Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Banned Books week Sept 29-Oct 6th--Why does it matter?

Why does book challenging or book banning matter?

From the ALA: "Seventy-one percent of the challenges were to material in schools or school libraries. Another twenty-four percent were to material in public libraries (down two percent since 1999)."

The most popular reason, sexual explicitness. Oddly enough, of the challenges, the number challenging violence is less than half of the number challenging based on sex. Which is a rant for another day on how people twiddle their thumbs complaining about sex in media and look the other way when it comes to violence.

As a romance author, I can't help but look at this as a slippery slope. One day they challenge erotic romances or Sex by Madonna in the public library, the next they challenge Nora Roberts and Sherrilyn Kenyon, and then finally, Judy Blume and Toni Morrison in the middle and high school library.

Here's why this matters to every single individual:

We are a free society with freedom of speech.

Don't like something someone says? Don't listen. Don't like something someone wrote? Don't read it. Don't want your child to read book X? DON'T LET THEM READ IT. But don't pull the book out of the library, school or public, so that other children who might want to read Book X, can't.

There are books in my daughters's school library, I'm sure that they aren't ready for. But other kids in that school are ready to read them. Why am I going to pull those books out simply to appease me and my thinking?

Every time a book is challenged or banned, I believe we lose a little bit of our freedom. That's why this matters.

Tomorrow, I plan to blog about challenged books that I've read and on Friday, I want to share a personal experience. Yes, I've experienced book banning at the school library level. And the experience has stayed with me to this day.

May the muses have freedom


Blogger N.J.Walters said...

Amen! May the muses have freedom!

7:25 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home