This week the Hop is at Soon Remembered Tales.
This week's prompt is: Banned Books Week ends on the 6th. How do you feel about books being challenged to be banned from libraries or schools? Have you read any banned books?
I've been celebrating Banned Book Week all week and have already posted on why I think banning books is wrong. As part of Top Ten Tuesday I did an extra top ten list of my favorite banned books. I've also been posting reviews of the banned books that I've read this week (i.e., Catcher in the Rye and Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging). I'm currently reading A Prayer for Owen Meany and will hopefully have that finished and reviewed soon.
Instead, I'm going to talk about the importance of reading banned books all year round. Things like Banned Book Week, Women's History Month, Gay Pride Month, Black History Month, and the like raise awareness of people and issues that are important to keep in mind, certainly. But what good is it to just think about these things one week or month out of the year?
In order for society to move forward and to become a more equal place for all, we can't ignore things. We need to constantly be thinking about them and doing things to help. Books are banned or challenged all the time. If we aren't standing up to the people trying to remove them from the shelves, how can we expect this practice to stop? Similarly, if we only stop to think about an African-American inventor or a female doctor once a year, how do we expect discrimination and bigotry to end?
Push back against the banning of books. Read banned books as often as possible. Don't let this be a discussion that we have for only seven days out of the 365 that comprise a year. If someone is trying to ban a book at your school (or your child's school), get a counter-movement going. Tell that parent and the school board "No! You aren't going to take books out of my child's hand." Do what the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library did and donate free copies of a book that has been removed from the shelves in protest of that action. Don't just sit back and let an injustice happen. Speak out against it.
I look at the history of the United States and all of the protest movements that have led to more equality and freedom and I wonder what happened to that spirit of protest. Did we all just give in and say, "It's too hard to fight for what I believe in so I'm just going to let this happen?" Don't just let it happen. Be proactive. If people can be motivated to ban a book why can't people be motivated to keep it from being banned?
In short, stand up and fight for banned books. One week out of the year is not enough.