BY JAMES NIMMO
“Think for yourself and let others do the same.” This week is Banned Books Week, Sept. 25 through Oct. 2.
Frequently, books dealing with GLBTs, race, religion, and other minority issues at age-appropriate levels, are targeted by “well-meaning” parents and other misinformed people.
I’ve worked in a public library for 17 years and I have yet to see a single book jump off a shelf or table and force itself on anyone, either an adult or child. All books have to be picked up as they have no powers to defy gravity. But then gravity is only a “theory” like the “theory” of evolution so perhaps the book objectors find “reality” in the power of their imagination.
Again though, books are supposed to spur imagination as the ideas on the pages are passed around between the covers. So why do book objectors think other readers should be limited to the confines of a strait-jacketed mind?
All any reader has to do when holding a book with which he/she disagrees is really pretty simple. It’s seemingly beyond their immediate comprehension so let me tell you the secret and ask you to pass it on: put the book down and walk away.
Why do the objectors feel the rest of us are interested in their reading level or educational taste? If I want to know I’ll ask.
One of this year’s Banned Books slogans is:
“Think for yourself and let others do the same.”
Here are two links for your own imagination:
“Penguins are indisputably cute. And a children’s book about such inoffensive animals could hardly be expected to trigger a nationwide controversy. But then came “And Tango Makes Three” and a heated debate was fired up.”
More from American Library Association:
– James Nimmo lives in Oklahoma City and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer