Celebrating the Right to Read Banned Books

By David Mikail 
 The last week of September of every year marks the beginning of the banned book week. Banned book week is an event that celebrates our freedom to read. During banned book week, hundreds of libraries and book stores draw our attention to banned and challenged books. It began in 1982 as a response to the 11,300 books that were banned by some governments since they were considered as a threat.

 An example of a banned book is 1984 by George Orwell. Originally banned in 1948 it was challenged and banned repeatedly and it ranked as the 5th most challenged book of all times. 1984 was written by Orwell to warn us about the totalitarian regimes and the consequences of losing our freedom to think. It was banned in the U.S.S.R (Soviet Union) in 1950 because it was claimed to have “anti-soviet themes”.  It was not until 1990 that the U.S.S.R re-released and legalized the book after editing it.
However, there is a constant argument on whether we should ban books or not. One of the reasons to ban books is because some books might discuss controversial issues or have an unpopular and even offensive point of view. On the other hand a reason not to ban books is that it is not fair to prevent someone from reading a book because you may not like it.

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