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The Freedom to Read

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:

  1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  2. The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
  3. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  5. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  6. Ulysses by James Joyce
  7. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  8. The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  9. 1984 by George Orwell
  10. 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?)



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I've only read three! I just read this headline: Charlton Public Library lifted the 1906 ban last week of “Eve’s Diary”, Twain’s satirical version of the Adam and Eve story" the other day and thought...really! In 2011! Off to read that list.


Me too! Could never bring myeself to read Lolita.

Have you heard the Audible unabridged Great Gatsby? It is wonderful. Did I read somewhere Leonardo Da Capprio was going to play him in a remake?


I find it hard to believe that there are books that are still banned!
I've read 2 on the list. Catcher in the Rye was in high school some 30 odd years ago. Our young teacher "suggested" that we not tell our parents what we were reading because they might be upset. We of course went along with her because we loved her and also wanted to be rebels!


I've read them all except Ulysses. Really - ugh. Years ago I did a display at the library for banned books week and I put all of our copies of books that have been banned into a jail that I made from a bookshelf and some construction paper. It was pretty cool and generated a lot of interest.


Just call me Fahrenheit 451!! I guess I have a read a few banned biggies myself (or attempted to ::groan::).


Everyone should read all the books on the banned list (well, except Ulysses). They're all very well written, provocative (in that they stimulate the mind), and well worth the time.


I've only read six on the list - the only one I haven't read but would like to is Grapes of Wrath. But I've probably read The Great Gatsby ten times, maybe that counts?!


I have read them all except Ulysses (no surprise there). Lolita was my choice for book club about a year ago. Only 1 or 2 people out of 9 showed up. They may not ban books but they won't read them.


I've read 6 - and none of them was Ulysses - I don't think I'll ever read that!

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