Well, this week has been REALLY hard at our house. I got sick. Really sick. So, we didn’t get to do anything for banned book week. However, I couldn’t let it pass TOTALLY unobserved. I feel strongly against banning books.
Books are powerful. It is why they captivate us, motivate us, and terrify those among us that fear the people being captivated and motivated.
The words in a book can uplift your soul, or crush it. They can make you laugh or they can make you cry. They can move you like no movie ever made will be able to move you. The characters in a book can become your closest friends, your worst enemies, a mirror into yourself. In the hands of the open minded, books can change the future.
I am a bibliophile. That means all books, the good, the bad and the ugly. There are no books that I wished I hadn’t read. Each and every book I’ve read has had something redeeming about it. SOMETHING. (okay, there was that one I didn’t finish because the author used the word “till” as in “she sat there till the man left.” and I just couldn’t take it. A till has to do with MONEY not a span of time. Webster’s dictionary is NOT the say all end all of what is an acceptable word. Although, I did learn that there is a way to get me to not finish a book.) My kids are and will continue to be allowed to read whatever books they want to read. If I think one is a bit adult for them, I will tell them. If they still want to read it, they will be allowed, and they will be expected to ask questions about anything they don’t understand. They will get answers. Real answers. Hard answers. Awkward answers. That is my job. To be there to help them understand this world better. -NOT to shelter them from it.
I would rather them learn from the life experiences of fictional people. I would rather them cry tears of pain and sorrow for people they don’t know. I would rather them learn about hatred and abuse from the pages of a book, than from their friends. I would rather them learn about sex in between the covers of the book than in between the covers of the bed. They will experience it all in time… why not let them have the training wheels of a fake universe at the beginning?
So why are so many people insisting on keeping books out of the hands of people that they don’t know? If you want to keep your own children from reading something, that is your choice, and that choice is your right, but you do not get to choose for my children, or for me. That is that. This view point will never change. I will never be thankful for a parent watchdog that saw the word “damn” in a book and took out a black marker. I will never be thankful for petitions going around to remove a book because it has a sex scene in it. I will never be thankful for having someone else tell me what I should or shouldn’t be allowing my children to read. I will always fight it. I will always be loud about it and I will never stand down. You have my word. Actually, you will probably get a few of them.