Sunday, September 21, 2014

Banned Books Week - Sept. 21-27, 2014

Banned Books Week is an annual national [US] event that takes place in September from the 21st to the 27th. Banned books week celebrates and promotes the accessibility of all works of literature, and the freedom to choose what you want to read without the burden of censorship. Well, I'm Canadian and we have our own version of Banned Books week which takes place in February, it's called Freedom to Read Week, and it's pretty awesome. However, since Canada and the US are friendly neighbours/ BFFs and everything and also since I love all literary causes regardless of country of origin, I've decided to participate in both banned books weeks. YAY! This is a pretty big week here - not one, but TWO bookish events? It's unheard of.

The Lord of the Rings (The Lord of the Rings, #1-3)Usually I like to focus on just one big event at a time and normally when I commit to something I like to give it all of my attention. But I think Banned Books Week is incredibly important and I think that a Banned Books week/ Tolkien Blog Party crossover makes a lot of sense. You don't agree? Well, did you know that The Lord of The Rings is listed currently listed at #40 on the American Library Associations list of Banned & Challenged Classics.

Outrageous, you say? Preposterous, you say? Well, yes. Yes it is. Outrageous and preposterous indeed. Shame on you people who try to remove this amazing work of literary fiction from public schools and libraries.

A few of the reasons behind the bans include the promotion of smoking (as in pipes) and satanic and irreligious content. Wizards, trolls, magic, etc. Personally, I find it ridiculous that so many religious groups cite witchcraft and magic in books as a good enough reason to ban a book (Harry Potter has been banned in lots of places as well - not even children's books are safe). I recently learned that J.R.R. Tolkien was raised by a priest and was very good friends with C.S. Lewis, who - as we all know - is an incredibly well known Christian author. In spite of this, his work is often challenged and banned from Christian schools.

I am a huge Tolkien fan and love The Lord of The Rings, This week I'll be reading The Hobbit, bans be damned.
The Hobbit (Middle-Earth Universe)

What do you think of these challenges to LOTR?  Will you be reading any banned books this week?


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