Saturday, September 24, 2011

Come read some unwholesome books

It's national Banned Books Week this week (Sept. 24-Oct. 1) and if you come to the public library, you will be able to see a lovely display in our entry featuring the kind of immoral, smutty, dangerous reading material that libraries are notorious for providing:
  • The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
  • Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh
  • Animal Farm, by George Orwell
  • The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner
  • To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
  • Ulysses, by James Joyce
  • The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston
  • The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
  • Native Son, by Richard Wright
This might sound like the required reading list you remember from high school (perhaps not Ulysses... that's a bit of an undertaking for a 17-year-old).  But in fact, each of these titles has been challenged somewhere in the United States by angry parents, taken off library shelves or even - in the case of The Lord of the Rings - been burned. 
Librarians believe that your constitutional right to free speech also includes a right to information, and that the best way to protect that right is to exercise it.  So this week, exercise your right to read!

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