Discussion: Banned books

Last week was Banned Books Week. Many libraries and bookstores mentioned it, or did activities for it. If you are curious about banned or challenged books, look at this link
Instead of writing a paragraph and then asking a question, like I normally do, I’ll just ask my question. 
Do you think some books should be banned/challenged? Why/why not? 

10 Responses

  • Weirdmage

    There was a rather huge protest against a book on Amazon earlier this year. It was a how-to manual for peadophiles to avoid being arrested when hanging out with kids. I think that was fair to challenge.

    Most books that are challenged/banned however seem to be books that go against some peoples personal/religious views of morals. And I think that is totally wrong. If you start going down that road, you will potentially have to ban everything. Some person somewhere will find something objectionable in everything.

    But it is a difficult subject, and it is impossible to draw a hard line as to what is actually promoting behavior/actions that are against the law.
    Some books, like the one I mentioned in the first pragraph, I think should be stopped. But I think it has to be done on a case by case basis. I think the line should be if it is promoting criminal behavior. And I'm not sure fiction can ever be said to objectively do that. Unless of course it is actually a thinly veiled manual of the sort I mentioned above.

  • Bibliotropic

    Banned? Absolutely not. The purpose behind banning a book, or trying to get it banned, usually boils down to a very simple, "This book expresses views that I don't believe in, and I don't want anyone else seeing that there are other ways out there." I wrote a post about this on my blog a while back that goes into more detail, but ultimately, that's all I see for the reasons why people try to get a book banned.

    Now, people can disagree with material all they like. Parents absolutely have the right to try to stop their children from reading material they don't think is appropriate. But those people do not have control over what I read, nor what anybody reads outside of their household, and they have no right to impose their viewpoint on me by dictating what I can and cannot read.

  • Seak (Bryce L.)

    I was gonna chime in, but Weirdmage beat me to it. I can draw a line at a how-to book on pedophiles and anything that revolting.

  • Lessa

    As a general principle I am against banning books, whatever the reason. However, many of the books that have been "banned" have become more popular and well known than they ever would have otherwise.

  • Reese M.

    Heya Sarah – Sorry this is totally off topic, but the RSS Graffiti app is still posting to your facebook wall. You might want to get rid of that thing, because I think if stuff is still actively posting to your wall, your account won't get deleted fully.

    You may now return to your regular programming. Sorry for hijacking your discussion here. 🙂

  • Lokidude

    No. I can't back any bans. They get me all sorts of bothered. Because people who would ban books would ban independent thought, as well as many of my bad habits.

  • shelbyj

    all books should be open to anyone if you don't like it then don't read it just because you don't like it doesn't mean you should ban the book so other people cant read it its taking away peoples personal freedoms

  • Mieneke

    While I agree with Ole and Seak about the Amazon book they mentioned (any other works that promote criminal and harmful behaviour), you could also ask the question how much good banning a book does. It could also be counter-productive, as illustrated in this article by Barbara Ehrenreich http://blog.lareviewofbooks.org/2011/10/barbara-ehrenreichs-neglected-heresies.html

    In addition, I think book challenges/bans are rarely based on anything other than personal prejudices, be they religious, political or otherwise, and I think everyone deserves to make up their own minds and choose whether to read a work or not.

  • FantasyLass

    When I rule the world, I will ban book banning 🙂 Here in the UK at least, as soon as you ban something you create a mass of interest in it and everyone has an illegal copy of it by lunchtime. It doesn't work. And it's fundamentally wrong. IMHO of course 🙂

  • Robin Sullivan

    I'm with FantasyLass – I want to ban book banning!! I believe that free speech comes with a high price and that means allowing those with differing opinions to be able to voice them. I may not agree with what you have to say – but I want to defend your right to say it!

    Robin Sullivan | Write2Publish | Ridan Publishing

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