Friday, October 5, 2012

Book Blogger Hop October 5th - October 11th: Exponential Thermostellar Bomb Number 20 Threatened to Detonate in the Dark Star's Bomb Bay

Book Blogger Hop

Jen at Crazy for Books has restarted her weekly Book Blogger Hop to help book bloggers connect with one another. The hop is currently traveling about the blogosphere and is being hosted by Soon Remembered Tales. The only requirements to participate in the Hop are to write and link a post answering the weekly question and then visit other blogs that are also participating to see if you like their blog and would like to follow them. A complete explanation of the history and the rules of the Hop can be found here.

This week Jen asks: 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 can be best described as something of a First Amendment absolutist. On that ground alone, I oppose all forms of book banning, no matter the content of the book in question. Once you have government deciding some books are too sexual, or too virulent, or too something else to be made available, then you are well on your way to allowing government to decide that some books are too dangerous, too inflammatory, or simply too disfavored by those making the decision to ban them.

But as a science fiction and fantasy fan, there is a heightened awareness of the move to ban books, as so many books in the genre have been targeted by would-be book banners. From people seeking to ban the Harry Potter books due to alleged Satanic messages, to people wanting to remove Brave New World from the shelves, to people (ironically) wanting to burn copies of Fahrenheit 451, genre fiction is seemingly continually under siege by the forces of ignorance. Because that is what book banners are: The forces of ignorance. They want to deprive you of the right to find information and ideas on your own, and want to make those choices for you. They want you to be ignorant and in the dark. And that is why they must be fought every time they show up, no matter the merits of the book they want to ban.

Go to previous Book Blogger Hop: Alice Cooper's First Top Ten Hit Was "I'm Eighteen"
Go to subsequent Book Blogger Hop: The Numbers on a Six-Sided Die Add Up to Twenty-One

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  1. I have read almost every one of the books in the banned book list in high school as required reading. :) They were not banned at that time.

    Stop by to see the list I read. :) My link is below.

    Happy Hopping.

    Silver's Reviews

  2. @Elizabeth: I read several of the banned books as assigned reading in high school, and I have read many, many others on my own.

  3. Amen. Preach on!

  4. Thank you! I've seen a lot of really distressing comments this week about how children need to be protected, which in my mind is akin to saying that they need someone to think for them. I'm a huge opponent of censorship, especially where books are concerned. If people want to stop their own kids from reading things, that's their choice (although I disagree with it). Trying to stop other people's kids from reading something is not.

    I think that genre fiction *does* get the short end of the stick, mostly because of religious fundamentalism and over-zealous conservatives. Perhaps I'm a little biased but I've never had a liberal or atheist friend say to me, "Hey, you know what book should be banned?"

  5. You have to wonder if people who wanted to burn Fahrenheit 451 thought AT ALL...

  6. @erlessard: One thing I am passionate about is the free press. Anyone who wants to ban a book is, in my opinion, far more dangerous than any book could possibly be.

  7. @gabrielreads: Yes, the rallying cry of book banners is usually "protect the children". But if they are concerned with what their children are reading, then they can handle that matter for themselves. The real reason that book banners usually want books banned is not to protect their own children - their poor children are probably already forbidden to read anything more controversial than Goodnight Moon - but rather to get those books out of the hands of your children, and my children.

    And also out of the hands of you and me. They arrogate to themselves the right to choose what you and your family should and should not know. Book banners who come saying "think of the children" are nothing more than wolfish tyrants dressed in sheep's clothing.

  8. @Cheryl: Yep. Trying to ban Fahrenheit 451 is pretty much the very definition of irony.