September 22-28 marks Banned Books Week, a celebration to end the banning of books in America.
Banning books has been around for longer than you’d think; hundreds of years. Controlling what people read and absorb is censorship, and censorship is born from fear and ignorance.
Everyday, small-minded people in all fifty states challenge books that shape American minds, and it’s pretty much the most ridiculous thing ever. More ridiculous than McDonald’s breakfast hours.
Did you know at one point, books like Catcher in the Rye, The Great Gatsby, Gone with the Wind, Where the Wild Things Are, and The Call of the Wild were all banned? And that’s only a few in the hundreds of books that have been banned. Can you imagine an English class without Catcher in the Rye? I mean, talk about an eternal cultural phenomenon just vanishing. And all because grown-ups thought it was vulgar. Like they never saw the words “Fuck You” graffitied on a wall. Or what about Gatsby’s pursuit of ‘the American dream’? Would that be such an important theme of our national identity if Gatsby had never built his mansion across from that green light?
I’m not sure why there’s even a discussion about banning the types of books people are challenging. It’s nonsense born from nonsense born from nonsense. Books that push the limits are books that matter. Banning them limits our power, our spirit. Spread the word! Take to Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, whatever your little heart desires. Grab the widget (as seen in my sidebar) from Epic Reads and smack that baby on your blog!
We have power here! We can speak up! I mean, they’re trying to ban JOHN GREEN for goodness sake. That’s not cool. That crosses the line. That makes this personal.