Banned Books

This week is apparently Banned Book Week, an awareness campaign by the American Library Association, who states the purpose as –

Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read is observed during the last week of September each year. Observed since 1982, this annual ALA event reminds Americans not to take this precious democratic freedom for granted. This year, 2006, marks BBW’s 25th anniversary (September 23-30).

BBW celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them. After all, intellectual freedom can exist only where these two essential conditions are met.

What’s interesting is the list of the 100 most challenged books 1990-2000. Among the books in the list are –

  • #3 I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  • #41 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • #56 James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

I think the people who complain about books like these have way too much time on their hands. However, they have quite a few data on these challenges here.

Interestingly you’d think that it’d be religious or political organizations complaining the most, but it’s parents. That really makes you wonder what they’re thinking/drinking/smoking/whatever.