On Book Banning…

I’ve been ruminating about this post for quite awhile: what exactly should I say to explain why I think banning books is so ridiculous – and in the end completely futile?

Could it be because if you ban books about teenagers doing drugs they’ll just become that much more curious about them and have no outlet for their curiosity other than to go out and find things out the hard way?

Could it be that teenagers already know that sex and teen pregnancy exist, and that they will be exposed to such issues regardless of what parents do to stop them? At least handing them a book or two on the topic helps them explore it and form their opinions without a more hands-on approach straight out of the gate.

Could it be because if you’re worried about your kid turning to Satanism or witchcraft just by picking up a Harry Potter book you need to worry a lot more about your parenting skills (or lack of them) and the gullibility of your child than a few hundred pages discussing nothing if not love, bravery and loyalty?

Could it be because people are constantly underestimating the intelligence of children and teenagers?

Yes. My opinion is that it includes all those things…and a lot more.

But I found an article that says it a lot better than I do. Go check out this article on Harry Potter and Satanism originally published in The Onion in 2000. It is hilarious – ridiculous and insane. Obviously the things discussed in the article have never happened – so why are so many people worried that they will?

Other great things to check out are author Melissa De La Cruz’s blog post about censorship, April at Good Books and Good Wine’s vlog about banned books that she enjoys, Pam at Bookalicio.us’s Censorship Week blog posts, and author Ellen Hopkin’s blog for her recent experiences and views on censorship.

If you’re interested in learning more about banned books, or celebrating them during the month of September, go check out this blog post from Donna at Bites!

{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Savannah Smith September 5, 2010, 5:45 am

    I've heard a lot about this so-called "book banning" but I didn't know what it was until now.
    My parents don't want me reading/watching Harry Potter because it deals with sorcery, but I've been trying to convince them that it's not like I'm going to go around casting spells and demonic curses on anyone who gets me angry. lol I LOVE my parents, but they don't exactly give me credibility for my intelligence. I'm a Christian, and I devoted one at that, so I'm pretty sure that reading a book is going to change my mind. 😛

    Another thing that annoys me are the accusations that Twilight corrupts young teens innocence. At first my parents were skeptical about me reading it…when my dad found out he was pretty upset…but my mom read and watched the series and convinced him otherwise. In fact, my mom and I actually have discussions about why Twilight shows a sense of morality and chivalry, since Edward wants to marry Bella before they…*awkward cough* you know…but a lot of people don't see past that and they freak out about a vampire story that involves romance!

    So, I support your post about banned books 🙂 I'd like to see people read more diverse books instead of staying with their "comfort zone" of "safe" books.

  • Mrs. DeRaps September 5, 2010, 10:44 am

    Thanks for spreading the word on such an important topic. It's crazy that there are people who think that reading a book will make someone want to follow in the direction of the characters. Reading Ellen Hopkins does not make me want to do drugs. She makes me want to help those who are hooked on drugs. She makes me understand.

  • Tara September 5, 2010, 4:17 pm

    Fantastic post! I wish people would be more open-minded. What really bugs me is when books get banned and the people banning them haven't even read them – how does that make any sense? Thanks for sharing and spreading the word about this current issue.

  • melissa @ 1lbr September 5, 2010, 4:17 pm

    Well said! I'd take a good discussion of a book any day over simply not letting a child read it. That will for sure get them to read it!

  • Carin B. September 5, 2010, 8:05 pm

    I'm not sure why people are so intent on banning books. I guess it's because all those kids that read Harry Potter joined the church of Satan. 😛

    I didn't grow up with parents who limited my reading so I'm a little confuzzled when I hear stories like that. I know that I'd rather be open if I have kids and let them read things that might be objectionable and then talk with them about them. Seems like a good opportunity to bond with your kids than push them away and rebel. That's just me though. Every parent has to make the choices they think are best for their family. All the people I know who were limited though went kind of rebellious when they hit high school or left home. OK…I'm rambling now. I'm done! hehe

  • April (BooksandWine) September 6, 2010, 2:04 am

    I am so so so glad my parents let me read whatever I want. I mean, I got enough sex education from the covers of my mom's Harlequinns. That's some steamy shiz, so I think it would have been hypocritical for them to ban some books from me when it's out in the open.

    My parents are awesome.

    Also, banning books is so stupid. It's just going to make people want it more. Sort of like being in a relationship, I get hit on a lot more, because there is the whole forbidden fruit thing. JUST LIKE BANNING BOOKS. People will want to read it like it's hot.

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