As you may or may not be aware, the American Library Association's Banned Books Week is from September 25th to October 2nd this year. The short of the long of Banned Books Week is basically a national, week-long celebration of those books that have been challenged and/or successfully banned across the country. This year I'm working in conjunction with Steph Su over at Steph Su Reads who's hosting a Banned Books Reading Challenge. Once you sign up here, be sure to head on over to her site and join in the reading.
People are still challenging books in this day and age, you ask? Unfortunately, yes. See, there are people out there, small-minded people that feel the need to force their feelings about certain pieces of literature on others instead of just keeping it in the family. These people are usually adamant loud mouths that, chances are, have never read the books they're challenging.
Well, how can they not like a book they haven't read, you say? Easy. They hear things. They read blurbs. Their friends tell them. And because of this you get gems like Twilight landing on the most challenged books list due to it's sexually explicit content. I'll give you a moment with that one . . . no, I'm not kidding.
So these Nazis (yes, jackwagons, you're Nazis, see photo - )
(psst . . . those people aren't waving hi to each other . . .) feel that since their children shouldn't be reading these books, no one's children should be reading these books. And it's people like Ginny Maziarka that we can thank for the awesomeness that is Banned Books Week. Ginny, without people like you, we wouldn't have such fodder and then where would that leave us? We can only blame the first round of Nazis for so long before it gets old. But thanks to the likes of this second generation, the fodder is endless.
If you were hanging around my blog last year, you'll know that I took it upon myself to extend Banned Books Week into Banned Books Month with Ban This! There's just way too much fun to cram into one week. At least for me.
The thing is, this year my vacation spans half the month of September so I won't be around to pump my blog full of bigoted housewives on steroids. So what I'm doing this year is Mr. Linky-ing it up. If you're going to be posting anything about banned books in the month of September, add your blog to this list and be sure to spread the word. Considering the relative noobness of my blog last year, Ban This! turned out pretty good. I'd like to make it even better this year.
So call in your connections with authors and publishers, fellow bloggers and even yourself. Get those posts lined up now and let's flood the book blogging community with banned books love this September! And this year I even have a pretty little Ban This! button all ready and able for you guys to grab over in the sidebar! So get your reading caps on (as if they weren't already) and stuff it to those knobs that insist on attempting to take our books away.
American Library Association - Banned Books Week
Banned and Controversial Books
Banned Books Week
Banned Books Week ProclamationWHEREAS, the freedom to read is essential to our democracy, and reading is among our greatest freedoms; and
WHEREAS, privacy is essential to the exercise of that freedom, and the right to privacy is the right to open inquiry without having the subject of one's interest examined or scrutinized by others; and
WHEREAS, the freedom to read is protected by our Constitution; and
WHEREAS some individuals, groups, and public authorities work to remove or limit access to reading materials, to censor content in schools, to label "controversial" views, to distribute lists of "objectionable" books or authors, and to purge libraries of materials reflecting the diversity of society; and
WHEREAS, both governmental intimidation and the fear of censorship cause authors who seek to avoid controversy to practice self-censorship, thus limiting our access to new ideas; and
WHEREAS, every silencing of a heresy, every enforcement of an orthodoxy, diminishes the toughness and resilience of American society and leaves it less able to deal with controversy and difference; and
WHEREAS, Americans still favor free enterprise in ideas and expression, and can be trusted to exercise critical judgment, to recognize propaganda and misinformation, and to make their own decisions about what they read and believe, and to exercise the responsibilities that accompany this freedom; and
WHEREAS, intellectual freedom is essential to the preservation of a free society and a creative culture; and
WHEREAS, conformity limits the range and variety of inquiry and expression on which our democracy and our culture depend; and
WHEREAS, the American Library Association's Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read is observed during the last week of September each year as a reminder to Americans not to take their precious freedom for granted; and
WHEREAS, Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one's opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that Bites celebrates the American Library Association's Banned Books Week, September 25th to October 2nd, and be it further
RESOLVED, that Bites encourages all libraries and bookstores to acquire and make available materials representative of all the people in our society; and be it further
RESOLVED, that Bites encourages free people to read freely, now and forever.
Adopted by Donna at Bites