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 19

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Day 19: Discuss your first love.

As I’ve said in previous posts, I don’t feel like I’ve ever been in love with another person romantically, and I think that’s what this prompt is referring to. So I can’t really blog about that for you. I wish I could say that there was a high school sweetheart or a college love, but I’ve not had that. I’ve had plenty of boyfriends, but none that amounted to real love. Instead of writing about that, I’m going to write about a few other “first love” situations.

When I was really young, as young as 3 and 4, I loved maps and puzzles. I would put together map puzzles of the world and of various countries, and would tell everyone about all the different places I could see. This was the point that my United Kingdom love affair began. I did my UK puzzle over and over and over again until it basically fell apart. Apparently I loved the shapes and colors of it and didn’t want to do any others. Once that was destroyed, I was given little books and things by family about the UK and all things British; they all found it so funny that I had this little obsession as a toddler. Eventually, as I grew older, I began learning about the history, the monarchy, and the geography of the countries and fell even more in love. Aside from that, I gained a real love for geography from my map and puzzle obsession. I don’t know that there is a subject (aside from writing and literature) that I excelled in more.

Reading. I can’t think of a time in my life that didn’t revolve around books and reading. I can remember vividly being read to as a child, all the time. I was lucky enough to have been taught to read at an early age, before entering school, so I was reading at a higher level than most of my peers as I grew. I may be absolutely crap at math, but reading is something I can most assuredly say I am spectacular at. The first “real” book I ever read on my own was Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and I was hooked. I have read all the books in the series cover to cover more times than I can count. It was an outlet for me, to be able to jump into a magical world so vastly different from my own when things got particularly hard at home or when I wasn’t having the best time socially at school. I didn’t have the simplest childhood or teen years, but books and my imagination helped me through it. Reading will always be a part of my life, from my “first love” book of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, to every book I’ve read since then, they have all inspired me in their own ways.

Lastly, my niece and nephew. I didn’t have the best family life growing up. Nothing was very stable, there were a lot of fights, and things just weren’t very pleasant at times. I wasn’t really sure what love was when I was young. I was never sure whether or not my family loved me, or if I loved them even. It was all really complicated. But the day my niece was born, and I was able to hold her and experience her very first day in the world with her, I knew what love was. I was only ten, but I knew that she was going to be someone very special in my life. I didn’t think it was possible to ever love anyone as much as I loved that chunky little monkey, but then her brother was born, and I fell just as in love with his sweet little face the moment I saw him as I did with my niece. Those two absolutely mad children are my whole world, and I couldn’t be happier that they are the people that helped me realize what love really is.

How about you, have you ever been in love? I’d love to hear about it.

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

-Lexie Xx

30 Day Writing Challenge | Day 18

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I should start this post off with a bit of an explanation. I haven’t posted in a while, a week to be exact. We’ve had some big storms here lately, and my internet has been down for 7 days; 7 agonizing days. But it’s back now and so am I! I’m a bit torn as to what I want to do with this 30 Day Challenge, do I want to post everything I missed when my internet was gone? Or do I just want to pick up here, on Day 18, and forget about the past few days? I think I may have to go with the latter, just for my sanity’s sake. So here it goes, Day 18, I hope you will join me on the next leg of this writing challenge and will forgive me for missing the past week. Here goes nothing!

Day 18: Post 30 facts about your self.

1. I am turning 22 on August 7th.
2. My favorite color is Seafoam Green
3. I’ve wanted to live in the UK/Ireland since I was in preschool, there are adorable drawings from me at age 4 describing where I want to live and why I wanted to live there, along with a FANTASTIC little Union Jack flag in the background.
4. I don’t believe I have ever really been in love romantically.
5. In Kindergarten I chose “J.K. Rowling” as what I wanted to be when I grew up. That’s still accurate today.
6. I like to watch the NASA channel on TV when I’m doing things around the house like cleaning, or working on homework. I find it really soothing.
7. I listen to audiobooks to fall asleep at night almost all the time.
8. I consider myself to be an “old soul”.
9. I really, REALLY hate onions. They make me feel sick every time I eat one.
10. I have two older brothers, one 12 years older than me and the other 7 years older.
11. I did competitive cheerleading as a child, won a lot of awards, and absolutely hated it.
12. When I was a little kid, I used to burst into tears and turn off the VCR when the villagers grabbed their torches and pitchforks to go after the Beast in Beauty and the Beast.
13. I have an obsession with outer space and maps.
14. I feel most at home when I’m by the sea, especially on cloudier cooler days.
15. I have very pale skin, and burn almost instantly when out in the sun without sunscreen.
16. I am half Italian and half Danish. No one ever believes that I am half Italian until they see my mother. I most definitely took after the Scandinavian side of my family.
17. I sing in the shower. Loudly.
18. I once broke my arm in two places, when riding a bike with no brakes. I have my brothers to thank for that.
19. I love to bake. It is one of my favorite things to do.
20. My dream home isn’t a huge mansion like many people would want, but a small little cottage, with fields of flowers in the countryside, with a city close enough to go to everyday, but far enough to keep things calm and quiet.
21. When I was 11, I beat 55 other people, all at least a few years older than me, in a geography bee.
22. I love to fly in airplanes.
23. I have 4 teeny tiny tattoos. And will be getting one more teeny tiny one next summer.
24. When I was seven, my brother spilled red Kool-Aid on the floor, so naturally I laughed at him. He then lifted me up by my ankles and mopped up the Kool-Aid with my bright blonde hair, causing the ends of my hair to be dyed pink. He got in a lot of trouble, and I had pink hair. It was a win-win for 7 year old me.
25. I don’t like to go to family functions with my extended family, because I don’t enjoy being around them.
26. I love my pets more than I love most people.
27. I love to shop and buy new things, but I hate going to stores.
28. I am a really loving and caring person, almost to a fault.
29. I am a dreamer.
30. I believe that someday there will be a time when everyone in the world will be able to get along.

Bonus Fact: Missing this last week of blogging really made me realize how much I truly enjoy it! I hope this little blogging hobby is something I keep up for a long time. 🙂

I hope you all will accept me back into the world of blogging, and will forgive me for being away for a while. I’m excited to be back at this and have missed this outlet dearly. And thank you crispywalker for checking on me and making sure everything was okay after noticing I hadn’t posted in a while, that was very kind of you!

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

-Lexie Xx

30 Day Writing Challenge | Day 3

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Day 3: What are your top three pet peeves?

1. When someone always finds something to complain about, no matter what the situation. (The irony of putting this in this post is not lost on me, I can assure you.)
2. When people see the film adaptation of a book without reading the book first, or even worse, don’t know it was a book in the first place.
3. When people make that scratchy sound with metal forks on their teeth.

Those three things are in no particular order really, and if I’m honest, there are other things that annoy me more than these from time to time, but I had to write down three, so here they are! I found it a bit funny how many things came to mind when I read this question. I never knew that there were so many little things that trigger angry responses from me, I should probably work on that, but for now, I’m just going to write a post where I complain about these insignificant things as if they were real problems, because I have been prompted to do so.

You know those people, the ones that have a tendency to chronically complain about everything in life, and seem to always blame the world when things go wrong in their lives and never themselves. There are so many things about this that bugs me, the biggest being the fact that most of the time, the things that happen in our lives happen because of the choices we make and the things that we do. Sure, there are most definitely things that happen in life that are completely uncontrollable, but those aren’t the things that these people usually complain about. I’ve not found the best response yet to deal with people that complain all the time, at this point, I just try to build them up and boost their confidence if I can, to maybe try and help them stop complaining a bit. But I can assure you, if you are someone that complains often about anything and everything anytime something doesn’t go your way, there is a huge likelihood that we won’t be very good friends.

I absolutely hate it when people see a film adaptation of a book without reading the book. It’s just one of those things that drives me crazy. I don’t know why, maybe its a conditioned response, or maybe its just the bookworm in me hoping to remind the world that the book is *almost* ALWAYS better than the film. I came across the unthinkable recently; my 11 year old niece’s friend didn’t know that Harry Potter was a book series and not just a series of films. My little heart almost shattered. The book series that shaped my whole childhood, my whole imagination and mind, was simply reduced to a series of films and not the words that flew off the pages creating vivid images in my mind. I do hope I never encounter this sort of nonsense again, but who knows, the world is full of people that are forgetting the importance of the written word.

Lastly, when people make that awful scratchy sound with forks on their teeth when they’re eating, the one that rivals nails on a chalkboard, yeah, you know the one. It makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. It makes my face go into this scrunched up mess of pain and annoyance. It is horrendous. Please, make it stop. PLEASE. If we’re sitting at a table eating together, don’t do what my brothers did all my life and purposefully make that horrible noise just to drive me mildly insane. That’s just cruel.

Goodness, after all that complaining and whining, I’m starting to annoy myself. Maybe writing about pet peeves is a new pet peeve of mine. Whatever the case, for better or for worse, I have disclosed the things that annoy me most to all of you, and I trust you will use them wisely. I also trust that you will find the humor in this little post, and wont take it too seriously. Speaking of seriously, the world would seriously be a less infuriating place if we could all just put these things to an end.

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

-Lexie Xx