Banned Books

October 6, 2006 at 7:45 am 30 comments

I really need to get out more. My friend Mert called to chat about the “banned books” table at his library last week. BANNED books? Banned book week? The last time I was involved with anything using the term “banned books” I wasn’t talking about it with my happy voice.

Apparently, the American Library Association has been sponsoring banned book week the last week of every September since 1982 as a reminder of our right to read. The right of free speech extends to books and people have the right to express their opinion for others to read, even if its offensive or controversial. Clever of the ALA to adopt an “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” attitude to combat the narrow mindedness of people who actually think books should be banned. Once my book gets published, I hope some group does try to get it banned or censored, it may be the only way I get to a front table in the library or book store! But I digress…

The books on the list aren’t actually banned, they represent books somebody TRIED to ban. And if I’m the only goof ball on the planet that wasn’t informed about this program, accept my apology now for boring you with this post. But, I couldn’t believe some of the titles on this list!
If I wasn’t so technologically challenged, I’d give you a link, but you can see it at the ALA’s website by searching “banned book week”. Anyway…

The books – Catcher in the Rye, The Color Purple, Cujo! My goodness, do none of these people who want to ban books read? The Harry Potter Series – trying to ban that is just criminal. I don’t care what the subject was, it got children reading again, including two of mine. I know Why the Caged Bird Sings, The Bluest Eye, Lord of the Flies??? The Handmaid’s Tale, Flowers for Algernon, James and the Giant Peach, Where’s Waldo. That’s just a few. There are 100 on the list.

People who try to censor things really tick me off. What kind of a narrow mind does it take to assume you know best for all people?


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30 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Catch  |  October 6, 2006 at 9:15 am

    I have a sisiterinlaw who is probably on that banned book committee…..shes one of those people who has to feel important…she loves to run things….I wish my brother would buy her a small country and ship her off to it. I am here today via Dr John, the Chairman of the Board of The University of Theology, College of Blogging. Im working on another degree, before you know it Im gonna be smarter than him.

  • 2. Ordinary Janet  |  October 6, 2006 at 9:20 am

    What on earth is it about Where’s Waldo? that earns it a ban (or ban attempt)?

    I think that some people object to things that only they think are offensive. Some people might be trying to get a book banned so that they get in the news and get their 15 minutes of fame. Some people are just plain ignorant. Some people like making things difficult for the rest of us. It could be anything. I wish the Founding Fathers had listed “Freedom of Thought” right after “Freedom of Speech”.

  • 3. bazza27  |  October 6, 2006 at 10:20 am

    Can’t say anything I’ve been banned. Dr John sent me.

  • 4. Stacy  |  October 6, 2006 at 10:34 am

    Grrr! If you don’t want to read it or don’t want your kids to read it…JUST DON’T BUY/OPEN THE BOOK…but let me decide if I want me and mine to read it.

    I stop by anyway, but today I’m here from Dr. John’s.

  • 5. Hayden  |  October 6, 2006 at 10:37 am

    I once set out to read every book on a banned list. Wonderful books, everyone of them that I got to before my attention wandered. It was a great project, maybe I’ll start it up again when I finish school.

    There was a fabulous book out about 10 years ago called “Girls Lean Back Everywhere” an allusion to the scene that got one book banned – I think it was Joyce’s Ulysses. The book told the story of authors and publishers who had been banned – the criminal part is thinking of all of the amazing literature that didn’t get written while authors spent years struggling to fight the charges, stay out of jail, and make a living.

  • 6. Kat Campbell  |  October 6, 2006 at 11:19 am

    Hi Catch – I think we all have a relative like that. I’m certain my oldest sister led the charge on Harry Potter. Shame on them.

    Janet – I wanted to know the same thing, but I couldn’t find any information on why certain people wanted specific books banned.

    Bazza27 – Funny, but nobody’s banned on this blog! I’m the free speach poster queen.

    Hi Stacy! I agree with you, jeez, it’s easy enough not to buy it!

    Haden, that’s shocking! I grew up Baptist, we used to wait for pastor to announce the books he found “garbage” and then run immediately out and buy them. When will people learn the surest way to encourage someone to do something is to tell them they can’t, or must’nt!

  • 7. Lori's Minute  |  October 6, 2006 at 11:30 am

    I am surprised by the list. If I were to ban books it would be the ones that tell people how to kill others…..who writes a book like that????

    Sent by Dr. John, a guy who has too much time on his hands and thinks the rest of us do, too (just kidding…we love going to his link picks!).

  • 8. Kat Campbell  |  October 6, 2006 at 11:49 am

    Hi Lori! Radical me, I’d even defend an authors right to write books about killing people. That Dr. John just rocks, doesn’t he?

  • 9. The Rev. Dr. Kate  |  October 6, 2006 at 12:08 pm


  • 10. Mimi  |  October 6, 2006 at 12:09 pm

    Our world unfortunatley has an overabundance of narrowminded people. It makes me really angry. But I guess it keeps the rest of us on our toes.

  • 11. Sunflower Optimism  |  October 6, 2006 at 12:28 pm

    Kat, you’re a Dr. John link? Woohoo! Way to go! I’ll have to go check, not enough time, but I do sneak a break now and then.

    As for the books – what is happening to us? Catcher in The Rye was traditional HS fare, at least in my HS, as was Flowers for Algernon; my kids both read The Color Purple in school – wonders they haven’t banned Romeo & Juliet! (or have they???) Unbelievable.

  • 12. Cindra Jo  |  October 6, 2006 at 12:30 pm

    These lists are insane. I’m here via Dr. John. Glad you looked at the list…we need to pay attention to all the idiots…lest they take over the world.

  • 13. Chana  |  October 6, 2006 at 1:32 pm

    how absolutely silly some of the decisions made..and yet we any child can get his hands on how to build a bomb and such…grr…

    here via dr.John’s marathon..

  • 14. Kat Campbell  |  October 6, 2006 at 1:35 pm

    Hi Dr. Kate! Thanks for coming by.

    Mimi – You’re right, there’s no time for apathy in this world right now, people can be ridiculous! You have a beautiful blog by the way!

    Sunflower – I know! Nobody was more surprised than me, he’s such a peach.

    Cindra Joe – How nice that you came to visit! You could have knocked me over with a feather at some of the titles on that list!

    I hope everyone stops back, I’m not always being a radical!

  • 15. patsy  |  October 6, 2006 at 2:04 pm

    most books that were banned were for religious reason. could you imigian what would happen if jerry farwell and pat robertson were to get a larger foot hold in washington D.C.

  • 16. Cuppojoe  |  October 6, 2006 at 2:18 pm

    I’ll start by saying that I am a Christian. Now, many books have been banned, or the attempt has been made, thanks to Christians and Christian groups who feel that the material will cause people to fall away from God.

    I have to wonder, though… How weak is your faith if you think a book can do that?

    Just stopping by on the Dr. John Marathon… Have a great day!

  • 17. Kat Campbell  |  October 6, 2006 at 2:56 pm

    Patsy and CuppoJoe- What a scary thought, if we Christians were permitted to ban heretical books, it would open the door to the atheists to ban the Bible. Censorship of any kind is wrong. You’re right Joe, how strong is your faith if a book can lead you away?

    Thanks to you both for coming by, I hope you’ll visit again.

  • 18. Sam Vern Hoot 'n' Nanny  |  October 6, 2006 at 4:52 pm

    It’s a good thing books really can’t be banned, isn’t it Anton?
    Definately, I’m sure my book of death would make the list.

  • 19. Jackie's Garden  |  October 6, 2006 at 7:57 pm

    Banned books???? What next??? They’ll want to pile them all in the middle of the street and start them on fire- like days of old!!I suppose there will always be people like that – thank God for the opposite voice that makes itself heard.

  • 20. Smythe  |  October 6, 2006 at 8:58 pm

    Well, its been a long time since I have heard the term “banned books’ as well–makes me mad as hell–dr. john sent me.

  • 21. Margaret  |  October 6, 2006 at 9:38 pm

    The Color Purple? Lord of the Flies? James and the Peach? Goodness! That’s terrible.


    (Stopping by via Dr. John)

  • 22. Velvet Sacks  |  October 6, 2006 at 10:56 pm

    Hey, wait a minute! Those are some of my favorite books! I wonder if I could get away with blaming them for any brief moral lapses I may have experienced in my life. It wasn’t poor judgment, it was the books, don’t you see?

    By the way, Dr. John didn’t send me. Do you think he’ll still give me points for mentioning his name?

  • 23. Kat Campbell  |  October 6, 2006 at 11:10 pm

    Jackie – I know! I was shocked that there were still people out there trying to ban things.

    Welcome Smythe! I hope you’ll come back even without points.

    Margie – I’m still puzzling over what poor Waldo did to get himself banned. Thanks for coming by!

    Hi Velvet! I’ll put in a good word for you with Dr. John, you can have honorary points!

  • 24. Gingers Mom  |  October 6, 2006 at 11:52 pm

    I think books should be available for us all to make our own judgements about. Choosing which books your kids read is a parent’s choice.

    Dr. John sent me.

  • 25. QuillDancer  |  October 7, 2006 at 1:47 am

    I am just pausing to bowse the book titles before I continue jogging in the Dr. John Marathon. I truly resent people trying to make up my mind for me. I am so glad that the folks attempting to ban books are treated as a joke — and I fear the day they won’t be.

  • 26. Dr.John  |  October 7, 2006 at 6:41 am

    Your right having someone try to ban your book increases sales and gets you seen. This is a funny country. freedom to read but the freedom also to try to keep people from reading.

  • 27. Kat Campbell  |  October 7, 2006 at 9:23 am

    GM – thanks for dropping by, you are right, it’s a parents right to determine when certain books are appropriate for their kids.

    Quilly – Did that list completely blow your mind? Most of my favorite books are on it. I must be an infidel.

    Nice to see you Dr. John! There’s not ever an issue that doesn’t have groups of people standing on both sides of it. Comes with the right to free speech I guess.

  • 28. Ordinary Janet  |  October 7, 2006 at 9:48 am

    This got me thinking, and I’m going to read Fahrenheit 451 (I’ve seen the movie but haven’t read the book) -it sounds a lot like what could happen if we sit by while books are banned.

  • 29. Kat Campbell  |  October 7, 2006 at 12:15 pm

    I need to read it too, Janet. I feel like things are slipping by me, and that is unacceptable.

  • 30. MERT12345  |  October 12, 2006 at 12:47 pm

    Wow ! So cool to see so many open minded cool people! I was shocked and laughed I just cant even imagine that even such a thing could go on anymore but oh well i guess I still have alot of things to learn. Great to see all the new ones dropping by!


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