Sunday, September 21, 2014

Banned Books Week

It's Banned Books Week (September 21-27.)  From the American Library Association website for banned books:

Over this recent past decade, 5,099* challenges were reported to the Office for Intellectual Freedom.
  • 1,577 challenges due to "sexually explicit" material;
  • 1,291 challenges due to "offensive language";
  • 989 challenges due to materials deemed "unsuited to age group";
  • 619 challenged due to "violence"' and
  • 361 challenges due to "homosexuality."
Further, 274 materials were challenged due to "occult" or "Satanic" themes, an additional 291 were challenged due to their "religious viewpoint," and 119 because they were "anti-family."

As a reader, my first response when I hear about people trying to ban books is of course, go fuck yourself, you can't tell me what to do.  But as a writer, I think how nice it must be to have someone so outraged by something you've created that they take it upon themselves to try and prevent other people from reading your work.

And I'm not talking about writing a bad review because you didn't like a book, or telling your friends not to bother reading it, but actively trying to stop every other person from reading what they might enjoy specifically because you object to the content (likely without reading it in the first place.)

I'm sure that the authors whose names end up on these lists didn't set out to write something controversial, but I tip my hat to them anyway.  If you're pissing off some close-minded person, you're probably doing something right.

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