Sunday, September 25, 2011

Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week officially began yesterday, but we have all week to celebrate.

Because Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Library Association (among a host of others) and because Pasadena has ten libraries (counting the Central Library and nine branch libraries), this seems like the perfect week to visit some libraries here on the old blog.

It's also a good week to check out a banned book you've been meaning to read. The classics that have faced bans or challenges is a surprisingly varied reading list.

16 comments:

lewi14 said...

What a wonderful photo. It radiates an atmosphere of special calmness and peacefulness. And it would be a "Cockayne" for wife who loves books.

dive said...

Hoorah for libraries!
And a pox on censorship in a country that prides itself on free speech.
I'm happy that most of the books on that list are on my shelves.

Speedway said...

The list illustrates a comment made by your most recent guest author, Kay Mouradian, "... if you want to know the facts, read a newspaper, but if you want to know the truth, read a novel." Truth hurts, doesn't it?

Bellis said...

I guess all the banned books are behind that gate?

Our English teacher told us 13-year-olds not to check out the library's copy of "Keep the Aspidistra Flying" by George Orwell. Of course, this spurred us all to read it as soon as possible.

Michael Coppess said...

Read Grapes of Wrath checked out from this very library.

Petrea Burchard said...

Hi Steffen, nice to see you. I think you mean it would be addictive and you're right.

Well said, Dive. (Some people who call themselves Americans need to take another look at the Constitution.) I've read most of the books on the list, too. I should take a count and do a percentage. It's more than half but probably not 80%, so I have a pleasant task before me.

Well spotted, Speedway! Kay will be pleased you remembered.

Bellis, the gate will only keep you from flying out over the stairwell.
The best way to get kids to read something is to tell them not to.

For "The Grapes of Wrath," Michael, I'd reference Speedway's "The truth hurts."

John Sandel said...

One reason to keep killing trees is that it's harder to ban a physical book—an e-book you can just turn off (or destroy from a central location with an electromagnetic pulse).

Speedway said...

Also, the fewer people who know how to read and write, it's even easier manage your message: fewer people to assert their own opinions via print, because they only know how to "text."

Years ago,late 80's I think, I had the opportunity to use one of the first digital cameras. While appreciating the e-advance, I asked what would happen once our news all came from one e-source, "what if somebody pulled the plug?" The response? "Aw, that'd never happen." While the web has fostered a proliferation of info sources, we all know they can be traced and shut down.

Ms M said...

Your post is a good reminder of how important free speech is.

TheChieftess said...

Fascinating list!!! I've read a fair amount as well!!! For a nation that is based on free speech...many have developed such this skins!!! If it's even minutely offensive to even one person, it seems it's banned or challenged...

Susan Campisi said...

That is an eclectic list. I'm glad I've read most of the books as well. Now I want to read them all again and delve into the ones I haven't yet read. Did you see the censorship map? http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/mappingcensorship
I'm surprised by how many challenges are in the northeast.

Steve Scauzillo said...

It's a critique on our society that we need to even have a "banned books week." But I get it. Here's to books!

Petrea Burchard said...

Such great comments, everyone making good point after good point. Susan, as for that map, all I can say is way to go, New Mexico and Utah! Utah?

Julie said...

According to that list, the city I grew up in was the only place to ban Catch-22. Luckily, by the time I got to high school it was required reading. Funny how things work out.

I think I'll end tonight with a glass of wine and a socially controversial book.

Latino Heritage said...

Hats off to the librarians who make sure that the books on the list remain available. They can be a gutsy lot.

Petrea Burchard said...

Julie, you've got the spirit.

Agreed, Roberta. I don't know what we'd do without them.