Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Banned Books Ahoy!

We celebrate our right to read freely this week, a right to cherish and not to take lightly. Book censorship has been with us in America (especially Massachusetts) since our earliest days. The first book was censored in 1650 on the grounds that it challenged Puritan doctrine and was heretical. As time went on "Banned in Boston" became a familiar phrase. According to the Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins, 2d ed, 1988, "During the 1920s the phrase banned in Boston became famous because the long-established Watch and Ward Society of the so-called Hub of the Universe was forever getting the city censor to ban books from sale. Many publishers actively sought to have their books banned in Boston because they knew the label would increase their sales in the rest of the country..." Now individuals challenge and hope to suppress books that they feel are subversive, especially to young minds. U Penn has a good overview of Banned Books On-line and the reasons for the challenges. Stop by the library and see if you have read any of the titles in our display. You might be amazed at what you find. Read a banned book today!

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