Parents, Please Keep Banning Books

Doctor who - books best weapons in the world

If you ask me, books are the greatest invention in the world! I can’t think of a better way to unwind from a long day than curling up with a good book. When people tell me they don’t like reading, I’m genuinely confused. That’s like saying you don’t like food. Sure, you may not like certain foods, but you taste things here and there to see what you like and don’t like. I mean if you can dream it, it’s probably been written about. Every topic, every theme, every character, every subject. The varieties of books are endless! If you don’t like reading, you just haven’t found something you like yet.

Now taking into account how much I love books and reading, I bet you can imagine how I feel about banning books. Spoiler: I think it’s ridiculous. I just do not understand it. So you don’t like the content in a book. It makes you uncomfortable. You know what you do? Don’t read it! Don’t buy the book!

And it’s always parents trying to ban books because the topic is “taboo”. I don’t want to be judgmental but I know exactly what type of people these parents are. They are the same family who give out floss and toothbrushes on Halloween. Translation: They are fun suckers. They suck all the fun out of life.

“If my children read about S-E-X (said in a hissy whisper) and drug use, they’ll drop out of school, become prostitutes, and never make anything of their lives!” Cause naturally that’s how these things work. Those bookworms; degenerates of society. But here’s a question: Are you just too lazy to discuss things like sex and drugs and mental illness to your children? These are serious real world issues and almost everyone will deal with at least one, if not all, in their lifetime. Do you think by banning a book that has the gall to talk about masturbation you will somehow guard your child? “If they don’t read it, they’ll never know what it is!”

And I realize these are all rhetorical questions. I doubt anyone reading this is the type to ban books. If you are a book banner, we can’t be friends. Sorry, but I already don’t like you.

However, after all that rambling and bitching about people who ban books, I have to say I somewhat support it. Parents, keep banning books. Do you know what you’re doing when you challenge a book and proclaim that young kids shouldn’t be reading it? You’re making it enticing. Explicitly tell a young person they can’t do something and they’ll want to do that exact thing you said they shouldn’t do. So ban more books so people will have more books they have to read, even if it’s just to piss off their parents.The best way to ensure a teenager will do something is by forbidding them to do it.

In honor of Banned Books Week and because I’m a rebel without a cause, here are some of my favorite books that are challenged often in America.

As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner – You have a very serious subject (the death of a mother) and you try to throw in some humor? For shame!

Forever by Judy Blume – The main characters do “it”. And they are only teenagers! Again, for shame!

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood – Woah, woah, woah. A society that oppresses women and strips them of all their rights? Where did Margaret Atwood come up with such a far-fetched idea?

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling – Witchcraft! Have you ever seen the documentary Jesus Camp? When it’s declared that Harry Potter should be burned at the stake, I didn’t know whether I should be laughing hysterically or be completely terrified?

1984 by George Orwell – A book about a future where people are watched and controlled every second. Can’t have that! Let’s control the masses and make sure they don’t ever read this book. Makes sense.

So, you little rebel readers*, what’s your favorite frequently banned book?

*From here on out Rebel Readers will be the unofficial name for all those who read my blog!

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28 comments

  1. My dad once tore my “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” into half, after I had refused to put it down and he caught me reading it in the torchlight late at night! 😛
    I had cried my eyes out.
    However, today am well versed with all the seven parts. Am a victim and I have survived the holocaust 😛
    P.s. : Sidney Sheldon deserves a mention too! Lol

  2. “If you don’t like reading, you just haven’t found something you like yet.” YES, YES, YESSSSS!! I don’t know how many times I have said this to those weirdly weird people who claim they don’t like to read (my *cough* sister *cough* being one of them). I just don’t understand! And you know how I feel about the banning of said books. Utterly preposterous! I definitely had to laugh when you mentioned those fun-sucking parents. Because that is exactly what they are: big, huge, fun-suckers. I understand that they want to protect their children from any harm or things that could possibly be an bad influence, but not allowing them to read Captain Underpants (which is amazing by the way) won’t do any good. In fact, by not allowing them to express their interests and creativity through books, these fun-suckers are sucking more than fun from their children’s lives; they’re taking away opportunities to learn and grow and develop as a child. Boo to that!

    1. So true! I would never dictate what my kids can and cannot read. If I don’t like a subject or think something is problematic, I’d still let them read it but then we would have a little talk about the book. I’ve never read Captain Underpants but it sounds like a fun book. Who would ban that!?

  3. Fantastic post, as per usual 🙂 I read Handmaid’s Tale in college and loved it (even though it terrified me). Other favorites on the banned list: Hunger Games and Catcher in the Rye (and I’m sure many others I can’t think of right now).

    By the way, you may be amused/utterly horrified by this piece about a mom who is rewriting Harry Potter so it’s Christianized enough for her kids to read. I really, really hope it’s satire but sadly I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s not… http://latest.com/2014/09/christian-mom-rewrites-harry-potter-sends-hogwarts-school-prayer-miracles/

    1. Isn’t The Handmaid’s Tale so scary? But such a great book. It’s one of my favorites.

      Ok, I just read that link and it’s insane! It almost reads like an Onion article. I just don’t understand people sometimes.

  4. I really don’t understand why certain types of parents think that the best way to impart their values is to censor everything that doesn’t line up exactly with what they want. It will work in the short run because the kids won’t know any better, but once they get out on their own, they will not be equipped to deal with anything outside of the filtered reality they grew up in.

    If you REALLY want to teach your values, let them read / watch whatever. Seriously. On the condition that you talk about it. For example, my 11-year-old wanted to watch Twilight because that’s what all her friends were talking about. So we watched it while I pointed out to her all the abusive things about Edward and Bella’s relationship, which was a LOT of things. I ended up annoying her quite a bit.

    But what’s the alternative, really? Not let her watch it? So she can be isolated and out of the loop when all her friends are talking about it? I’ve been that child and believe me, it sucks. And it’s not as if not letting her watch would prevent her from absorbing the toxic messages – she’ll just hear them from everyone else. Better to let her watch what she wants but be in control of the process.

    1. Can I just say that I am really glad you did that with your daughter. The thing I couldn’t stand about those books (the movies cleaned them up a lot) was that they basically endorsed an abusive relationship between a teenage girl and a controlling ex serial-killer (not his fault obviously because it is just his nature). I was actually thankful that Hollywood worked its magic on these books 🙂

      1. Thank you! I’m not sure how the movie was cleaned up, as you say, since I thought the scary abusive dynamic was still pretty clear. I remember watching it and thinking that with the soundtrack and cinematography, the movie evoked the same feelings as the book did for me; in that sense I thought the movie was a well-done interpretation of the book.

      2. It wasn’t cleaned up a lot, but one scene I am glad they didn’t include was where he promised his sister a Porsche if she kept Bella at their house all weekend until he returned from hunting. She went on about how much trouble he was in and then when he came back she didn’t even go off at him, she accepted that he was trying to protect her and the smell of him made her all weak at the knees.
        Yes they did make a good rendition and you’re right it was still there in spades, but they cut out some bits which I appreciated 🙂

      3. I have to confess that I didn’t hate the Twilight movies, particularly the first one. It was a million times better than the books. The troubling aspects of Bella and Edward’s relationship was still present, not as bad as the books, but you still saw it. While I saw and read Twilight as an adult, I was able to recognize all the things wrong with the story. It is troubling that young girls were devouring those books and the “love story”. Kudos to you for letting her watch the movies but also pointing out the flaws.

      4. I know, it was completely disturbing *shudders*. I have only seen the last movie once and it is because I do not want to see the creepy baby again, the girl that played the grown up version of the baby was pretty good though.

  5. I got caught reading Forever when I was 11 and my dad made me take it back to the Library… Perhaps I will pick it up and read it as an adult to see if it really was so steamy, that it needed to be banned from my house.

    1. I read Forever only a few years ago. It’s definitely not that steamy but I can see how it can be for an 11-year-old. But it really did just touch on issues that most teenagers will have to deal with.

  6. My friend wasn’t allowed to read or watch Harry Potter because someone at church told their Mum it was written by a witch… *groan*. So she used to sleep over at my place and we would watch all the stuff she wasn’t supposed to.
    The Hunger Games series has been banned/challenged a lot over the past few years for the following reasons: anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence and Religious viewpoint. – Umm okaaaayyyyyy.

    1. I got the whole “Harry Potter has a lot of occult influences and may even cause you to suffer surprise-buttsex-style demonic possession” from my parents after I was already an adult. So I asked them to show me how exactly they thought the series was a bad influence. They dug up ONE article from an excessively Catholic publication they subscribe to, and what struck me is that it didn’t appear that the author of the article had even read the books. I think they were just passing off third-hand hearsay as serious analysis. So I want to say that’s how a LOT of this book-banning gets started – someone makes something up and everyone believes it and springs into action without bothering to fact-check anything.

      1. *Groan!*
        Next time ask them if it is a scholarly or peer-reviewed journal and also ask for proof that the author is an “expert” in the field. If not than it is not a reliable source hahaha – You can’t half tell that my speciality is authenticity and research/information literacy hahaha.

      1. I know right?! Just ridiculous. To be honest I don’t remember any offensive language in those books do you? I didn’t really think they were religious either, but people will read into it what they will LOL.
        I thought they were beautiful stories of family, strength, self-believe and love. I particularly loved the storyline with Rue in the first book, that was beautiful. I would be happy for my daughter or son to read these books, I think there are some very positive messages in there – the killing isn’t awesome, but it makes for a great story 🙂

      2. Yea I don’t remember offensive language either. Maybe the fact that they weren’t religious is what people had a problem with, which is just as ridiculous. They are great books and I would 100% let me children read them.

  7. I wrote an article about banned books for the school newspaper so I had fun reading this. I agree with everything you said..it’s all so silly. I found out that some of the most challenged books of 2013 were Where’s Waldo and the Captain Underpants series…so silly. I think they are raising kids to be far too sheltered by banning books. I used to sneak downstairs to watch Sex In The City after my parents went to bed haha. Kids will find a way.

    1. All these parents who ban books, I’d love to know what their kids are watching on TV or what video games they are playing? I feel as though books are the most challenged medium here in America.

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