Banned Books Week | Celebrating the Freedom to Read

Banned Books Week

If I’m honest, the whole idea of censorship drives me crazy. But censoring books? That one, I’ll never understand.

I don’t know if I can even begin to explain to you how important books are, and always have been, in my life and in my heart. Books were my escape as a child. Books taught me all the things I didn’t learn at home or at school. Friendship. Hardship. Love. Fear. Excitement. Magic. Lust. Anger. Sadness. Companionship. Books taught me that I would never be alone, as long as I was able to pick one of them up and immerse myself in the world that the author had created for me. There is an endless list of things that books have introduced me to over the years, and there’s no way for me to explain how grateful I am for that.

It seems though, that there will always be people that feel the need to challenge that. People that think they know what the youth of the world should be reading and what words they should be consuming. How dare young people read about sexual situations? Or violence? Or racially charged moments? Or various religious viewpoints? Sexual orientation that isn’t heterosexual? Witchcraft or magic? How dare authors put those things into words? We must challenge and ban those books! Put a stop to them! At least that’s what the various parents, teachers, politicians, and board members seem to think.

In those regards, we must also ban the news, right? And most television shows. And political debates, we can’t have those things popping up and tainting the minds of our youth, can we? Most art should go, right? Quite a bit of nudity in those silly old paintings and statues. And all education should cease in regards to the civil rights movement and things of that nature, can’t have kids hearing of racism, can we?

I hope I’m making it clear how absurd I find this whole thing to be. Banning books on the grounds of things like racism, sexual situations, political viewpoints, the presence of witchcraft, encouragement of “damaging” lifestyles, or violence has never, and will never make sense to me. What will shielding children from these achieve? Are these things that children won’t see or hear on television, in their day to day lives, etc?

Banning books is disgraceful and insulting really, to the intelligence and consciousness of the youth that they are trying to “shield”.

Banned Books Week should be important to all of us. Even if you never experienced that censorship first hand, you should still push for future generations to have the freedom to read and explore. To learn and understand. To be introduced to things in a safe and enlightening way, rather than the harsh realities of the real world. Let them read about depression. Let them understand it. Give them the freedom to explore sexuality. Help them understand it. Make the classics available to them, so they can see the words that helped shape the world around them. Treat them as intelligent and comprehending beings, and maybe they’ll have a better chance of growing up as such.

Parents, teachers, religious organizations, and political organizations alike, have tried to take so many pieces of literature away from the youth of the world. Catcher in the Rye. The Harry Potter Series. The Hunger Games Series. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. The Perks of Being a Wallflower. The Kite Runner. The Great Gatsby. To Kill a Mockingbird. The Lord of the Rings. I think it’s clear that some of these people mean well in their efforts, but I don’t believe that any good has or will ever come of it.

Authors like Maya Angelou, John Green, Kurt Vonnegut, Stephen King, Judy Blume, J.K. Rowling and infinitely more have had their books challenged or banned at one time or another, all in the name of censorship.

This is why Banned Books Week matters.

Please, take some time to read and understand what is happening, and why it’s happening, and decide if you would like to stand up for the future of literature.

I believe it is important for the younger generations to have a chance to learn, dream, and understand, while they’re still able, and I feel that Books are able to give them that chance.

To learn more about Banned Books Week, you can visit the American Library Association’s site dedicated to the Office of Intellectual Freedom of the ALA or any of these other wonderful sites.
Some blog posts I’ve read recently that helped inspire me to put my opinion out there and join the conversation;
The Rambler, Illinois College,“Banned Books Week”
Nathan Biberdorf, “We Must Indeed All Band Together, Or Most Assuredly, We Will All Be Banned Separately”
Lady Jane,“Banned Books Week Challenge”
Kateywrites,“#RaisingReaders Monday: fREADom”

I hope you’re doing well, where ever you are in the world, and I wish you all the best.

-Lexie Xx

New to my blog? Why not read a bit about me; Like how I love Doctor Who, or what I would say to my Future Husband if I knew who that person was, or take a look back at various points in my life in my post about my birthday last month? Or, you know, do what ever you’d like. 🙂

30 Day Writing Challenge | Day 4

Day 4: Write about someone who inspires you.

 I’m lucky in life. Mostly because there has never been a shortage of people to look up to and draw inspiration from. There are hundreds of people in this world that have shaped not only the world and lives around me, but they’ve shaped me as well. They’ve shaped my beliefs, my dreams, and my perspective, and I am beyond grateful for that. As a female, I was often shown things about inspirational women and important women in history, and in first grade I was given a picture book about the First Ladies of America and I was introduced to Eleanor Roosevelt.

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There are plenty of people that inspire me but Eleanor Roosevelt has always been someone special. She was a woman that believed in dreams. She believed in the world and all the good that people could do. In her time as first lady, married to Franklin D. Roosevelt, from 1933-1945, she worked tirelessly to fight for human rights and civil rights, and continued to do so for years after her time in the white house. I’ve always been enamored with Eleanor Roosevelt because she knew who she was.  She had a concrete sense of herself, her place in the world, the importance of humanity, and the knowledge that everyone has inherent worth to the world. Because she was the one who taught others, that “no one can make you feel inferior without your permission”. There aren’t enough words to describe how incredible I think this woman was. She never based her self worth on her looks or on anything else that women of that era would have, she focused on bettering the world and succeeded in making it a better place when she left it than what it was when she arrived.

This may be the most poorly written post I ever put up on this blog, but I’m just not sure what to say. How do you convey how important a person you’ve never met is to you? I could sit here and go on and on about all of her accomplishments and all of the amazing things she did in her life, but I won’t. Instead I’ll leave you with a short video that may show you a little insight into why this woman inspires me so greatly. I love everything that she stood for, and everything that she did for those around her. She was a selfless person that never let anything stand in her way and that is something that everyone should strive to be.

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

I hope you’re doing well, where ever you are in the world, and I wish you all the best.

-Lexie Xx