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. 🙂

20 Summer Goals

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Recently, a friend of mine challenged me to make a to-do list of sorts, of 20 goals I wanted to accomplish before summer ends. Instantly I thought that it was a silly idea for me. Would I even be able to think of 20 things to do before summer is over? Would I have any hope of completing the list? After a while, I realized that these thoughts were simply just self-doubt, and decided to go for it. So as I sat down with a notebook and pen in hand, ready to start writing, I stopped to think for a little while. I wanted these goals to be important to me. I wanted them to be things that meant something to me, and things that would enrich my life a little. Before I knew it, I had a dozen goals written down on paper, and it all started to feel a bit more real. I looked to some friends for more ideas and in no time I had my list of 20 goals, and was more excited than ever about the prospect of summer. Doing this little challenge has given me a renewed sense of excitement for summer, an excitement that I haven’t had since I was a kid getting out of school for summer break. Summer has taken on a new meaning now that I’m older. It’s no longer filled with endless amounts of free-time and popsicles on hot summer days; now it’s just filled with work, scorchingly hot days with little relief, and sweat, so much sweat. But these goals made me a bit more excited and motivated about everything. So without further ado, here are my 20 summer goals!

1.) Write a short story
2.) Make homemade pasta
3.) Learn how to paint (well) with watercolors
4.) Create a photo album of my favorite photos
5.) Attend at least four cultural/arts events (i.e. author events, art fairs, ethnic festivals, music events, etc)
6.) Write handwritten letters to at least three different people
7.) Stop putting off starting a blog just because you think people will find it silly
8.) Learn to whistle with my fingers
9.) Plant and grow a sunflower
10.) Cook a traditional dish from at least three different countries
11.) Take a baking or cooking class
12.) Try one new food every week
13.) Learn to sew, knit, or crochet, and make at least three homemade gifts to give at Christmastime
14.) Sleep under the stars
15.) Try five new cocktails
16.) Volunteer with at least three different charities/organizations
17.) Learn as much as possible about a culture different from my own
18.) Take one day each week to myself, with no distractions or obligations to worry about, to relax and decompress, no matter what!
19.) Do at least three new crafts
20.) Write about what I’ve done, how I’ve felt, and what I’ve daydreamed about each and every day in a journal

The best part about this list is that I haven’t put any pressure on myself with it. I don’t have unrealistic goals of completing each and every thing perfectly before summer comes to a close. If I don’t manage to complete something, the beauty of this list is that I can just add it to my next list of goals and continue! I hope you check back on this blog every so often to keep up with my progress on this list, and on all the other things I get up to.

I’m proud to say that I can officially check off number 7 on the list, because I have started this blog!

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

-Lexie Xx