Banned Books Week runs from September 30th to October 6th this year, and aims to both celebrate the freedom to read, and raise awareness of the fact that across America there are still regular attempts to get certain titles banned.
With Fifty Shades of Grey having been banned by a number of US libraries, it’s clear that there are still people who want to restrict others’ freedom to read certain types of material. Quite often, the target is sex, with a minority of readers complaining about salacious content, but every book has the potential to offend someone.
One of the best responses to book banning comes from Kurt Vonnegut. In 1973, his anti-war novel Slaughterhouse Five was banned and burned by a North Dakota school. Vonnegut subsequently wrote a letter to the school’s principal, passing comment on the decision. As you might expect, he didn’t receive a reply.