Book banning and unbanning

If you know me at all, you know how much I love God and books and food (and sleep and movies). I spend a significant portion of my income on books and food, and happily so.

I don’t really agree on book-banning, although I do joke from time to time about if I were in charge I would ban books like the Twilight series, but overall I disagree with book banning and most definitely book burning. It was such an odd sight to walk into a library and see a list of books that were challenged (there might have been some that were banned, but I honestly don’t remember, and I feel that I would remember such an injustice).

In today’s Houston Chronicle, there was an article about how a book written by Alexander Solzhenitsyn about the Russian gulag system during Communist times is no longer banned in Russia and now required reading to help the students further understand the  country’s history.

I’ve mentioned it before but I really do admire the Russian government for owning up to its past triumphs and not-so-wonderful moments. And this is just another example of this acknowledgement. And this is a part of history that needs to be talked about, just like internment camps, slavery, segregation, the civil rights movement, religious freedom, the civil war, etc. need to be truly talked about in American culture.

There are several books that were/are challenged or banned just simply baffle me as to why. For example, Huckleberry Fin, I understand about the choice of words are offensive in today’s society, but Mark Twain used his day’s vernacular, not exceedingly or excessive, but as it would have been used in his days. Instead of banning the book, we should use it as a conversation tool to discuss ethnicity, politics, morality, etc.  Another challenged book (or rather series) that astounds me is the Harry Potter series, yes there is magic and witches in the series, but it focuses on morality and issues that children go through as they become teens and young adults.

Although I was watching or reading something that talked about Charles Manson’s influences and he apparently made a quote that instead of banning Catcher in the Rye, society should have banned Penthouse, etc. that’s if they didn’t want to help create another him or him in the first place.

Interesting thoughts, don’t you think?

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