Banning books robs students of education and entertainment

As Washburn begins integrating Themester into Spring 2019 courses, it has led me to think about the topic of banning books from schools and libraries. Books are an educational source, so the idea of banning books from educational settings baffles me. There are some schools that refuse to let students read stories like “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” a legendary classic. I understand that the story has some prejudice and racism, but I also think that it’s a learning experience. To learn many subjects, you need an open mind to really learn something new. I may not have been the biggest fan of the story, but it’s still literature, and as I said before, it’s a classic. I was gifted an original copy of this story by my great grandfather and it has always been special to me because it’s history. 

Books are a source of imagination and creativitiy, an outlet of sorts that can be used as a temporary escape from reality even if it’s for a few minutes. They are written by authors of different backgrounds, social statuses and experiences, and to me, that is a powerful thing. Authors take an extraordinary amount of time to write each story they produce only to have it banned from environments where reading is supposed to flourish. 

Personally, I enjoy reading books with mythical lands and creatures, worlds that are completely different from today. The imagination that each author sets in their story is remarkable. I often find myself wondering how they come up with the worlds and the little details that the setting or the characters include. 

To ban books from schools is banning educational aspects, imagination and creativity at the same time. Books open up worlds that may or may not be similar to our current society. Sure, some of those worlds may not be ideal or they may trigger a few emotions, but that’s the beauty of books. They can be anything the author wants them to be, fiction or nonfiction, fantasy, historical, anything. Schools were built to educate people, so the idea of banning books where their purpose is to educate doesn’t make sense. 

I understand that parents have the right to censor what their children read, and I support it, but they don’t have the right to ban which books are available to other people. 

Banning books is banning knowledge. Many of the books that are being banned challenge people to have a better idea of the world and open the reader’s eyes to a world different than their own lifestyle. 

To some extent, I can understand banning books from schools. Some books were not written to be read in schools and some books probably shouldn’t be read in schools, but banning books from libraries baffles me even more. 

Libraries were built to house all kinds of books so that people from different walks of life can read whatever books they choose. Part of the beauty of libraries is that you can go in not having any clue what you want to read, and come out with something new that you have never read before.  

While researching this topic, a few of the reasons why books have been banned include encouragement of damaging lifestyles, blasphemous dialogue, such as using the lord’s name in vain, religious affiliation, meaning  books have been banned or censored due to unpopular religious views or opinions as well as presence of witchcraft, such as books like the “Harry Potter” series.  

Books open up a world of creativity that nothing else can compare. They explore worlds different than our own, and to me, that is special. Authors have the ability to impart wisdom from a multitude of areas. 

There are valid reasons for banning some books, and there are some books that children or young adults probably shouldn’t read until they are an adult, but for others, reading should be the choice if the reader. 

We can find so much knowledge from books and gain so much life experience just from reading a book. They have the ability to inspire people and opinion, which can have many lasting effects on us and in our society, so preventing someone from receiving this joy seems wrong. 

Banning books should be left up to households, not the government. If you don’t want your child reading “Harry Potter,” that’s ok, but don’t take it away from readers who enjoy reading about fantastical worlds. 

While there are some valid reasons for wanting to ban or censor certain books, those reasons don’t compare to the damage that is done from prohibiting someone from getting to learn about something they are interested in.