This is the last week of September, which means:
It’s Banned Books Week!
Banned Books Week is a week to assert our right as readers and writers to have voice and to engage with written work. It’s about celebrating our freedom to read.
“Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982 according to the American Library Association.” – bannedbooksweek.org
As readers, writers, poets, and story enthusiasts of all forms, we can come together this week to support each other.
Despite reading-related fears that drive groups to attempt to ban (and sometimes burn) books, we have discovered many ways that reading improves our world. For example, those who feel they are transported into the world of the story while reading have higher levels of empathy! Our world would be a far worse place without freedom of expression, without storytelling, and without books.
The Harry Potter series frequents banned book lists, with some articles calling them the “most banned books in America,” usually due to thematic content or suspicion that it might inspire witchcraft. The actual effect of reading the series, as we’ve discovered, is that Harry Potter readers are more tolerant and accepting towards minority groups. Can I get a “Heck yes!” for Harry Potter?
So let’s all celebrate the great effects reading has made on our own lives! Happy Banned Books week!