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Banning books over personal preference is unnecessary

posted Oct 12, 2015, 10:00 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Oct 12, 2015, 10:05 AM ]

Just last week was the annual Banned Books Week. According to the American Library Association, this is the week where readers and the rest of the book community - librarians, booksellers, publishers, etc. - come together to support the idea of having freedom in reading or expressing unorthodox content. After starting the ‘Banned Books’ section in Comp I this week, I came to the realization of how ridiculous it is to ban a book for controversial content. After all, isn’t it labeled controversial for a reason?

In my opinion, if you are against your child reading a book with content you find inappropriate, then it is up to you to limit them. However, I am strongly against the idea that complaining parents - who make up the vast majority of those who challenge books - should be able to prevent another child from reading content that they are mature enough to read. Just because you are against an idea within a book, that doesn’t mean no one else should be able to read about it. For example, there are complaints against books  that express anti-Christian beliefs, anti-family values, and age inappropriate content, all of which are personal opinions. It should be within your personal preference what books you choose to read, without limiting someone else’s preferences.

The same goes for the parent to child guidance. Content that is clearly age inappropriate should be limited by parents, but ideas such as history explained within a book should not be limited. Your child will have to learn the events from history at some point -  disagreeing with the events doesn’t erase them from history, nor should it prevent a child from learning the valuable lessons in history.