This may come just a little late, but this week is in fact Freedom to Read Week: a time of year that celebrates intellectual freedom and the right of access to information. My wife, as a librarian at the local college, has gotten in on the action and errected a display of famous works that have, at one time or another in their history, been banned by educational institutions. Other libraries and related organizations are also taking part across the country.
I must say it’s great to see this. For those of us who are avid readers this sort of event serves as a reminder that ideas and thoughts are to be expressed and not suppressed; for those of us who have not read widely, this has the added bonus of introducing new readers to works of fiction and non-fiction that challenge our opinions on the boundaries of thought. Just mentioning that a work was so controversial it was banned provides a certain mystery to the book and can cause a newcomer to burn with interest.
Do make an effort to either read up on this week’s celebrations, or go one step further and begin reading a banned book. You never know what’ you’ll find there.