It's Banned Books week! Normally I never manage to figure out when these things are, but this year but some dumb trick of luck I noticed-- and it's partly because I'm still running on fumes of red fury over Laurie Halse Anderson's book, Speak, being grossly misrepresented and slandered by a professor.
So, join me. Banned Books Week is September 25 - October 2, 2010. Here are four simple suggestions for celebrating.
1. Blog about it. And get a very handy and swanky badge for your blog (see mine over there to the right? See? It has classed up the blog, I tell you).
2. Read the books on the list. Not just this year's list either, but previous years, too. Don't be restricting my access to books, Man! (Or whoever tries). I'm going to read them anyway!
3. Think about the reasons behind each attempt or success at banning. The ALA has a PDF download of 2009's banned or challenged books, with explanations of who and why challenged them to give you more background. On the list is Hitler's Mein Kamf. It has been banned because there is fear it will "fuel support for far-right groups. The Bavarian
authorities reaffirmed a sixty-four-year-old ban on the book after the Munich-based Institute of Contemporary History, or IFZ, applied for permission to reprint the work." Do you agree with that? I can't really agree with the banning in principle, because it's banning, and yet--the book and its author are odious. But where is the line in getting rid of damaging or inciting material? Is there even a line? How do you feel about that? (Tell me in the comments!)
4. Support organizations that promote the right to read. Such as the The Freedom to Read Foundation or The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund or The American Civil Liberties Union.
Have any other suggestions?