As regular readers know, I tend to bounce between different features on Fridays. This week, I’m trying something new–the Book Blogger Hop, inviting book bloggers to answer a book-related question each week, and “hop” amongst the other blogs that are participating. Normally hosted at Crazy for Books, this week it’s traveling to Soon Remembered Tales. Today’s question is:
Banned Books Week ends on the 6th. How do you feel about books being challenged to be banned from libraries or schools? Have you read any banned books?
I have to admit I have never got all that worked up about banned books. Of course I’m against censorship, but banning a book just seems pointless–especially now when you can get anything you like on Amazon, and banning a book usually just gives it more publicity. I’ve never read a banned book because it was banned, although of course I’ve read books that have been banned at one time or another. The Giver and Huckleberry Finn both come to mind.
My favorite topic in relation to banned books is the silly reasons books get banned. If someone wanted to ban Huckleberry Finn for language, I wouldn’t approve but at least it would make some kind of sense. But I’ve actually heard of it being banned for nudity (because one line mentions Huck and Jim aren’t wearing clothes on the raft–because they’re on a raft). Or I’ve heard of it being banned because Huck rejects God. Which has to be a complete misread of the beautiful moment when Huck decides he’ll go to Hell if that’s the consequences of rescuing Jim from slavery.
My favorite banned book story…some librarian wanted to ban Tarzan because Tarzan and Jane are living together in the jungle without being married. And that isn’t even correct! I’ve no idea what the details are in various adaptations, but in the original Edgar Rice Burroughs book, there’s a wedding on the last two pages–to quote, Jane’s father “was an ordained minister in his younger days.” I find this all particularly funny because one of the hallmarks of Edgar Rice Burroughs books are completely chaste romances.
I know a lot of people have much stronger feelings about banned books than me. Thoughts? Stories? What’s the stupidest reason you’ve ever heard for a book being banned?