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Banning books infringes on a reader’s right to choose

By in Press Enterprise on October 1, 2017

By Andrea Fingerson

According to my coworker, I have a thing about Banned Books Week, which just wrapped up Sept. 30. She might be right, because whenever September approaches a little nerve starts throbbing in my gray matter. Several of them in fact. And the same phrase sounds in my ears: “How dare someone try to ban my books.”

I love my books. And no one can take them away from me. No one! Argh.

Inlandia Literary Journeys contributing columnist Andrea Fingerson

Sorry for sounding like a pirate there for a moment. I realize that Halloween is still a few weeks away, but the thought of banning books makes me want to force people to walk the plank. And drown any hidden fire they might try to use to burn my precious literature.

Or the not so precious literature that is out there right alongside it.

From what I’ve read, the battle surrounding banned books seems to be centered around conservative religious types not wanting their children to read anything that is sexually explicit or that glorifies, or normalizes, lifestyle choices they disagree with. As a conservative religious type myself, I get the concern. I don’t want to read sexually graphic content. And, if I had kids, I wouldn’t want them to read it either.

As for controversial lifestyle choices that are depicted in fiction, I either read with an open mind, or choose not to purchase that particular book because it’s not something I want to read.

The point is that I make that decision. For myself and for myself alone. No one else is involved. They don’t need to be. Honestly, it’s no one else’s business what I read or don’t read. And other people have the right to make the same choice about what they read.

Unfortunately, the controversy surrounding banned books can’t be fixed with a simple […]    

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