Writing & Publishing

Why Do We Ban Books?

“Nothing’s gonna change my world.”
My questions and musings on Banned Books week 2013….

banned book

Why do we ban books?

Who are we trying to protect when we censor ideas, words, and images?

When something offends us, why do we feel the need to not only look away, but to keep it away from others as well?

Do we really care if it offends other people too?

Or is it purely out of our own self-interest that we block the eyes and ears of others?

It’s easy to see how “they” can control “us” by banning books and censoring speech – we’ve seen this practice used throughout history – but is that really what it’s all about? Control? From the state level on down to the very private level of a parent blocking TV channels from their kids – are we protecting or controlling?

My view on censorship has always been fairly liberal: if you don’t like it, don’t look at it. (or read it or listen to it, etc).

But is that even right?

Should I really only limit myself to paying attention to things I already like?

Listening to only music I know I’ll like, watching only TV shows I know I’ll like, reading only words I know I’ll like, subscribing only to news outlets I know I’ll like and/or agree with…

It’s my choice and it’s my right, but am I in fact censoring others by making these choices?

Have I made Fox News and MSNBC “banned books” simply because I only look at CNN and NPR?

If I choose a Reuters story over the Chicago Tribune, am I really just looking for the best reporting?

Or am I looking to keep something out?

What do you think about banning books and censorship? I’m trying to figure out my own opinion still, please share your thoughts and opinions with me. I really want to know.

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3 thoughts on “Why Do We Ban Books?

  1. Pingback: Just a short word on Banned Books week and general censorship. | candyreads

  2. Pingback: Prelude to Censorship | The Sidekick Complex

  3. Pingback: In Search of Censored Paragraphs | Emilia Jordan

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