This week is . . .you guessed it. . . Banned Books Week! (What gave it away? Was it the post title? Poll time.) What does that mean? Well it means that lots of people are celebrating the "freedom to read" by reading a banned book.
This week does NOT celebrate the banning of books. If it did I wouldn't be taking part. Every author, librarian, and teacher I have heard speak on this subject is against book banning. I am too. Not only do I think book banning violates the first amendment, I also think it is counterproductive and a monumental waste of resources.
Think about it: If, instead of trying to get a book banned, a book-banner put all that effort, time, and money into getting a book they liked promoted, everyone would be happier. Say instead of shouting from the rooftops (and local newspapers) "Don't read Book X!" they shout "Read Book Y!" Then instead of the librarian being in fighting stance, the librarian is on their side. Instead of people reading Book X to see what all the fuss is about, they're reading Book Y for the same reason. Instead of sounding anti-constitutional, they sound pro-education. No one will have time to read Book X because they're all reading Book Y. People are picketing the library with signs that say "Bring author Y here!" "We want author Y!" It's like a librarian's and an author's and an educator's and a parent's dream! Good books for all! Just ignore the ones you don't like. Stop worrying about protecting the community from bad books -- show them a good book and help them love it!
Yay, books! Good books for all!
A video via Bookshelves of Doom