The importance of reading banned books
By: Adam Sockel, Marketing Communications Specialist
Banned Books Week, the annual celebration of the freedom to read, will be held the week of September 24th in 2017. This year, Banned Books Week will emphasize the importance of the First Amendment, which guarantees our inherent right to read. Last year saw a 17% increase in the amount of censorship complaints from the previous year, which has also lead to an uptick in the amount of books that have been banned. Reading books that are “controversial” offers a unique opportunity to see the world through a viewpoint other than your own. It provides the chance to better understand differing thought processes, even if you don’t agree with them. Banned and challenged books may include uncomfortable or foreign experiences than what you’re used to but it allows you to learn about those situations through the words of authors who may not look or think exactly like you.
The list of the most frequently challenged books each year tends to include young adult titles that feature sexual situations, violence or “adult themes”. These books help young readers learn about issues they may face or help them cope with emotions they’re having for the first time. At OverDrive, we’re proud to read and support banned and challenged books. Additionally, we firmly believe in the importance of libraries as a pillar of the community that supports the inherent right to read these books by keeping them on their shelves, both physical and digital.
We’ve created an extensive collection in Marketplace highlighting banned and challenged books from not just this year, but the frequently challenged books of our past as well. Now is the perfect time to curate a collection of banned and challenged books for your readers of all ages. These books are essential to promote not just during Banned Books Week, but all year long.
The Professional Book Nerds discuss Banned Books Week
Our Professional Book Nerds podcast’s most recent episode goes through this year’s most challenged books while providing some additional reading suggestions perfect for Banned Books Week. They also discuss last week’s announcements of the National Book Award long list. You can listen to the full episode below or by subscribing in iTunes.
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