Elizabeth Melton Parsons

Writing~Art~Life

What is This BS of Lumping Banned/Challenged Books Together?

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Being a voracious reader of many genres, every so often I like to do a search for banned books. By banned, I mean a book that has been removed from libraries or high schools in the United States. I do not mean a challenged book, which could be one person or group complaining about a book at a school because they don’t approve. Means nothing. Suppose you tell your school that you don’t want your seven year old to have access to a specific book containing graphic sex and violence. Does that book then become a challenged book? Ridiculous! Even more ridiculous is to have challenged and banned books lumped together on one list. I went to the ALA site and perused their list of banned/challenged books. Almost all of which were challenged, not banned. I got the same result at a few other sites. Why lump the two categories together? What are they trying to prove? This makes for a much, much longer list than if the banned books were listed separately. It also makes it a tiresome task trying to find actual banned books.

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Author: Elizabeth Melton Parsons

I'm a novelist, poet, and artist. I love books, nature, art, and gardening. I'm a rock hound and there's a photo of me with a cool fossil rock on my about page, I take a lot of nature pictures. The background here is one of mine. Unfortunately I recently lost my wonderful husband, but I'm grateful to have the blessing of two beautiful sons. elizabethmeltonparsons.wordpress.com is © Elizabeth Melton Parsons 2007-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Elizabeth Melton Parsons with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

3 thoughts on “What is This BS of Lumping Banned/Challenged Books Together?

  1. To quote Heinrich Heine: A nation that burns books, soon burns people. Banning books is the preceding step. Want to see an example in history? Go to Germany, 9 November 1938 and look for the Reichskristallnacht. The US is going down a very dangerous road.

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    • Guido, I think you misunderstood my post. I certainly do not approve of book banning. As an author, that would be ludicrous. But when I can’t find any books that have actually been banned–removed from libraries in the past few years, something is wrong. Either there aren’t any such books or they are so buried under books that have been challenged recently or books banned or challenged a hundred years ago that they’re almost impossible to find. Why not have a list of actual BANNED books? Why lump them all together? And I find your comment about the US going down a dangerous road to be rather strange, especially since I doubt we have any more banned/challenged books here than in the UK. Here’s a link to prove that point, http://www.nls.uk/exhibitions/banned-books As for challenged books…There will always be someone complaining about sex or violence in books or some religious leader complaing about books on witchcraft or other such subjects and there will always be someone complaining about something somewhere in the world. But if these challenged books remain on the library shelves, in bookstores or in schools, they are not banned. That is the point. However the US law prohibiting the sale of children’s books printed before 1985 because of the dangers of lead poisoning from the ink used is pretty silly. As for book BURNING, that is not something I’d ever take part in and I think most Americans feel the same. But as with all countries, we do have a few radicals.

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  2. I am so glad I found this site…I’m so excited for what’s to come!?

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“Our opinions do not really blossom into fruition until we have expressed them to someone else.” ― Mark Twain

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