Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Banned Books Week 2010

Let me say it loud and clear, "I read banned books." You should too, and here's why. Imagine a world where you are not allowed to read the book you want simply because someone else has decided that you shouldn't. Every year hundreds of books are challenged worldwide; a few end up being banned under the guise of protecting readers.

There are various reasons why people seek to ban a book. These reasons include: violence, profanity, slang, descriptions of sexually explicit acts, nudity, and being unsuited for an age group. Surprisingly timeless classics are just as likely to be challenged as controversial contemporary titles. It seems that no book is safe from being challenged.

Launched in 1982, Banned Books Week (BBW) occurs annually during the last week of September. For 2010, the dates are September 25 - October 2. In order to focus on the benefits of free and open access to information and the potential problems of censorship, libraries and booksellers across America host events and create displays featuring challenged books. The books featured during BBW were all targets of possible banning at one time or another. Luckily, in most cases books are not actually banned.

We live in a country where books are available regardless of being controversial or unpopular. We enjoy open access to all kinds of information. To keep it that way, speak up for your favorite challenged title. Celebrate the freedom to read by picking up a challenged book today!

For more information about challenged books and Banned Books Week, visit the following sites:

For fun, check out the Huffington Post's List of 11 Most Surprising Banned Books, and don't forget to visit the BBW FaceBook page!

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