It would be terrific to live in a world where Banned Books Week was unnecessary, but as long as people attempt to get books thrown out of libraries and schools, as long as there are individuals who think books are for feeding fires instead of feeding minds, Banned Books Week remains important. It serves as an opportunity to draw attention to those titles that have been criticized for addressing subjects that make people uncomfortable, to books with difficult ideas or harsh imagery or what some might label objectionable vocabulary. Banned Books Week reminds us to embrace our right to read what we wish and to stand up for all the diverse voices striving to be heard.
Over at Book Riot, contributor Kelly Jensen urges us to stop “celebrating” Banned Books Week, rightly pointing out that the week itself is nothing to celebrate. But what we should celebrate is our freedom to read the very books that have been banned, not just this week but all year long. So choose a book from one the many available lists of banned works, and add it to your reading pile for the week, and maybe pick up a few more for the months ahead. Sadly, you can choose from many, many titles.