Sunday, September 27, 2015

Celebrating the Freedom to Read

Courtesy of the American Library Association.
Today kicks off Banned Books Week, an annual event that essentially celebrates the freedom to read.  

Whenever I hear or think about banned books, I always remember this scene from the 1984 movie, Footloose.  
In this scene, the highly influential Reverend Moore stops the ultra conservative citizens of Beaumont from tossing library books that they deem as offensive and/or unsuitable into a burning trashcan.  He exclaims, "Satan is not in these books!  He's in here, he's in your hearts.  Go on home, all of you.  Go sit in judgement on yourselves."  

That scene and that comment have really stuck with me over the years and I hold the same opinion.  You see, I believe wholeheartedly in freedom of the press, in free speech, in the freedom of access to information, and the freedom of choice.  Those are some of the essential cornerstones on which our country was founded and they are liberties that I, as an American, enjoy.  Having said that, however, I must also admit that I believe when it comes to children, that appropriateness is key, be it music, movies, video games, online media, or books.  (And let me just state for the record - the whole debate of what is "appropriate" is a discussion for another day and another blog entry.  LOL!  It isn't a simple case of black or white.  It falls into a gigantic gray area.)

So, basically here's my stance: I strongly believe that some books are appropriate for certain ages, but not necessarily for others.  I also believe that the banning of books as a whole is wrong.  

In honor of Banned Books Week, I'm going to exercise my right to read whatever I damn well please and I encourage you to do the same!  

I have chosen two books: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky and Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.  

I chose The Perks of Being a Wallflower because it is one of the top ten most frequently challenged books of 2014-15.  I chose Fahrenheit 451 because I can't think of a better book to read during Banned Books Week than a book about the banning of books.

I'm also participating in Megan's (@ Semi Charmed Kind of Life) Banned Books Week Photo Challenge.
I'm still new to the "Twitterverse," but I will be using Twitter for my photos.  You can follow me on Twitter @edb214 .

Happy Banned Books Week!  I encourage you to enjoy a freedom that is often questioned, challenged, and denied of many throughout the world.  Happy reading to you!

1 comment:

  1. It wasn't that long ago that I read The Perks of Being a Wallflower and this is what I had to say about it: Does this book deal with some tough topics? Yes. Instead of parents or educators who ban it or challenge it, why not use it as a tool to talk to teenagers about those tough topics? Topics such as alienation, depression, abuse, drugs & alcohol, homosexuality, dating, bullying, date rape, problems at home, problems with friends, sex, and more...some or all of these topics are realities for most teens today.

    I put The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian on reserve at my library. I hope it becomes available to start reading it this week.


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