Posted by: victanguera | September 27, 2011

Banned Books Week

I learned to read at such a young age that it isn’t even part of my conscious memory. As a really little girl (under three), I’d go to the library with my mom. She’d plunk me down in the children’s section while she went off to look for books. I can remember pulling books off the shelf and reading them while I waited for her. And yes, I read them, not just looked at the pictures.

As I grew older, my mom’s trips to the library didn’t diminish. At eleven or twelve, I’d read the books in her library stack once she read them (or possibly before). I read enough to think Harlequins were all the same, that I loved James Bond, and solidify an intense, deep love for books. And also the knowledge that any book was mine to read. No censorship. No imaginary line between children’s books and adult books. That never existed for me. I read David Copperfield by the time I was eleven, most Jane Austin, all of Ian Fleming, a selection of Heinlein.

Now I’m appalled to see how many of my favourite books make the banned book list. Like really, what are people thinking? Why is it that we determine how and what others can read, and by extension think.

So in honour of my (and your) ability to think, go read a banned book. And this is a great week to do so.

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Responses

  1. Great post/testimony. It perfectly reflects the importance of literacy in children.

  2. Thanks. Books have always been a large portion of my life, and I think everyone should be allowed the joy of reading. What they want, when they want, how they want. Kids have an amazing capacity to not notice things they don’t understand. And an amazing capacity to assimilate and get to the heart of things that are within their grasp. Often much more so than adults are willing to give them credit for.

    I also think we should allow kids to go play outside without constantly watching over their shoulder, but that’s another rant.

  3. I was raised by librarians, so I was raised with the idea that all books should be available to everybody (with parents having some discretion over what they children encounter when, of course — and with the sure knowledge that children will get into things that they aren’t supposed to).


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