Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Banned Books Week

What I'm reading: Ghosts and Roses, by Kelley St. John

What I'm writing: Chapter 28

We're in the middle of Banned Books Week, as evidenced by my quotes of the day.

The trouble with censorship is that once it starts it is hard to stop. Just about every book contains something that someone objects to.
~Studs Terkel

A Texas town has banned the Harry Potter books because they glorify magic, and learning to read.
~Craig Kilborn

There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.
~Joseph Brodsky

Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read is observed during the last week of September each year. Observed since 1982, this annual ALA event reminds Americans not to take this precious democratic freedom for granted. This year, 2008, marks BBW's 27th anniversary (September 27 through October 4). For more, click here (and please do. It's an informative, interesting, and perhaps unsettling article). And there's more here.

When I was it high school, it was Tropic of Cancer, Tropic of Capricorn, and Lady Chatterley's Lover that were making the headlines. I wonder how many of the books I've been reading lately (heck, even the ones I've written) would fare by those standards.


Jane Richardson, writer said...

Well done for raising this issue, Terry. It's unquestionably important, especially in a week where the UK has seen the fire-bombing of a publisher's office because of a book someone deems 'unsuitable.' We should never, ever forget that freedom is speech is a basic right, and the quote 'if we don't support it for someone we despise, then we don't support it at all' sums it up. Let's hope we keep these issues in mind when we pass opinion, cast a vote, etc. Don't let narrow-mindedness get in the way of freedom of speech. :)

Terry Odell said...

Well put, Jane. Thanks for coming by.

Mary Quast said...

My boys and the youth group at my church are reading banned books this week to celebrate the freedom to read (and write).

Ray said...

Book banning give me nightmares. It shows a lack of respect for others. Thugs tore campaign posters from my lawn and then tore down and ripped up the replacements. To me that is a source of censorship as evil as book burning.

When books are banned for containing "inappropriate content" it is usually because it excites the censors and not the readers.

I recall a movie in which the town fathers were sitting in a smoke filled basement watching 8mm porn movies discussing how terrible it would be to allow these movies to be shown to the public.


Monday burn Millay, Wednesday Whitman, Friday Faulkner, burn 'em to ashes, then burn the ashes. That's our official slogan.
~Ray Bradbury Fahrenheit 451~