Did you know that this week is Banned Books Week? I had no idea that this was a thing but I have to say that I am tickled pink that it is and I plan on participating. I am pretty opinionated in life. Okay, I am a lot opinionated. I keep that toned down a bit on the blog so that things remain professional but one of the things that annoys me more than anything else is censorship.
Who is someone else to tell me, an adult woman, what I can and can’t read or what I can and can’t allow my children to read? That’s my decision and my decision alone. Here’s an idea, if you don’t like the subject matter of a particular book then don’t read it! It really is that simple. Books are an incredible source of entertainment, education, and a way to step outside of yourself for a little while and see the world through someone else’s eyes.
I have read many books over the years that may have been deemed inappropriate, serious, upsetting, scary, and dirty. In a word…controversial. You know what? I am a better person for it. Those kinds of books challenge you as a person and help you grow. What a boring world this would be if all we had to read was mindless fluff. I can tell you that I surely wouldn’t read very often if that were the case!
So this week I encourage you to find a book that has been challenged or even banned and read it. Open your mind and think of why it may be controversial. If you want my opinion many of them aren’t controversial at all, but I digress. Enjoy it, learn from it, and get some of your friends to do the same and then have a great discussion about what you read and what impact it has had on you. Among the many things that books are, they are great conversation starters.
For my banned book I will finally read the copy of Slaughterhouse Five that’s been sitting on my bookshelf for a while now. This week seems like a perfect time to pull it off the shelf. Then I will give it to my fourteen-year-old son to read because I encourage him to respect the written word and to be a well-rounded, free-thinking human being.
Because that’s what books do.