Monday, September 27, 2010

Gratitude Monday -Ban My Books!

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.


the Bag Lady said...

I, too, believe that we need to continue to fight against banning books. If there is something in a book that offends you, you don't have to read it.....

(word verification - umban)

Leah J. Utas said...

That's exactly it, Bag Lady.
Love the word verif.

Reb said...

Hear! Hear! All I can think of right now is "narrow mined people and their narrow minded streets". Oh, I hope I didn't muddle the lyrics. Like TV shows - if they offend, don't pay for the channel/watch the show.

Leah J. Utas said...

Thank you, Reb. And you're so right. Don't like it? Ignore it.

Ron Scheer said...

I drive through Banning, California, every couple of weeks to get out to the desert. I chuckle going through on the I-10 because I always think of opening a bookstore there called Banning Books.

Usually book banning is aimed at keeping certain books out of the hands of young readers. To the extent that doing what you're not supposed to do is built into most kids, banning a book probably does more to make readers of kids than permitting titles to fall into obscurity.

Leah J. Utas said...

Ron, I got a chuckle out of your bookstore idea.
You've got a point about forbidding things. The scary part is a book might be banned.

Bossy Betty said...

I've read 31 of them!!!

MizFit said...

Im with BL too.
this has been something my mom drummed into my head from childhood.
I adore my mom.

(verif? platey :))

Leah J. Utas said...

Bossy Betty, yay. I should go back and count, but I think you've got me beat.

MizFit, yes. If you don't like it, then don't read it. Your mom is a smart woman.

Terrie Farley Moran said...

df Leah,

This may be the best banned book week post ever written.


Leah J. Utas said...

df Terrie,

That's quite a compliment. Thanks so much.

messymimi said...

Glad to be back from my retreat to see this post.


Leah J. Utas said...

Why, thank you, Messymimi.