Live on wild side and read a banned book

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Many of us can agree that breaking the rules can be more exciting than keeping the rules, such as watching the speed dial go higher in a car or jaywalking. So, it is no surprise we, as rebellious U.S. citizens, celebrate banned books week. Breaking the rules and reading a banned book is exciting .

Above the noise to the west of the Fulton Library, a straight dead-eye shot from Starbucks sits a book display of some banned books that many students have enjoyed reading, such as: Harry Potter series, Hunger Games trilogy, Matilda, Beloved and much more.

Censoring literature, which began with the Roman Catholic church in the mid-1500s in Europe, has been in practice for hundreds of years and has always brought controversy. The celebration of banned books came about in the early 90s when the American Library Association (ALA) wanted to raise awareness to literature that was considered too peculiar. This showed how there are many people in the world who want to censor the rest of us.

Books become censored for one of two reasons. Content within the pages, such as promiscuity, adult language, suicide, etc., or the overall theme of the novel and the influence it potentially has on its readers, are all excuses used to ban books.

“[Banning books] doesn’t help society at all. It is harmful and destructive,” English senior Megan Mankins said.

It is one thing to keep children from reading literature that one deems inappropriate. However, forcing that on a community or college is wrong. The First Amendment of the Constitution reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or of the right of the people to peaceably assemble.” Many of us book nerds loathe the mere idea of banning books for the sake of destroying an idea

“Keeping ‘bad things’ away prevents [us] from having the information needed to make an informed decision,” UVU librarian Debbie Short said. “We have a right to have intellectual freedom.” An open book means an open mind.

The ALA has made a way for everyone to embrace the ideas within the books that are considerded deviant. They do this by setting aside the last week in September for banned books and commemorate all the books that have been or are banned.