Censorship! Censorship! Read all about it!

So… this week, the topic of censorship keeps popping up as a topic of conversation in and out of classes.

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What do I mean when I say “censorship“? Well, this time, it’s in reference to books. Why some people think they are more fit to determine what is “right” and “wrong” for the whole of society is beyond me. Many people probably still remember the whole “Harry Potter” controversy that ruled the world more than a decade ago (when the books first came out and started gaining popularity, especially in the US). I had the extreme honor of witnessing it first hand (being in Catholic school K-12, in a town run by Polish-Catholics), and even though I was ten, I still remember it vividly.

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It was banned from the schools, the libraries, the bookstores, pretty much the whole town. We weren’t allowed to have it in school, even if it was our own copy, because it was all about magic and witchcraft and was “the devil’s handbook,” or some nonsense like that. My mom read the first book before me, then handed it over and said: “There’s no harm in you reading this.”

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Since then, this series has become some of my all-time favorite books and sometimes I wonder if that has anything to do with the fact that it was “taboo” when I first started reading it, not to mention it’s awesome plots and characters.

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I know I’m not the only one to have experiences with books being censored, but I wonder how many other people had reactions similar to mine when it comes to “tabooed” books.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Censorship! Censorship! Read all about it!

  1. If only people would stop banning books… every book banned has more value than some that are not.

    • I agree. My hometown banned the Harry Potter novels for quite a few years and, as I said, I find that these are still some of my favorites, along with Stephen King (who is regularly featured on the banned book lists) and other such authors.

  2. I remember being 12 or 13 and there was a bookmark they gave out at my public library with a list of frequently banned books. I taped it to my mirror and resolved to read them all (still working on that). There’s definitely an allure to the forbidden. Luckily, my high school was pretty apathetic about what books were allowed in the library– probably because very few people bothered to read them.
    As a side note, the pastor of the church I attended at the time was a Potterhead and had his office decorated with HP memorabilia. So there’s that.

    • My school’s priest was rather oblivious to the whole thing. It was more the parents, teachers, and especially the principals that were against it. They all tried to get the priest on their side and he was just sort of against picking a side.

  3. What was it that made you want to write about this week? When there’s a “timely topic” associated with our posts, it’s really great to reference that.

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