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Quarter Lifer

Quarter Lifer: BBW!

10/01/2005

BBW!

No, I am not referring to 'Big beautiful women'. The title refers to one of my favorite times of the year: Banned Book Week. Today is the last day of BBW and I thought I sneak in a post on it.


I love banned books for so many reasons. They are usually offensive to the religious right, they propagate things like sex, swearing, homosexuality, masturbation & all the other "evils" of the world. Most importantly though they are usually REALLY GOOD BOOKS!

In case you don't know anything about BBW, let me fill you in:
- Poor Judy Blume gets slammed every year. I grew up reading her books & though some beg to differ, I am not damaged in any way because of it.
- RL Stine's Goosebumps Series & Alvin Schwartz's Scary Stories Series are both often challenged. Aren't spooky stories one of the best parts of childhood reading?
- A Wrinkle In Time (One of my childhood faves) has been challenged for promoting 'New Age-ism'... Anyone who can tell me exactly what that is & why it's dangerous, I'm all ears.
- Go Ask Alice & The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn finally didn't make the top ten most challenged books list in 2004

I could go on & on, but the point is no book should be banned or 'challenged' (the hip new PC term for banned so far as I can tell). Most often these issues come up with books that are used in schools or are available to children in some way. The most important thing my mom did for me growing up was stick a book in my face as soon as my little eyes could read the words. Reading is crucial at that age. It teaches you words, spelling, and grammar. It stimulates your mind. It enlarges your world beyond what you thought it could be. It's when the mind is the most untainted & absorbent it will ever be during your lifetime. Why adults would want to take even one piece of that freedom away from children is beyond me.
I am sick of meeting people my own age who say things like 'I don't read' or 'Do magazines count?'. Are those the kind of people we want in our society? Isn't stupidity rampant enough? How many people say they can't spell? Do you know what makes someone a good speller? It isn't fucking spell check! It's actually seeing the words on paper over & over again. I have actually been called arrogant for having a large vocabulary. How ridiculous is that? I have a large vocabulary from reading books & I'm glad I do (I can rant more effectively). Maybe if children were encouraged to read more, regardless of what book it is, we wouldn't have so many inept adults roaming the planet.

The television won't teach a child one millionth of what a book can. Hell, reading is probably one of the only reasons why I can articulate my thoughts in this blog.

KP climbs down off soapbox...For now.

13 Comments:

Wow, I cannot believe Judt Blume books are banned! I too grew up reading them and just bought 5 ir 6 of my favorites by her for my 11 year old niece!

12:45 AM  

Yep. You probably just gave your neice 'dangerous material'.
I know Blubber, Are you there god its me margret, Deenie & Tiger Eyes are all on the list. Check out the list, I'm always surprised at what books make it.

1:05 AM  

I learned to read at a very young age. I am glad I did because I think it gave me a very large advantage in school and beyond. It is so sad that many people have to use their spell checkers to get through their day. I also get told not use them big words.

1:34 AM  

I had a post on this very topic today, about the 100 most challenged books.
I'm disgusted with that list.

2:18 PM  

While your "BBW" is a good cause, I have a special place in my heart for MY type of BBW (Big Beautiful Women).

This post is a very interesting read...thanks!

Mr. Eccentric

4:40 PM  

Geez, I read Judy Blume books and I'm normal, well sort of.

Definatly not damaged.

No matter how much I hate fiction I did find her books decent.

5:39 PM  

Here's a banned book link for you if you don't already have it. Enjoy!
Peace..................

http://tinyurl.com/7e2hq

8:11 PM  

i dig banned materials...

Kinky

10:52 PM  

Crazy. Banning books by Judy Blume. I grew up reading them too - and I'm a guy. Nothing better to learn a little more about how girls grow up, to better empathise. Of course she also wrote a book from a boy's point of view, don't remember the title.

The fact that Judy Blume gets questioned really pushes home the puritanical side of the US : it's just mild teenage sexual content; nothing politically challenging or anything!

3:27 PM  

I saw this on another blog too- good to see people broadcasting it. Every time a local school board bans a book, I read it and try to get my daughter to read it. Ideas aren't going to kill anyone.

And besides, Harry Potter ROCKS.

6:49 AM  

we are blog batteling, good luck:)

1:06 PM  

Unreal. I loved all those books! Although I'm a card carrying lesbian new-age psychic so I guess there are folks who would think *I* should be banned.. :)

It's a shame to think that books are quickly going the way of the 8track

1:41 PM  

Just came across your site and am busy catching up on older posts. This one really resonated with me.

I can remember back to junior high and high school having to get permission from home to read certain books in a variety of English classes as well as in popular fiction classes. I always thought this was ridiculous, as did my parents. They wrote me a blanket permission slip to read anything that I wanted.

And what were these controversial books that the school district felt they needed to protect against: To Kill a Mockingbird, Catcher in the Rye, Portnoy's Complaint, Fahrenheit 451, Animal Farm, The Godfather, and French Connection.

I still read often. (They didn't manage to squelch my love of books.) 

Posted by Fly Girl

1:50 PM  

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