Getting Smacked in the Face by Censorship in Today’s Society

Over the years I’ve read about censorship with books, from the Nazis burning books, to various other books being banned throughout our country for various reasons. Books, like Harry Potter and Maya Angelou’s ‘Why the Caged Bird Sings’.  Books that were banned for their content, for no other reason than the content made someone uncomfortable.

But I thought in our ‘enlightened’ time of free speech (though I have seen plenty of instances where even that right is protested by the youth of today…) that censoring books was gone. Don’t get me wrong, I have had people gasp that I read and like Harry Potter, yet they are perfectly okay with The Lord of the Rings……. crickets chirping…….. really people, there is no difference other than J.R.R. Tolkien was a catholic…   I never thought I would run into ‘hiding books’ because they were a certain kind of book.

Last week I wrote about my book display the librarian allowed me to set up, see the post Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys, and how the prudish women volunteers (yes, I am going to call them that even if the title hurts) were uncomfortable with romance books being set up on a table that had, in the past, been used in the children’s section. See the display made them uncomfortable…….

Censorship at its best all starts with someone being uncomfortable.

‘I don’t like what that book is about’,  ‘I don’t want to read about racism in our country’,  ‘I don’t like hearing about childhood rape’, ‘Sorcery is a bad thing, children can’t read about that’, I don’t have a romantic life, I don’t want to read about romance and possibly hot sex’……..  The last line is my own addition to what I feel might be the root of the problem in my case. Am I trying to be mean? No, just making an assumption. Because not wanting romance sitting out where everyone can see it, (Come on people, children are oblivious to A LOT!) says to me that you have a more psychological problem with sex and romance.  Which is rather ironic in my mind because I can bet you, had I put a display of Shakespeare’s plays out, no one would have said a thing.  Or maybe a display of Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and John Steinbeck, who are considered some of our greatest writers who wrote about love and sex! I’m sure a display of those would have been fine.enhanced-buzz-11259-1379943626-5

Again, it goes back to one’s perceived discomfort with something. As a whole, people don’t want to be around something that makes them uncomfortable. We avoid it and try to stay as far away from it as possible. As a voracious reader, one whom the volunteers at the library have dubbed ” one of our best customers”, I have read my fair share of things that have made me uncomfortable.  Eli Wiesel’s ‘Night’ comes to mind as a book I highly recommend and everyone should read it, but it gave me nightmares and a case of depression for weeks.  See, the things that tend to make me uncomfortable tend to deal with the sufferings of mankind. Not a sexy bed scene. Sure, I have read graphic murders in a mystery book— won’t read about that again— and some sadistic sorcerer murders in another young adult book — definitely won’t read that again— but that’s all you do. You put the book down.

You say, “Oh, I can’t read this anymore.” You don’t go out and try to ‘burn’ all those books you don’t want to read. You don’t tell someone they can’t read such and such because it makes YOU uncomfortable. You just deal. Life is about dealing with uncomfortable things, not letting them define you, but realizing that they are out there.

There will always be books that are going to make you uncomfortable, and books you don’t want to read.  That is your choice. Your freedom. But it is also the freedom for others to read those same books and for you to not tell them they can’t.

CensorshipNow my display was ‘ruined’ and the attitude of those involved with removing the display and the librarian compromising to the point of a form of censorship, is not okay. Granted the books are still out, albeit, high on the top shelf where no child could, gasp, reach them, but still….. Children are going to be confronted with romance books. Go to any grocery store and, gasp, the romance books are where children’s books are. The grocery store isn’t going to hid the adult books from kids. And we are not talking porn magazines and such.

This image was borrowed from Melville House, where it illustrates an article  if you click on the image.

Romance, love, sex, are all part of life…… uh and the reason we have kids…..   Hiding it in itself is childish.

Again, I will clarify the fact that I kept the more questionable romances in the back of the library, I.E. Fifty Shades, etc. But to remove the other normal ones from any child’s eyes is so ridiculous. Again, it is showing your issues.

People tell me to keep fighting, Mims and Shala, thank you, and others, Dona, who understand my not wanting to offend people. My first post/rant was not posted on Facebook because I’m connected to the librarian and others that are part of the library. But as someone reminded me today, none of these volunteers cared about offending me. SO this is one post that is going up on Facebook because this is a bigger issue than just my feelings getting hurt or my display and ideas being moved.

Censorship is clearly alive and well, unfortunately so. And there is a good chance you will find that in rural areas people’s ideas and beliefs trump the right o read what we please without interference.

Not that anyone has ever stopped me from reading whatever the heck I want, but I don’t need to be judged by it either.

Oh, and the whole point of the library is to encourage people, not just children, to read, including books that have been banned……….


Hermione – Day No. 30


Keeping with the theme of almost Halloween, and girls, and reading…… I love Hermione. I’ve loved her from the getgo. I love that she reads, and thank goodness she did. Hermione is the best witch ever, in my opinion. Better than Samantha (Bewitched) Better than the Halliwell sisters…..Better than a lot of other witches.


Word of the Day — Bevy

I need a bevy of Owl Posts

I need a bevy of Owl Posts

I could have sworn there was a chapter in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone titled ‘A Bevy of Owls’.  Apparently not.  Bevy. It’s one of those words that means a large group… So for me, a lot of owls, with letters included, means a bevy.  A bevy of deer.  Though apparently it’s more birds that is bevy than large mammals.  Either way, bevy always brings to mind the mass of letters Harry receives from Hogwarts. Wonderful wax sealed letters.


noun \ˈbe-vē\

: a large group of people or things

plural bev·ies
:  a large group or collection <a bevy of girls>
:  a group of animals and especially quail 
You know? I’d like someone to send me a bevy of owls bearing letters from people, friends, acquaintances, people who I know nothing about. Did I ever mention I love getting letters in the mail?  On a side note, I’m not as good at replying to said letters…
Signing off
Enhanced by Zemanta

A Good Children’s Story

A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest. ~ C. S. Lewis

I think that statement quite profound and really quite true.  I love children’s books.  Good children’s books.  It helps that I keep my eyes open for new children’s books for my sister who has down syndrome.  She is a perpetual child, so I have gotten my fill of listening to Brian Jacques’ Redwall series, Harry Potter, The American Girl Collection, The Hobbit, and various others.  I keep my eyes open for ones that sound interesting at the library, and yes, I occasionally read them myself.  Why, even today I brought home a book from the juvenile section.

Now, most of the time I find it hard to get into the Happy Hollister books, or the American Girl books… Lord please no…., but I respect and appreciate them. I mean, I did go through all of those several times.  I actually find it easier to read picture books!  Yes, I love to look through picture books.  I am not ashamed of admitting it because its true.

I have been criticized for being in the picture books by library employees.  Yes, they think I’m too old to be there.  Um, when my goal is to write picture books, how is it too old to be there?  I just brush it off and go back to reading Dr. Seuss, Bill Peet, Jill Barklem, and others that I find fun.  When I come across a new picture book I bring it home for my mother to evaluate as well. I like her take on books because, well, it was her reading to me and my sister as much as she did that created a monster of a reader… ME! 

I think more people should try out a children’s book now and then.  Many of them are quite enjoyable despite their association with a younger audience.  I mean, the whole Narnia series is meant for children, but I still find them quite fascinating.  Same with various other books. 

I could go on and on about this, but I dare you to go into the children’s section of the library or book store and find a children’s book to read.  There are some really great ones out there.  (there are also some really bad ones too, but then they are not good children’s stories)

Signing off


The Only Twins That Matter


[via Quiet Superstitions]

I’m not a huge Harry Potter fan. Quiet you! I enjoy the books, and some of the films. However, out of all of everything, I think one of the main things that stands out are the Weasley Twins. You know who I’m talking about. Fred and George. They are incredible! I was horrified, saddened, disgusted, and a whole lot of other when Fred died. How could anyone kill of this entity? Because that is what they are. They are not separate guys, but one.

I could rant forever on the injustice J.K. Rowling did when she killed Fred, but I would rather not think about that.

So, for the Twins, played by James and Oliver Phelps, here’s to you.  You’ve made the stories incredible, the movies tolerable, and I think a lot of people will agree when I say that you are the best.

Signing off