Which is rather fortuitous timing, considering this week's attack on the freedom to read in Lewiston, Maine.
Librarians (and teachers and others) often make a big deal of Banned Books Week (BBW), and many people don't understand why. Who cares? No matter how hard groups fight to ban a book, anyone can always go to the local bookstore and buy it anyway, right?
The point is that everyone has the freedom to read whatever interests them. Once a small group is permitted to make decisions for the whole, and force their views on everyone, then this is no longer a free society.
So, during Banned Books Week - and every other week of the year - read what appeals to you. And be a better person for it.
For more information on banned books and Banned Books Week, here are a few good web resources:
- The American Library Association's Banned Books Week webpage
- The ALA's 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books
- The ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom's blog post containing BBW web badges (where the image above came from. I also liked this one: )
- Wikipedia's List of Banned Books
And: I know this is borderline immature (I draw my own borders), but, like the "Adult Books" sections of libraries, "BBW" also makes me giggle. Librarians often forget (or don't know), that our abbreviations and jargon sometimes also have other meanings.