It's banned books week....

....Which is a great time to celebrate your right to free speech by reading what you want to read - and letting other people read what they want, too.

Here are a few of my favorites (now classics, of course) that were banned for one reason or another:

Ulysses, by James Joyce
1984, by George Orwell
Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
Catch-22, by Joseph Heller
Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe
A Passage to India, by E.M. Forster
Slaughterhouse Five, by Kurt Vonnegut

I know that I'd be a different person without having read these books. Do you have any favorite banned books? The answer is likely "yes" - imagine if you'd never been allowed to read your favorite books.

If you want to know more about banned books, the Teszler library has a page with links to banned books resources. Consider the list of "banned classics," which is where I found my favorites. Or look into how books are "challenged," or on what grounds books were withheld from readers.

This is such a fundamental First Amendment issue that there are many ways of considering the phenomenon; one could have a whole semester-long class on it, just as Wofford's Dr. Byrnes is doing this year.

But for us librarians, it comes down to this:

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