The Book Chat 09.26.13 Banned Books Week

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In honor of Banned Books Week, this week’s Book Chat topic is on Banned Books.

I do not believe in censorship. I always had a hard time understanding why books with controversial, heavy topics would be banned, especially in places of learning. I think those are the most important places where these books should be; in a safe and educational environment where the topics can be discussed and understood, as opposed to staying taboo.

The first time I realized that certain books were bad was when I was in high school, and I went to my school library in search of Mein Kampf, written by Adolf Hitler.  I had just learned in my history class that he had written an autobiography and was so interested to read his memoirs and maybe gain some sort of insight into the psyche of someone who catapulted such terror.

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The librarian at my school was pretty aghast when I asked for the book and I it struck me as strange that it would not be allowed in a school. I was seeking information and understanding, and what better place to find that, than in a school setting.

Till this day, I still have not read Mein Kampf, I guess now that I am an adult and am allowed to get it from wherever I want, I should.

One of my favorite Banned Books is actually the poem, Howl, by Allen Ginsberg. I first read this in a Modern American Literature class as an undergrad. This kicked off a phase for me of reading but Beat generation authors. It fit so appropriately with my angsty, pretentious, post-adolescent phase of life. However, even though I get annoyed looking back at my younger self, it was such a time of self-discovery and learning. I really appreciate those years, and the books that defined them.

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What is your favorite Banned book?

To read more on this topic, click here.

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