My Unpopular Opinion About Banned Books Week: Let’s Discuss!

October 20, 2017 Let's Discuss 60

Okay, first off, let me start off by saying I don’t think that books should be banned—my opinion isn’t that unpopular, and I don’t want you to go into this post thinking I’m a crazy person advocating pulling books off the shelves of libraries or anything. I think that people should have the freedom to choose for themselves what books they want to read and that no one should dictate that choice for others.

Still, I noticed something just a teensy bit unsettling to me during Banned Books Week, and it’s an attitude I can’t quite get behind.

I feel like there’s almost an insistence that I should rush out and read certain books because someone somewhere has banned them. As if the very fact that they’ve been banned gives them more intrinsic value or literary merit somehow. I can’t tell you the number of posts and newsletters I ran across during Banned Books Week urging me to read a list of books because someone doesn’t like something about the content. And I found this… odd. And maybe a little irresponsible (especially when it comes to posts and newsletters aimed at the YA community).

I get it. I do. Nobody likes to be told what to do. And since the book blogging and YA publishing worlds are both relatively liberal, our instinct is to fight against what feels something like oppression. Only I feel like this might be one of those cases where we’re pushed to view the world in extremes—you’re either a book banner or you’re actively working to support any book that has been banned (preferably by reading it yourself and proclaiming your support of it to the world). I hate that this is yet another case where we’ve lost all sense of the middle ground. Why don’t we instead urge people to take objections into account and make an informed decision on the things we read rather than just assuming that a book that’s banned is automatically worth reading.

I guess this is where my “momness” starts to kick in. See, I get nervous when I see the message being sent out (especially to young people) that any book that has been banned somewhere is obviously a book they should read. That obviously someone is trying to hold them back or hold them down and keep them in the dark about something—something they’ll be missing out on if they don’t read that book!

Again, I’m not advocating banning—I think that people should be able to choose what they read. But I don’t think anyone should read a book out of a knee-jerk reaction to the fact that someone else doesn’t approve of the content. That seems like a juvenile reaction to me. If I see that a book is controversial, I very well might consider reading it, but I would try to make an informed choice and possibly even try to understand why someone might be opposed to it. I know that there are some books that get banned for seemingly ridiculous reasons. But might there not be circumstances where people have valid concerns? What if a book promotes racism? Or what if the book might actually be harmful to certain readers because of triggers?

13 Reasons Why comes to mind when I write this—it was listed on at least one (possibly two) of the lists of books I have to rush out and buy because they’ve been banned. Now, I will admit that I haven’t read the book, but I did watch the series and while I enjoyed aspects of it, it raised some pretty major issues for me. I feel like there’s a possibility that a teenager could watch it and come away with the idea that “revenge suicide” is somehow cool or impressive or even just a fabulously effective way to get revenge on people who’ve hurt you. I’ve read some opinions of professionals who believe that the central messages in the show (and book) could possibly do more harm than good.

Does that mean I think the book should be banned? No. (I’ve also read opinions that say that the book gets teens talking about the issue of suicide, which is a very good thing—I’m aware that it’s a complicated issue that might not have “right” or “wrong” answers.) Still, do I blame some schools for not necessarily wanting the book readily accessible on their shelves in light of the opinion of certain professionals that the book might be harmful? Honestly, not really. (But that’s a whole other unpopular opinion that I won’t get into right now.) And I don’t know that I’d include it in a newsletter aimed at YA readers as a book they should definitely buy because it’s been banned. I think it’s the type of book that needs more dialogue than that.

And I guess dialogue is what I would urge. Instead of banning books or running out and reading any book that someone suggests banning, it would be nice if we could find ways to urge people to make their own informed opinions and decide for themselves. But that’s just my unpopular opinion.

By the way, I actually wrote this post during Banned Books Week, but then second-guessed myself and didn’t post it. But then I changed my mind again. See, I’ve been doing this book blogging thing for almost five years and I still stress about these things.

What do you think? Did you feel more bombarded this year by the message that you need to buy banned books in order to stand up for what’s right? Do you agree with that message? I want to know!

(By the way, feel free to disagree with me on this topic in the comments, but try to do it respectfully please!)

This post has been linked up to the 2017 Book Blog Discussion Challenge!

60 Responses to “My Unpopular Opinion About Banned Books Week: Let’s Discuss!”

  1. Alexis

    I think you raise some interesting points! I think dialogue is so important when it comes to books. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Aj @ Read All The Things!

    Interesting post! I think I understand your point, and I agree that dialogue is key, especially when kids are involved. Maybe the banned book campaigns should focus more on starting conversations and less on selling books. A lot of the banned book posts I saw on social media were put there by libraries and bookstores, so they were probably using the event to advertise themselves. A forbidden book is more appealing than a boring regular book. Instead of saying “You should join the cool kids who are breaking the rules and reading this book,” they could say “Here’s why this book is banned. What do you think?” Less bookselling, more conversation.

    • Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

      For some reason, this year I felt like I received SO MANY of these types of emails and it struck me in a way it never had before. Now that I think about it, though, I am subscribed to a lot more publisher and bookseller newsletters nowadays, so maybe that’s all it is. You make a good point that, in the end, they’re mostly trying to sell books (which makes sense). I just suddenly felt inundated with the message that I needed to read all the banned books of ever in order to fight against book banning. And the message that banned books are in some way intrinsically better and worthwhile reading.

  3. Danielle Hammelef

    I got caught up in this too and felt I needed to read more. I checked out one of the books and DNF. Some books banned or not just don’t have to be read. Great post!

  4. Karen Blue

    I don’t think that banned books are as much of a thing as they used to be. I mean if a book was banned 30 years ago I don’t think it would influence my wanting to read it at all today. It is sad that some books are still being banned but I also think it is sad that banned books today are more of a marketing scheme then anything actually useful to the reader.
    You make a good point that it should be about dialogue and not trying to read everything that offened people enough to be banned. Great topic!

    • Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

      Wendy brought up a good point that many of the top ten banned books of 2016 are books that include LGBTQA themes, and I do think that it’s important for us to talk about that and what impact that has on society (and LGBTQA individuals especially). But if you just shove a list of banned books at me and tell me to read them because they’re obviously good since they were banned, I start to get twitchy. 🙂

  5. Lisa Mandina (Lisa Loves Literature)

    I agree with you that just because it is a banned/challenged book doesn’t mean you should have to read it. As someone who had felt suicidal in the past, and someone who has actually read the book 13 Reasons Why, and talked to the author about why he wrote it, I will have to respectfully disagree a bit with all those experts and what they are saying about it. I haven’t watched the tv show, but actually from what I’ve heard, it could be doing all the things you mentioned as well as what the “experts” are condemning it for. However, the book is not about “revenge suicide”. The book to me, again, as someone with personal experience feeling this way, made me think about how important it is to realize anything you do could be affecting someone else. Since the main character was actually someone that the girl was in a way thanking for being the way he was, a good guy, I felt that was more the aspect that shone through. I read this book around the same time my school district was having all the teachers like myself read the book “How Full is Your Bucket?”. And to me, the message in both is a lot of the same. You don’t know what someone else is thinking about or dealing with when you’re not around, that person you ignored or maybe the person you said hi to, that could help them that day just having one person smile and say hi.

    I get all that you’re saying, and agree with it for the most part. I get a little soap-boxy about that book in particular because of how much it resonates with me, as well as hearing the author talk about how it was one of his own family members and their suicide attempt that inspired the book. 🙂 Great discussion post!

    • Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

      I totally realize that there are two sides to the 13 Reasons Why story—I know multiple people who have personal experience with suicide and read the book, and even amongst those, I’ve seen people who have had completely polar reactions. Some people have said that the book was a trigger for them and made them feel worse about their situation and some have said that it helped immensely. Just goes to show that we have personal experiences and attitudes and perspectives that can vastly affect our reading of a book. Again, I’m not advocating banning that particular book, but I do see why it’s stirred up controversy, and I can easily see both sides of the coin. I know that the author definitely didn’t write the book to glorify revenge suicide. BUT, after watching the show, I can see how someone might feel like revenge suicide might be an effective way to make people finally SEE them. It’s not the type of book that I would simply put on a list and say, “Here, read this because it’s banned!” It’s the type of book that I would want to have a dialogue about.

  6. SAm@WLABB

    You almost made me stand up and cheer. Not necessarily for your thoughts specifically to banned books, but because you nailed what is going on out there right now. “I hate that this is yet another case where we’ve lost all sense of the middle ground.” Yep! It’s 2017 and the idea of censorship is obscene. Seriously, with a smart phone, you can see/watch/listen to all sorts of stuff that someone feels is inappropriate, so the idea of banning a book sort of just baffles me. The other problem is that we are all shaped by our personal experiences, and what might be offensive to me, may not be offensive to you. I will tell you right now, I read 13 Reasons several years ago, and did not have the same take away as other readers. We are all sensitive to different things. Maybe these controversial books shouldn’t be assigned school reading, but I agree, one should gather information and read a book if they would like to read the book.

    • Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

      I feel this is something that’s happened in our society more and more lately—we have to take sides on every topic and then take it to the extreme. I understand that a lot of it is our political climate (I always considered myself a moderate until Trump, when I suddenly started feeling like a liberal), but I wish we still had a little more of the sense of that middle ground. Discuss books, don’t ban them!

  7. Wendy @ Falconer's Library

    You (probably) know I make a big deal about banned book week in my classroom. Yet I do see what you are saying! Of the ten most-challenged books of 2016, there are two I would definitely not bring into my class library, and three or four I would keep on my “PG-13” shelf. I don’t get any publisher’s emails or anything, and I think libraries that promote “read a banned book!” aren’t selling books per se, just encouraging patrons of all ages to make up their own minds. If I were to intentionally read a banned book for the event, I would choose one that I had been hoping to read anyway, not one outside of my comfort zone. I think the most important take-away is that YOU should decide what to read, not let others decide for you. I talk a lot to my students about how they have the right to NOT read something just as much as they have the right to read something. But it is for them and their families to decide, not any outside person or institution. Oh–one other thing we talk about is how people that want to ban a book simply because it has a gay or transgender character are basically telling gay and transgender people that their existence is offensive to others.

    This comment is all over the place; sorry! Very interesting discussion question, and I’m glad you decided to share it with us.

    • Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

      I’ve always thought you take a really balanced approach to this in your classroom. Every post I’ve ever read from you on the subject has made me think, “Yes! She is doing it exactly right.” Because you truly discuss books that might be deemed “questionable” by some and talk about the reasons behind it and why those reasons may be valid for some people and not others (or why you believe they may not be valid at all—and even harmful). This, to me, is exactly what I would like in a banned books discussion. (I agree with you about banning books that are LGBTQA, by the way). AJ’s point about WHO is sending the newsletters really struck me—I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that booksellers and publishers will use the week to sell more than educate.

  8. ShootingStarsMag

    You make some great points. I think it’s okay to read what you want – and that includes wanting to read or not read banned books. I don’t think I saw the things you during Banned Books Week, but it definitely shouldn’t be about pushing certain books. I think banning books is wrong, but it’s all about being able to read what you want – and that means if you never want to read a banned book, then that’s your right to do so, and I’ll support that.

    As for 13 Reasons Why, I love that book – though I’ve only seen the first few episodes of the actual show. I think the show is probably what most experts are talking about, based on what I’ve heard about some of the scenes/moments in the book. I think the book is a good thing though that gets people talking about bullying, suicide, and how little things can really affect someone.

    -Lauren

    • Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

      Yes, I’ll admit that I’m basing my opinions of 13 Reasons on the show, not the book and they might be very different. I did read some reviews of the book from people I trust who have personal experience with suicide who didn’t like the messages that are being sent by it, but I know that there are some others who loved it and felt like the messages were positive overall. I’m not against people reading it—I just think it sends the wrong message when we say, “These books are banned so you should definitely read them!”

  9. Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight

    I think this makes complete sense, and you’re right, there does seem to be this attitude that you have to read books just because they were banned. I feel like in the past a lot of books were banned just because of prejudice and similar issues, right? So if those books cover an important topic, then it does make sense to rec them. But to just automatically decide people should read a book because it was banned is strange. Like you said, a dialogue about books and what might be problematic or why people might oppose it seems like it would be more helpful just telling people what to do.

  10. Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

    Sam pretty much nailed my thoughts in her comment. The fact that we (as a society) seem to have come to this point where where the only options are extremes. There is no middle ground any more. You’re either passionately for something or violently against it. Why? I find it so overwhelming and disheartening. As it applies to books, I agree with much of what you have to say. Particularly the statement that banning a book does not make it intrinsically more valuable or have more merit than any other book. There seems to be a direct correlation in some minds that banned book = important book of literary value. Not so! And then there’s the whole argument that banning a book is only going to have the effect of making it more desirable to some readers (particularly younger ones) since it now has the “forbidden fruit” element.

    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books recently posted: Top 5 Wednesday: Paranormal Creatures
    • Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

      I somehow feel like today’s political climate has pushed us even more toward extremes. Like we suddenly feel we have to take extreme stands on everything or we don’t really believe anything. I’ve always been more of a moderate, I guess. I like to look at each issue and examine the pros and cons and make a decision based on that.

  11. Jen

    It was amazing how many emails or sites I visited that mentioned that I should be reading banned books. So when I read your quote that says “I get nervous when I see the message being sent out (especially to young people) that any book that has been banned somewhere is obviously a book they should read.” I was like YES! I completely agree. So many people have different triggers and likes and I think it’s almost dangerous at times to say you should read this book just because it’s banned. Every book on the list isn’t going to work well for everyone, and at some times I think certain books can hurt certain people. So I would have loved if the emails instead would have pushed having discussions about the topics in the books, instead of pushing us to read said books. I think that would have come across much better and I would have been less likely to just delete and move on. Also, I don’t think your opinion is unpopular, at least for me, because I found myself nodding my head to a lot of your words. 🙂

  12. Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight

    First, I think it is awesome that you posted an opinion that you were worried about posting. I feel like we should be able to agree or disagree in civil ways, and the more we do it, the better it’ll be 😀

    I see your point about pushing to read something *just* because it is banned. I also think (and I could be wrong, because I don’t know the exact posts you’re referring to- I haven’t seen many banned books posts this year, it seems) that most people who do banned book stuff are seeing an intrinsic value in the books they’re promoting. I also think that a lot of books that are banned have been so for some reasons that are not always great, and I think that has a LOT to do with the promotion of banned books.

    Like, I do see your point about the banning of 13RW- I do know that some people who’ve read it as #ownvoices have found it troubling. But I also think that when it was initially added to the list, it was only because of the TOPIC of suicide, and not the book’s handling of it. So often with banned books, they’re being banned for very irresponsible reasons instead of more valid ones.

    The school thing IS a whole other topic, and one I am not sure how to even get into. I think that a school probably is never going to have ALL the books anyway, so maybe it doesn’t matter? But a public library should be willing to provide anyone with any book. I think to tell a young adult that they can’t make an informed decision about the message of a book is frankly unfair to them, and kind of negates the point of having characters they can relate to, if adult opinions are going to be a prerequisite for a YA reader to read a book.

    Now, I DO agree that a book being banned does absolutely NOT mean that it is inherently a GOOD book either. Because NO, that isn’t how it works at all, and anyone saying it does is probably also being irresponsible, so yeah, I agree. GAH, it is all quite complicated for sure! Great post, Nicole, I am really glad you shared!

    Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight recently posted: November 2017 New Release Giveaway Hop Sign Ups!
    • Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

      Yeah, I think that school libraries are just inherently more complicated than public libraries. Like you say, they’re not going to have ALL the books, and I honestly think it makes sense for them to try to have some sort of standards about what goes on the shelf—BUT if they’re banning books for ridiculous reasons (like the mere presence of LGBT characters), then that needs to be questioned. I can’t understand banning from a public library AT ALL. That concept just seems completely crazy to me because a public library has no right or responsibility to monitor what people are reading. Why would they? They are public libraries. For everyone.

      And thanks for the encouragement about sharing this post. You’d think by now I’d just be fine with sharing anything, but I still get nervous about it. Sometimes I feel like I live in two worlds, one where I’m one of the most liberal people I know (at home, since 90% of our lives revolve around church and our conservative Christian homeschool group) and one where I’m relatively conservative (in the bookish world, when I write posts like this that edge toward moderation and more conservative values). It’s a weird dichotomy!

  13. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    I don’t think this is an unpopular opinion, I think it’s probably a sensible. I agree, we should celebrate the good books which are released and the freedom of choice we have to choose what to read. Are some books banned for sensible reasons? Yes. Should those books necessarily be removed from shelves? No, instead people should talk about the books, the good and the bad. Schools are the worst culprits for banning books in their libraries. It’s ridiculous, rather than banning them and thus pushing people to want to read them they should, instead, talk about the books and especially the elements within which drive them to ban it, like with 13 Reasons Why, it was banned for its representation of suicide so discuss it and let people make up their own mind!

    People shouldn’t be pushed to read banned books, that’s silly, they aren’t all good book. Instead, the reasons for them being banned should be given and people should make up their own mind about whether or not they read.

    • Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

      Yes, but I can definitely see a school’s side when it comes to a book like 13 Reasons—they are held so liable for everything. If there are professionals saying that a book could literally be dangerous, I could imagine pulling the book from the shelves. I also imagine it’s hard for schools to figure out where to draw the line where sexual content comes in—I can understand their side a bit more on these types of books and get that it must be very tough for them. Now, when there are books that are banned for LGBT characters (not sexual content, but just characters) that’s where I think we should be fighting against that sort of reaction. Some books ARE banned for no good reason, and I don’t think schools should give in to pressure every time. I guess I see it as being more complicated where schools are concerned.

  14. Lory @ Emerald City Book Review

    Wendy’s approach is so sensible. Don’t just mindlessly read banned books, but use a week focusing on them to learn about the reasons why they have been banned and become more conscious about one’s own reading choices. It seems also important to include the message that you can choose NOT to read a book!

  15. Rachel

    I’m guilty of both encouraging others to read banned books, and of posting during banned books week with a list of books I think are great that have been challenged or banned! But, I can definitely see your point of view, and have never thought of it that way.

    The list I put together aren’t just books that were banned = you should read them, I only included books that I think are amazing, and valuable, and the idea of banning them is preposterous to me (I would never encourage someone to read 13 Reasons Why solely because it is banned or challenged, because I had SO many problems with the TV show and imagine the book may be problematic too). While I don’t believe in banning books for the purposes of censorship, I of course understand the need for parents to be mindful of what children and young adults are reading, and for them to be exposed to literature that is suitable for their level of emotional maturity. But overall I support Banned Books Week because I think it is important to highlight that in today’s society books still get banned, and that many of them are banned due to supposed racism, LGBT+ themes, and other reasons that are conveniently hidden behind the notion of protecting young people, when really it is motivated by fear of exposing them to something that is “other”. R xx

    • Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

      I certainly don’t think there’s anything bad about talking about banned books on your blog, and I think there have been some really valuable books that have been banned. I think I would just shy away from the attitude that we must read certain books because they’re banned and lean more towards a discussion of those books and the reasons behind people’s fears and criticisms.

  16. Krysta @ Pages Unbound

    I like that Banned Books Week gets people talking about censorship, but it does seem kind of superficial. For instance, we don’t really tend to discuss what “banned” vs. “challenged” means. We don’t tend to distinguish between a book that was actually removed from shelves in several places and a book that a third grade parent requested be removed from third grade, not because they want to keep everyone from reading it, but because maybe they thought that the content was more appropriate for, say, sixth grade. We just lump everything together and feel good about ourselves for reading banned books without ever having conversations like, “Are parental concerns about age range censorship or good parenting? Where does one end and the other begin?” But, to me, these seem like conversations worth having.

    I also think that it’s, um, kind of ironic that we celebrate reading banned books. If we’re all reading Toni Morrison, a highly-regarded author who is taught in colleges, are we being edgy? Aren’t we…just reading books that the literati have decided have value even if those “backwards” people somewhere are challenging them?

    Finally, it seems to me that how books are being banned has changed due to the Internet, but,as far as I am aware, the ALA still only counts stuff like letters written to schools and libraries. I would argue that using technology to mobilizes masses to get books pulled would count, too. Except I think that arguing this might actually be controversial and so we don’t count these instances as “censorship.” We just go back to reading The Hunger Games because someone ten years ago didn’t like it and we feel edgy now, even though, again, is reading a bestselling YA novel that edgy? I don’t know.

    There’s my unpopular opinion. 😉

  17. Briana @ Pages Unbound

    I guess I see banned books lists more in the vein of any type of list of book recommendations. As in “If you are interested in banned books, check these out.” Just like someone might write a list that’s like “If you are interested in books in New York City, check these out.” Obviously Banned Books Week is a thing and “Books Set in NYC Week” isn’t a thing, so there’s more of a driving force behind it, but I’ve never really felt like I was being pressured to read banned books, just that people were bringing attention to them. Most of them aren’t even really controversial, particularly if we’re talking about books that were challenged decades ago like The Lord of the Rings but no one bats an eye about now.

    Briana @ Pages Unbound recently posted: Seven YA Books Featuring College-Aged Characters
  18. Laura

    I totally agree with you! Whilst I don’t think books should be banned, I wouldn’t personally read a book primarily because it was banned, and I think pushing people to do that isn’t a great idea. People should be able to read those books if they want to, but not because someone says so as some kind of act of rebellion, or to seem edgy.

    • Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

      Yes, for some reason this year I just felt like the message was a bit pushier—like we could change the world BY reading banned books, which felt a little off to me. Maybe I was just extra sensitive to it this year for some reason? Like, maybe I saw one or two messages that rubbed me the wrong way and then I was extra critical about the other ones I received.

  19. Amanda

    I think the Banned Books Week is a great idea to oppose book censorship. However, I’m as skeptical as you about the urges to read books that are banned BECAUSE they are banned. It’s really one form of extremism.

  20. Gail Wood

    The American Library Association started Banned Book Week to raise awareness of the surprising pervasiveness of book banning. It has been around for decades. The week and programs were also designed to garner support for sometimes embattled librarians and teachers who are attacked and threatened because they assign and defend books. It has only been in the past five or six years that the idea of reading a banned book has been part of the program.

    So like you, I don’t like being told what to do. Read Ulysses because it was banned. No thanks, I can’t stand that book. Being aware that groups can go into schools and libraries and demand removal, often with a demand to punish or fire the teacher or librarian..I don’t think so.

    I have been on the front lines of resisting book and film banning during my long career as a librarian. This is part of the larger picture of our right to read and free access to information.

    Read what you want and celebrate that you can!

  21. Zeee @ I Heart Romance & YA

    You have raised a point here… but I haven’t really thought about banned books in a long time. I grew up in a country that doesn’t have a group of people crying foul and demand that you ban every book that offends someone. But on the other hand, some people ban books to suppress the idea or a thought.

  22. Joséphine @ Word Revel

    You raised some really interesting thoughts! Banning books often does happen for the strangest reasons but sometimes, there really are pertinent concerns. I get the “fight back” mentality of wanting to increase the visibility and popularity of banned books but I’ve not thought much about legitimate banning myself. In those cases, it is indeed important to exercise discretion, particularly when younger readers are involved.

    Thank you for putting your opinion into words, even if it might be an unpopular one! It’s something worth considering and mulling over for anyone who puts books into the hands of children and teens — be they teachers, librarians, booksellers or bloggers.

    Joséphine @ Word Revel recently posted: Top 20 Words in YA Book Titles
  23. Dragonfly @ Our Familiarium

    LOVE THIS NICOLE! yes yes yes! I also felt uncomfortable with the eagerness out there to make anything banned a MUST read! I think before kids I would have probably be more oblivious to some of these trends. Before kids there were many things I didn’t pay attention to! Now my “momness” [love that term!] makes me hyper aware!

    I wouldn’t like my kids to think any book is good just because it was banned.

    My best example is Lolita. I cringed when I saw people promoting Lolita during that week!

    Even though many people regards it as a classic I have not read it yet because every time I read a book I think I’m supporting either…

    1) the story or

    2) if it’s a horrible story [e.g. a crime, a historical even like the Holocaust] than I’m supporting the author’s objective in telling the story [which maybe to make sure people know what happened]

    BUT I can’t apply neither to Lolita! So I can come around to read it!

    13 Reasons Why is another example. I said it in my review and I will say it a million times. That book is extremely dangerous !!!

  24. Emily

    I personally haven’t really found banned books as being promoted as something that I should read. I think it’s more outrage that some books are banned for seemingly ridiculous reasons, and for that reason, we should be speaking up in defence of the book. But I don’t think that whether or not a book is banned sways if i’ll read it or not. More often i’ll read books and they get banned after I read them. Really interesting post Nicole!

    • Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

      I never felt like I was seeing that message in the past. This year, I seemed to get inundated with it for some reason, though. As AJ pointed out to me, it might just be the fact that I belong to more newsletters of people who make selling books their business.

  25. Krys

    Interesting post! I am clearly not following the right forums, because I didn’t get any of those newsletters. Anyway, I completely agree. I believe that the urging to read banned books should not be forced, especially when having those discussions with the YA audience. I know when I used to build BBW displays, I would use it as an opportunity to educate students, because they don’t know what “it” is and once explained they would often not understand why people would urge a ban on a book – I would often suggest they read and see for themselves of whether they agree or not with the original claim(s).
    – Krys

  26. Olivia Roach

    What a good discussion topic! You made a very valid point. I don’t necessarily think it has to be either/or when it comes to supporting banned books or not. You can be someone who is against the idea of banned books and not feel obligated to rush out and read all the banned books as an act of defiance. Because in the end what you should be reading is what you want to read, and that’s what the movement of being against banned books is for. It doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily want to read all of those books – more so that you’re trying to make room for people who don’t have that choice to read what they want to be able to have that choice in the future. I totally stand with you on this! I do support banned books but I don’t really do the thing most people do where they read banned books for a particular week/month because I don’t feel so inclined to…

  27. Cee Arr

    Hello from the future! (I feel like I’m in Futurama – helllooooo from the wooooorld of tomorrowwww. Lol.) Trump is still president. Sorry.

    I am SO freaking with you on this! There’s a difference between banning books and wanting to read them *just* because they’re banned. Access is different to promotion, y’know?

    There are certain anti-diversity YA Twitter accounts (which is a sad state of affairs in itself) which are like, ‘X book has been called racist. Another one to add to the buy list.’

    And I’m like… that isn’t a good reason to read a book! Sure, read it if you want, but read because you like the premise, or the author, or even just the cover! Don’t read it BECAUSE someone said it’s racist. That’s like a different level of douchebaggery! Lol.

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