I know that my mom was very open about me reading whatever sounded interesting to me. When I was a kid I read through most of the children and juvenile sections and needed more reading material. This was before YA really grew popular as a category of books. So I needed parental permission to check out books from the adult area. My mom happily signed the permission slip, knowing that if I actually had any questions I would ask her. Even then I was in love with fantasy and science fiction.
I can admit now that there were probably some topics that I didn’t fully comprehend, particularly when it came to romance and violence, but still. Nobody tried to tell me that I wasn’t allowed to read a book because of my age or because of their personal predilections or beliefs.
Banned Books Week strives to share the harm of censorship and brings together the literary community (book readers, bloggers, teachers, librarians, BookTubers, etc) to speak out against the restrictions and removal of books available to the public.
You can learn more about Banned Books Week, including looking at lists of books that have been challenged and banned here.
Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Booksellers Association; American Library Association; American Society of Journalists and Authors; Association of American Publishers;Author’s Guild; Comic Book Legal Defense Fund; Dramatists Legal Defense Fund; Freedom to Read Foundation; National Coalition Against Censorship; National Council of Teachers of English; People for the American Way; PEN America and Project Censored. It is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.