Banned Books Week begins nationally tomorrow (Saturday, September 26) and runs through Saturday, October 3. If you’re anything like the people I’ve announced this to in the past few months you’re probably wondering why there is a week celebrating the banning of books…Banned Books Week is actually a celebration of the freedom to read, not a week dedicated to those who wish to control what others read.
When I first heard of Banned Books Week I thought it was an old tradition, upheld so we wouldn’t forget how the beliefs of one could affect the masses. Color me surprised to find a map highlighting where books have been challenged to be banned across the country in 2007 – 2009!
When this literate little junkie dived further into what exactly BBW was she was even more surprised to see that many of her favorite books from the past ten years have been challenged and nearly banned! Had I known The Perks of Being A Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky, was being challenged somewhere I would’ve held a rally.
The American Library Association, bless their hearts, as well as many other organizations dedicated to our freedom to read, keep abreast of recent challenges and provide information to the schools, libraries and stores that are being challenged to help them make the best decision. According to the ALA:
“BBW celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them. After all, intellectual freedom can exist only where the freedom to express oneself and the freedom to choose what opinions and viewpoints to consume are both met.”
Ever the bookish types, Junkie 1 and Junkie 2 had unknowingly individually drawn up plans to celebrate BBW and then proposed them to each other! BBW has become a cause close to our hearts and we have decided to dedicate the next week to celebrating our freedom to read and providing our take on the banning of books and the proposed challenged materials and hopefully (even on our little blog) bring awareness to a cause thats often overlooked until it affects one personally.