Taking a Look at the Banning of Books

Dave Astor on Literature

Angie Thomas with her compelling novel. (Teen Vogue photo.)

When a Tennessee school district last month removed from its curriculum Art Spiegelman’s Holocaust graphic novel Maus, book banning was once again in the news.

I, like most avid readers, oppose book banning. (No surprise there.) If you don’t like a book, don’t read it. Nothing would make me read, say, an Ayn Rand novel, but others are welcome to do so. Some will even survive the experience. 🙂

Then there’s the matter of book banning often making the banned book more popular — as exemplified by Maus climbing current best-seller lists despite it dating back to 1980 (when it started to be serialized). It’s not a banner day for a book banner when there’s a sales spike caused by curiosity and/or people wanting to push back against narrow-mindedness.

Of course, the vast majority of book banning is perpetrated by people…

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