How sad that every year the library must promote the reading of banned books.
What joylessness must be had at the American Library Association as it curates titles that are challenged, banned, censored and removed from bookshelves. What is the message we send when we ban the written word from one another? What is it we fear? As the ALA promotes yet another year of celebrating banned books, fromHansel and Gretel to Persepolis, I ponder this fear.
Our libraries, schools and bookstores embrace Banned Book Week with wonderful displays and excellent programming. I hope people check out or buy the banned American Heritage and Merriam Webster Dictionaries, even if these books contain objectionable words. Banned Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner is a brutal story, yet I am grateful that this author allowed me into his world. Banned Charlotte’s Webis a beautiful tale of friendship. I am sorry animals die. Banned Harry Potter is magical. Magic is make-believe.
My elder son, as a child, used to close his eyes and say, “You can’t see me.” That is a tender sweet memory.
However, for adults, to close their minds, and say, “You can’t read these.” That is fear and a delusional response to freedom of expression.
It’s too bad we will be here next year, continuing to raise awareness of books banned based on misconception and misplaced consternation.