The Compulsive Reader: Banned Books Week

Friday, September 30, 2011

Banned Books Week

As many of you are probably aware, this week is Banned Books Week. It seems like hardly a month goes by without hearing of some case where a library or school district is contemplating banning a book because some parents find it objectionable. And you know what? The fact they find a certain book objectionable is okay--it really is. We might not agree with them, but everyone has a right to read a book, think critically, and judge it for themselves.

What is NOT okay is that those people cannot simply stop at disliking a book--they have to make it so that NO ONE can read that book, just because they don't agree with what goes on in the book. As Ellen Hopkins says in her powerful poem "Manifesto," "you don't speak for me or my children." Well, I don't have kids, but the sentiment is still the same. The only incident in which it is all right to forbid someone from reading something is if that person is your own child, in my opinion.

So, I sincerely hope that you all have at least taken a moment to think about some of the most amazing, important books that we have to offer that have been banned this week. I know a lot of people have said a lot about this topic this week, so I think I'll settle for just sharing with you some pictures from the bookstore I work at to celebrate Banned Books Week.

This is the front table display, which is visible when you first walk in! There are so many books that have been banned in our store, but we tried to put out some of the most recent ones--we've been selling a lot of them, so yay!

Simon and Schuster sent me this poster of the amazing Ellen Hopkins poem, "Manifesto," last year for Banned Books Week 2010. Ellen wrote this poem two years ago after she went through some tough times after she was un-invited to a school visit in Oklahoma. It's a really powerful poem, and definitely worth reading. You can probably find it on her website, and I recommend reading it! I knew it was too important to not bring it in for the week, and I am glad a bunch of our customers can read it!

I've also have been wearing my "I Read Banned Books" bracelet all this week! It's one of my favorite pieces of jewelry year round, ever since my mother got it for me for my 18th birthday, and you can totally get one too at the designer's website, carolynforsman.com! Here's a picture...the top two shots are of the bracelet I have, and the bottom two are of the kidss/YA version!

What did you do to celebrate Banned Books Week? What are some of your favorite banned books?


carolyn forsman said...

why thank you!
2 "i read banned books" pins very shortly. http://twitpic.com/6f8cun .

any bookstore,like the one you work for, can sell it too. 10% of the sale supports ABFFE, American Booksellers Foundation for Freedom of Expression.

Lauren said...

I remember the Ellen Hopkins drama. I don't understand why people feel the need to control other (usually younger) people's reading habits...and their excuses are usually quite flimsy. Book banners are obviously not true readers themselves, because any proper book lover knows that the joy of reading is learning about new possibilities.

The book girl said...

You know, half the time I read banned books just to see what all the buzz is about. And then when I'm finished, I'll think, ''why did they ban that again?''. Some of the books that most influenced me are banned books, like Speak and The Color Purple.

And I'll definitely be checking out that poem-- if it's by Ellen Hopkins, it's sure to be good.

Anonymous said...

I didn't do anything for book banned week this year although I really wanted to I couldn't think of what to talk about that I didn't already cover and there was no controversial post (such as the professor who wanted to banned speak) like last year as a starting point

So I didn't post anything new I honestly hate banned books and have never had someone other then myself tell me no I can't read it I make that dissesion on my own. I've read harry potter and I'm catholic love harry potter also read hunger games and twilight and the captain underpants books. I think its really stupid when it's your religion that keeps you from reading a book or a sheltered life and I'm not talking just about harry potter but like people who won't read T for teen manga even though they are old enough to. that kind of thing really upsets me