October 01, 2012

Banned Books Week 2012

Faithful readers, it is once again the time of year when we announce proudly that we will make our OWN choices about what we read, thank you very much. One of the most popular and longest-running slogans for Banned Book Week has been simply, "I read banned books!" No doubt you've seen it on posters, t-shirts, pins and bumper stickers, and whether you know it or not, it's as true of you as it is of anyone who purposely walks around wearing it.  That fact was driven home to me very sharply when I consulted some of the websites available on Banned Books Week, and discovered that some of my favorites were considered indecent or dangerous by busybodies somewhere in this country.

If you've read much of this blog within the past year, you know that I experienced a profound connection with The Hunger Games on a number of levels.  Most important among them is the fact that my family ORIGINATED in District 12 (i.e. Appalachia), and I thought Suzanne Collins did an excellent job portraying how difficult life was--and too often still is--in one of the nation's most poverty-stricken regions. While I freely admit that the books are rather hard-core, I was still shocked to discover that The Hunger Games was among the top 10 most often banned books last year.  And of course, we all know how much I adore Harry Potter, and what a furor there was when those books first came out and offended, HORRIFIED, so many Fundamentalists (including me at the time, to my undying shame).  Suddenly I realize how easily those excellent books could have been taken away from me, how much I would've missed out on if people who support censorship had their way.  It's scary to think about, and makes me even more determined to fight for the universal right to read what we please.  Hopefully, it will be a truly UNIVERSAL right for everyone on Earth someday.

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