Banned Books Week is a nation-wide week-long event intended to celebrate books that have been banned in the past and raise awareness about present-day book banning. From September 30 – October 6 libraries across the nation will celebrate freedom of expression and freedom from censorship with events of all kinds. Interestingly, book banning is still a current issue in many communities: according to the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF), in 2011 there were 326 reported attempts to remove materials from libraries in the U.S.; there were surely more cases that went unreported. And lest we forget that some librarians choose not to even purchase potential inflammatory materials for fear of the ensuing controversy (see: my post on Fifty Shades of Grey).
My own humble little graduate school of library science will be chalking the sidewalks near our campus building with quotes from our favorite banned books. If you have the time and feel so inclined, please attend a Banned Book Week event in your area. And celebrate the week and your freedom to read whatever you want by enjoying some of your favorite “banned” (or previously banned) titles.
Here are a few of my favorites (click on the cover to find out why each title has been banned):
(I’m actually just now finally reading the Harry Potter books for the first time! Currently on #5.)