Books

Just say no to censorship

It’s Banned Books Week, a national holiday that exalts in our right to read. Every year, people object to various books appearing in schools, stores and libraries. From Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five to Stephenie Meyer’s overtly religious Twilight, faves of young readers are flying off the shelves, flung by overzealous censors.

Fear not. The opposition is strong. Banned Books Week is so popular, even the U.K. is getting in on it. (Copiers.)

Alibi Arts Editor John Bear points out that when a book is held up as proof of society’s poor morals—what with all the cursing and sex and witches—sales go through the roof. But think of the children. If you cleanse their readings lists of all the good stuff, who the hell is going to want to crack open anything other than Teen Vogue?

Most writers say they’re honored to be named among other fine authors when they’re called out on these yearly smut lists.

See the American Library Association’s roster of 2009’s most frequently challenged books.

Scope this map of banned books.

There’s also this proud lineup of the most controversial banned books, including links to excerpts.

Ooh. An even bigger list.

And here’s a bunch of sweet merch items that would make great presents for your most fascinating friends.

Or, celebrate on your own. Go get dirty and nerdy with your favorite filthy literature. Freeeeeeeedooooooooom!