Banned Books Week — 2011

September 24th through October 1st has been designated “Banned Books Week” by the American Library Association and the American Booksellers Foundation for Freedom of Expression. Every year, ever since 1982, these two organizations publish a list of the books that account for the most attempts to somehow ban or restrict them the previous year.

Now, the question is, why is that something this blog should care about?

Well, for one thing, as a writer, it behooves me to defend my fellow writers from this assault not only on their own livelihoods but also against the majority who either don’t care or even support the ideas and issues exemplified in the books a few want banned. I feel it is a writer’s job (and any other creative person) to explore ideas that some people want kept hidden. This is more than just professional, its personal: I know many people in the writing and creative field (this applies not just to books but also to comics, movies, TV shows, you name it) and this affects them, as well.

But more importantly, what is involved is the restriction of the flow of information, which is a major concern of mine and one of the reasons for writing this blog.

And lastly, it is because of the subject of this blog. By and large, such banned books are often occult related, whether fictional (“Twilight”) or factual, and in some locations, even the actual subject of the blog, hypnosis, what with the stereotypes involved, is a subject of the supernatural.

And the above doesn’t even account the “unofficial” banning that takes place when people check out books from the library with the intent of destroying them or simply keeping them.

If should be noted that one of the perennial banned books is “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley, which is about a dystopian future where the population is, among other things, conditioned from the womb into their designated roles in life.

So: read a banned book this week! If may even something from the Collection.


Update:

The following books are from the 2010 list of most frequently challenged books in the United States, according to the American Library Association:

1) And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson

2) The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie

3) Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley

4) Crank, by Ellen Hopkins

5) The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins

6) Lush, by Natasha Friend

7) What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones

8) Nickel and Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich

9) Revolutionary Voices, edited by Amy Sonnie

10) Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer


Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Booksellers Association; American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression; the American Library Association; American Society of Journalists and Authors; Association of American Publishers; the National Association of College Stores; the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund; National Coalition Against Censorship; National Council of Teachers of English; and PEN American Center.

Updated: September 29, 2011

Updated to add the most recent list of most challenged books.

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