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.