It’s Banned Books Week! Well… at least it is here in America, not quite sure if about everywhere else. Anyways the point of Banned Books Week is to celebrate and share books that have been banned and raise awareness about censorship. Yes, it does happen, even in the US. SO anyways, without farther ado, here’s the reason why books are banned.
Yeah, I know right. You’re probably thinking how can there only be one reason why all these books are banned in different places every year. Sure there are a lot of other “smaller” reasons why books are banned, but to me, it all boils down to personal opinions and beliefs. The top “sub” reasons why books are banned are religion, race, “offensive” topics, and “inappropriate” topics / content such as curse words, drugs, partying, sex, and alcohol.
If you look at all of those closely, you can see how the person’s perspective comes in play. Harry Potter was banned because it included “witchery”. Now someone who believes witches are equivalent to the devil, view HP as inappropriate for children to read. Likewise, To Kill a Mockingbird is banned in a lot of areas because of the racial discrimination it focuses on. Those books, among with thousands of others, are all banned because someone felt they had the right to dictate what people in entire communities cannot read. But enough about that… I already ranted about banned books last year, here are the 10 reasons why you should read banned books anyways.
1. To Learn Lessons
Many of the books that are banned have lessons within them. HP for instance teaches about tolerance and working together to defeat a common enemy. To Kill a Mockingbird teaches about racial equality and perspectives of different people. Granted you probably could learn these lessons in other books but…
2. A lot of them are “classics”
HP, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Hunger Games, Romeo & Juliet and lots more, can all be considered “classics” in their own right. Whether they are literature classics or cult classics is debatable but seriously, if you haven’t read these, you better get with the program. I mean who hasn’t read HP? Don’t answer that question!
3. To support the authors
Usually when books are “banned” they aren’t just not allowed to be read in a classroom, they are banned from everywhere in that community. That usually means libraries can’t have them for patrons to borrow, and book stores can’t have them to sell. That also means authors will be affected by the ban. So help them out by reading their books!
4. To promote the freedom to read what we want
If you only stick to what you are allowed to read by other people’s definitions, you will have a limited reading palate. Not only that, by reading banned books, you’re showing others that they don’t have to be limited to what they are “supposed” to read either.
5. To laugh in the book banners’ faces
Okay, so this might be a bit mean, and even though many people ban books out of what they feel are good intentions, banning books is not the right thing to do. Who are they to decide whether a whole entire community cannot have access to a certain book? It’s one thing to control the books your own children can read, but to what the children of other people can read is totally different.
6. To understand why they are banned
So, sometimes we can get a bit judgmental – someone banned Looking for Alaska because of foul language. You can’t really criticize people if you haven’t read it for yourself. Granted, if there isn’t a lot of “inappropriate” language, then it is okay to rant. But if the book was filled with dirty words, at least you can sort of understand where that parent was coming from. (But that doesn’t mean banning the book was the right way to go about it).
7. To teach others
That it is okay to read books that have been banned. Just because a book was banned in one place, doesn’t mean it is banned everywhere else.
8. To understand what everyone else is talking about
Teenagers are known to be rebellious, so why not be rebellious for reading a book that is “banned”? If you don’t read HP or The Hunger Games and other books that are insanely popular, chances are you won’t know what everyone else is talking about- or at least you won’t understand to the full extent that you would if you had read the books. So don’t let the fact that the book has been banned stop you from getting into the loop.
9. To get a good grade
A lot of the books that have been banned, are also common required reading in a lot of other schools. Books like The Scarlet Letter, The Catcher in the Rye, To Kill a Mockingbird, Romeo and Juliet, and The Great Gatsby are all required reading in my school district. They are also books that are commonly banned in other schools. So if they aren’t banned and your school requires you to read them, you better! Oh, the things you do to get a good grade…
10. To enjoy their stories
Last but not least, read banned books to enjoy the stories they tell. I don’t think this one needs a further explanation…
Okay, so I’m sorry if the reasons got a bit… worse as the list went on, but forget about that. I challenge you all to help spread the word about banned books and maybe read one yourself this week. Come on and help support banned books!
What do you think?
Are there any reasons I missed?