As a child, I know one of the ways I loved spending my free time was by reading a good book. From fiction to nonfiction, I was hooked on learning about other worlds, places and ideas that challenged me to think in a completely different way. Even if I didn’t agree with what I read, it gave me a special opportunity to see another perspective and attempt to understand another side to an argument.
But for a second, I would like to take this moment to challenge the reader on how their lives might be different if they had not been able to read their favorite children’s book because it was banned in their public library.
As it begins to approach, the last week in September is dedicated towards Banned Books Week.
Banned Books Weekis an annual event in which we all celebrate the freedom to read. According to the American Library Association, “Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers — in shared support of the freedom to seek and express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.”
A famous banned book actually even happens to be one of my favorite books- The Great Gatsby.
A famous banned book actually even happens to be one of my favorite books. The Great Gatsby tells a remarkable tale with a great source of imagery that really allows you to step back in time that seems quite foreign to most people of the modern age. I, for one, couldn’t imagine how I could have grown up without reading about Jay Gatsby’s unconditional love for Daisy Buchanan or learning about the symbolism that every page seems to hold. However, according to bannedbooksweek.org, it was banned because of “the book’s language and mere references to sex.”
But forget about just my own favorite, there are tons of books that are banned all over the country for not wanting to expose others to certain things that make people uncomfortable but may sometimes need to be addressed.
However, while I knew Banned Books Week was something that happened annually, I wondered how many other people actually knew when it actually was or even about it at all.
I quickly found that there are Facebook and Twitter pages ran to promote the week. These same pages also bring attention to books that are controversial and fight for the ability of free speech. This allows readers to express their opinions via social media.While there isn’t an Instagram dedicated to this week, there is a popular hashtag called #BannedBooksWeek which allows people to get the word out about this week and celebrate the books that they care so much about.
These social media pages aren’t incredibly popular with followers and uses but it gives people a chance to show the world what they care about in a free, open space.
What book do you want to read to celebrate Banned BooksWeek of 2017? Leave your answers in the comments; I can’t wait to hear about them and learn about all the exciting worlds you’ve come to love.