The last week of September has been designated as Banned Books Week since 1982. I don't think it's an off-base assumption that the forum members here are tremendously interested in acquiring and reading all kinds of books.
I thought I'd share with you a story I wrote down in my journal from way back in September 2004. Hopefully it isn't too long or "bloggish". Just some food for thought.
I was a university student back then, and there was a Barnes and Noble within walking distance. When I had a couple hours in between classes, I would go over there to my "native habitat" to soak up some of the bookishness. As many bookstores do around Banned Books Week, Barnes & Noble set up a table with various banned books.
I owned a bunch of books that were on the table, but I didn't know why a lot of them were banned. I was perusing a book called *100 Banned Books: Censorship Histories of World Literature*, when a middle age man, well-dressed in a suit starts a conversation with me. He wants to know the reason behind why these books are banned. I said that some are banned for social, political, or religious reasons. So he gets into this groove about why on Earth *The Red Badge of Courage* would be banned, and then goes on to say, "Now you may not agree with me on this but..."
And then he's disagrees with elementary schools having books in their library like *Billy Has Two Mommies.* I wish I were quicker to the mark when debates suddenly present themselves. I was just there to enjoy myself. I'm not sure what he wanted me to respond to. I was more worried at that time that kids were getting out of school not being ABLE to read AT ALL, and he's worried about *Billy has Two Mommies*.
Ultimately, what I did was hand over the copy of *100 Banned Books* I was thumbing through when he started talking. I said that might explain it for him. You know what? He took it, and walked away! I presume he bought it. I just thought it was ironic that this man randomly initiated a very political conversation, and bought the book I couldn't afford at the time. I hope he got something out of it.
Anyway, let's all take a few minutes (or a whole week) to be glad that we can read.