extribulum

Somebody Ban My Fucking Book

In Uncategorized on October 1, 2012 at 12:37 pm

It’s Banned Books Week!

So here’s a story with a moral about banned books.

One summer in undergrad, I basically had nothing to do. I was staying at school and working in the university library, but we didn’t have a huge number of patrons and I was frequently on desk duty, which meant I spent a lot of time sitting at a counter, not doing much. It was a great job, really. If it paid more than peanuts I’d probably still be doing it.

We were allowed to read books while on desk duty, so I decided for the summer to read as many banned books as I could get my hands on. It’d be educational, and if they were banned that must mean they were either violent or dirty or both. I found a reasonably accurate list of the top 100 most frequently banned books and went through it, crossing off the ones I’d already read, which brought me down to something like seventy books.

So I started finding these books in the stacks or ordering them from other libraries, and I discovered something vital about frequently banned books:

Most banned books are very, very boring.

My theory is that the kind of pearl-clutching idiot who holds a mindset that one should ban a book at all is the kind of person who does not pay much attention to real content. Worse, they wouldn’t know disturbing content if it bit them in the ass. Books are banned for a single sex scene, or a mention of marijuana, or a certain level of profane language. I was reading racier stuff when I was a freshman in high school. I was understandably disappointed.

But these books do get a lot of attention, and banned book lists trick suckers like me into reading them in the hopes of being shocked or titillated. I know the major purpose of Banned Books Week is to draw attention to ongoing attempts at censorship in America and to make sure that threatened books get so widely read they can’t possibly be eradicated, and that’s great…but it’s a pretty sweet marketing tool, too.

I figure between the allusions to rape, the consensual threesome, the blasphemous treatment of angels, and the magic in Trace, I should at least get a mention. There’s magic in Nameless, too, and a big gay kiss. And The Dead Isle pretty visibly says magic is an awesome religion.

SOMEBODY BAN MY BOOKS. I’LL BE FAMOUS.

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