Friday, October 2, 2009
The Banned Books Week is coming to a close tomorrow, October 03, and I just can't help wishing for the time when we wouldn't have to celebrate this anymore. How long before we realize that there's no point in banning books? You can check out the highlights of BBW here.
Banning books, or censoring any form of material for that matter, is like forced lobotomy. I think no one has the right to impose his or her opinions on anyone. Banning or censoring books is just, excuse me, stupid.
I've only read 2 of the top 10 most frequently challenged books in the US -- Pullman's Dark Materials trilogy and the Gossip Girl books. Technically, that's 17 books (3 Pullman novels and 14 GG novels). The Dark Materials trilogy is brilliant, especially The Subtle Knife, the second book which is a personal favorite. The Gossip Girl books, on the other hand, are so shallow, inane, and populated with two-dimensional characters. Still, I don't think there could be any valid reason for banning them.
Banning books can also be ironic because it has the effect of calling more attention to the books being challenged. The most frequently challenged title is Tango Makes Three, a young adult novel about gay penguins. Misinformed people cite that the book is "anti-ethnic, anti-family, homosexuality, religious viewpoint, and unsuited to age group." How can this book be so threatening? If I see Tango Makes Three in our local bookstores, I think I'll get 10 copies and just spread them around.
Have you read any of these banned books? How do you feel about banning or challenging books, dear reader?