“Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault. Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope. They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty. There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.”
― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
I stumbled across a list of “banned books” on the internet…somewhere, and as I was looking it over, I realized a lot of my favorites, books that changed my life, are on this list. They changed my life for the better, books didn’t corrupt me or lead me astray, they opened my eyes, made me more compassionate, more empathetic, more tolerant of people in the world. I’ve never read a book that made me a worse person, but I’ve certainly read ones that made me a better one.
Personally, I go to lists of banned books to find something to read when I’m not sure, so a lot of these I’ve read. A few, I’ve reviewed here for you. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman is on the ALA’s frequently challenged or banned books list for 2013-2014, and so is Looking for Alaska by John Green, both of which are wonderful books that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. There were others I’ve read on this list, but these two jumped out at me for being extraordinarily good books. You can go back and look at the lists from this and previous years along with the reasons the books were challenged and whether or not the school retained them. They also have a Banned Books Week you can support as well.
Banning books…that just…it just makes me mad. I’m putting a lid on the Rabbit Hole now, stepping down off my soapbox, and opening the floor for discussion.
Do you think the people who challenge these books have actually read them? Tell me about some of your favorite books. Did you parents ever stop you from reading something? What was it?
‘Til next time,