Monday, August 12, 2013

Banning Books: Why it's Stupid

Hello everyone! I was browsing my Pinterest (which you should check out because I think I'm funny) when I saw a list of 25 banned books. One of them happened to be Alice in Wonderland, which was banned in China because the "animals are scary".



There are so many things wrong with that, I don't even know where to start. Maybe how the animals aren't even that scary. Or the fact that just because SOME people are freaked out, doesn't mean you ruin it for everyone else.

Which brings me to my main problem with Banned books: you're stopping everyone from reading something just because a percentage (can be small, can be big) are too appalled by it.

Mark Twain (the best quote-person ever) once said "Censorship is telling a man he can't have steak just because a baby can't chew it".

Banning books just seems like something so simple to stop. Why are you denying people their natural right to read what they want?

If I want to read Fifty Shades of Grey (I don't) at 16-years-old, I will. If I want to read Are You There God, It's Me Margaret? at age 8 (and I did), I will. If a teacher wants to assign me to read Speak (a book about a girl who is raped) because of its fantastic message to speak up for yourself, then they should.

If it comes to people in school and of school-age, you can't protect us forever. Especially since we have the internet. I'm going to learn about sex, pregnancy, STDs, and other adult-stuff in the world. People who ban books are also banning open conversations that parents should be having with their teenagers. I'm fortunate enough to feel like I could talk to my parents about everything. And I get a lot of my questions from reading books that could be seen as "risque" (by which I mean YA books featuring off-the-page sex).

But if it comes to books of any age that happen to feature any other kind of risque material (sex, homosexuality, politics that aren't in agreement with the government, etc.), then I'm just like WHY?

What is so wrong with that stuff? If you really don't like that stuff or reading about it, then don't read it. Why stop other people from reading it? So what if I want to read a children's book about a same-sex family? Erie, Illinois should not be able to stop me.

And, even then, there can be some stuff about the book that is appalling to read. I read one on the Pinterest list that was banned in Germany because the author is Pro-Nazi. While being a Nazi is DEFINITELY not okay, books should still not be banned. Just don't read it and then, hopefully, the book will go out of print so you're not supporting a Nazi.

But yes, those are my thoughts. Tell me what you think in the comments here or on Facebook!



  1. I started reading Stephen King when I was 9. It was definately scary and he is responsible for my fear of clowns, but I have spent the rest of my life with my nose stuck in a book because my mom allowed me the freedom to choose what I wanted to read. She was thrilled with the fact that one of her kids wanted to read so much. I do agree somewhat with being a little picky about what young kids are reading but hey, if they pick up a book and want to read, I'm not going to stop them. Too many kids are so engrossed in video games and television. We're raising a generation of unimaginative kids. Books are responsible for teaching me many life lessons and showing me different points of views, teaching me history and giving me an education that I never got in school. I can't imagine a world where I couldn't pick up any book that I wanted and read it. It saddens me to think that one person could be responsible for banning a book that will be missed out on by millions because of that one persons opinion. If you don't like something, don't read it. But, certainly, don't ruin it for everyone else.

    1. I REALLY LIKE YOUR OPINION! And your fear of clowns is totally rational. They're creepy. -- Owyn the BBS Page

  2. When my daughter wondered why her best friend has two moms but she has a mom and a dad, there were kids books out there that helped us explain it to her, helped her understand that there are all kinds of families and they're all okay. (Our explanations, apparently, weren't enough, but throw in some penguins and it's all good! ;)) I know those books are some of the most challenged of picture books - but I really appreciate people who write books that can make potentially confusing topics clear for children. I wish I could tell all the authors who can do that how much I appreciate them. It's my job to teach my daughter about things, not to shy away from difficult topics, and I WILL - I do - try to teach her, but I also want her to look to the values of others and decide for herself what she believes. I want to teach her to weigh up what's out there and come to her own conclusions. I learned how to do that myself by picking up books that challenged me - and I hope she will do the same. I wish there had been more books like the ones she reads - or more available books, as the case may have been - when I was growing up! If any of you are reading it, any who have approached a difficult topic in a way kids can understand - thanks. Thank you so much. Know that for every time your book gets challenged, there are people out there who are so, so grateful that you can aid in addressing these topics. Particularly when kids get to an age when they no longer want to listen to parents, but might believe when presented with print! ;)

    P.S. - I live far from Colorado, but I LOVED the Boulder Book Store. It's definitely on my "must" list for all visits from now on. Here's to letting people make their own choices about what they read - whether they're 9 or 99!

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed visiting! And yes, I totally agree. All the "controversial" books I read when I was younger totally helped me develop more informed opinions. It is so awesome you are teaching your daughter this lesson! -- Owyn the BBS Page

  3. Anastasia Steele
    Ian Somerhalder has finally responded to rumors that he's a favorite to play this role in 50 shades movie

    1. I haven't read the book but I can honestly say that I kinda want that to happen -- Owyn Cooper

  4. The exact same thought when some schools (and even tertiary education) choose to not allow the browsing of facebook and youtube (and certain websites) at school. I was thinking, if we want to ban or restrict something, we shouldn't have invented it in the first place... which will be a great lost to revolution.
    If we want to throw the students into the real world safely, guide them on how to go through it. Sooner or later, they will have to deal with it themselves. Well, that is internet, leave alone something that is as humble as books.

    However, I should come to my important point - as you have said it yourself, certain books are banned in some countries. I think,it is nothing more than the fear of threatening ideas. The fear of loosing one's identity. The fear of being traumatized by violence.
    I'm not sure how, but as much as I want people to be allowed to get what they want, that is also the extend I want to protect people from getting confused.

    At one point, I was thinking, wouldn't it good if everyone is ideal whom I consider capable of differentiating ideas and take it as knowledge rather than being influenced.
    I really like the thought of letting people search, explore and encounter the truth about this world themselves rather than having a force who shield the fact. On a side note, I could understand the difference in acceptance of people to certain issue. Maybe because I come from different culture than you. ^^

    1. I really liked what you said about cultures, because that's a great point that I managed to neglect to mention in my post. Thank you for your comment! --Owyn the Intern

  5. Thank you for sharing this information this is very nice blog thank you for giving this info

    1. Thank you! And you're welcome! -- Owyn the Intern

  6. That GIF you added to the blog is driving me insane... I'm just sitting in class and I noticed everyone staring at my screen... Thanks >_>

    1. you're welcome ;) -- Owyn the Intern

  7. I am completely against banning books. I have always been an avid reader since I was a child and my mom would read me Dr. Seuss books. Reading was and still is my go to when I'm stressed, angry, sad, etc. Being able to slip into a different world is a great relief sometimes. Banning books such as Harry Potter, which happens to be one of my all time favorite series, is, in my opinion, doing more harm than good. There are certain books such as Speak that illustrate very sensitive topics, but it also teaches kids to speak up and show them that yes, things like rape happen, but you are not alone and speaking up and dealing with the problem is the right thing to do. There are many books where sensitive material is a worry. and yes, I understand maybe not offering books like speak in an elementary school library. Moderating is different than completely denying access to all parties involved. Children mature at different ages and they deal with different events in their lives. In my opinion, books taught me a good majority of what I know. Granted, yes some were assigned in school, but we learn about STDs in school but not how to protect ourselves from them because some kids parent doesn't want their child knowing about sex yet. Well, shielding kids from the real world doesn't do any good, actually, it tends to leave them unprepared and worse off than they would have been without the censorship. in short...banning books is bad.

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