What is so important about the last week of September? No, it isn’t because National Crush a Can Day or National Chocolate Milk Day are on September 27. Though both of these days are important, the last week of September is Banned Book Week in the United States. Banned Book Week is a week-long celebration of the book community’s freedom to read. During this week libraries, authors, publishers, bibliophiles, and booksellers join together to push people to read books that have either been banned or challenged throughout the US.
Who challenges books and on what grounds?
Books are challenged by people or groups based on the opinions of the people or the group. Their objections consist of sexual content, explicit language, and/or violence (to name a few). To challenge a book means a person or group tries to restrict access to the book.
A banned book is a book that has been removed from the shelves of the library or bookstores because the challenges against the content of the book are numerous.
Thankfully, most challenges do not get reported because librarians, students, parents, and other bibliophiles fight the challenge because restricting access to books goes against our First Amendment rights. For more information on Banned Book Week, please visit the Office of Intellectual Freedom of the American Library Association.
What I’m reading for Banned Book Week
For 2015, I am reading The Cather in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. It has been one of the most censored books because of vulgar language, blasphemy, sexual interactions, underage drinking and smoking. I am also reading it again because I quit reading it in high school when it was assigned to me to read. Please see my book review in which I compare my feelings of the book when I read it, or what little of it I read, in high school to how I feel now when reading it as an adult nearly 20 years after my high school teacher assigned it to read.
What banned or challenged book do you plan to read for Banned Book Week, and why do you want to read it? Please tell me in the comments below.