We are in the midst of a very special week! Yes, my friends, it's Banned Books Week!
Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment. Held each year during the last week in September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information, while highlighting the harm of censorship --- even when the information and ideas might be unpopular or . . . difficult. Banned Books Week is all about the importance of ensuring the availability of unorthodox - and unpopular - viewpoints for any and all who wish to read them.
Banned Books Week teaches about the danger of imposing restraints on the availability of information in a free society.
As an avid reader (of both contemporary fiction and the classics), I'm always interested in seeing how many banned books I have read! Here is a list of the most frequently challenged classics:
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
- The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- The Color Purple by Alice Walker
- Ulysses by James Joyce
- Beloved by Toni Morrison
- The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
- 1984 by George Orwell
- Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
As for me, I've read 9 of the 10 books listed above.** I'm grateful that, at some point in the future, I'll be able to read the 10th (Lolita) if I so choose!
Celebrate Banned Books Week. Check out the website for more information. Go to your library or bookstore. Grab a banned book -- and enjoy the freedom to read!
** Truth be told, I struggled with Ulysses. Really struggled. I didn't read all of it. (Really. . . has anyone?)