It's Banned Books Week.
This Gratitude Monday I am grateful for the books that have been challenged and /or banned. Some, such as To Kill a Mockingbird are favourites.
Others, like Catcher in the Rye I despise, but I had the freedom, the choice to read it. Well, to read it again. The first time was in school and I had to read it then. But the book has remained out for public consumption and that meant I had the choice to read it again to see if I still despised it.
I do, but the point is I was free to find that out. No one told me I couldn't, and neither should anyone ever be able to tell me or anyone else what he or she can't read.
The list is here.
I note with a delicious sense of irony that it includes Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451.
So, why am I grateful?
Because every time someone challenges a book many others rightfully get their backs up and challenge the challenger.
Generally, we win and the book remains available. It gets some press, it piques the interest of someone who might not notice it any other way and a new reader finds it.
That a challenger might someday win, that a book could be removed from circulation due to the misguided whim of a self-appointed protector horrifies me, but for right now, I say books need our help and if that comes in the guise of a challenge, then bring it.
As long as I live and breathe and can string a sentence together I will fight for everyone's right to read any book and love it or hate it or not care about it either way based on his or her own opinion and not what someone else has decided.
Perhaps the day will come when one of my books is challenged. I'd be grateful for the publicity.