Books speak quietly. They’re full of ideas-and stories representing concepts that can’t seem to be transmitted any other way, except perhaps in pictures. But throughout history, books have been banned.
Societies put limits on the behavior of their people, for one thing. This is often necessary for a society to function. The rub is when societies become permeated with lies, lies that have nothing to do with a society’s well-being as much as to empower certain persons.
For another, the history of societies is often written in lies that favor one group of people over another. History, it seems, is always written by the winners of wars, not the losers, and these histories are often constituted through lies, lies that distort the reality of those societies.
Books, particularly the ones written as fiction, are the antidotes to society’s lies and false justifications, and that makes them a danger to the powerful. So books properly written can challenge a reader’s thinking, about the makeup of the reader’s world. This is why, in the ‘sixties, when so-called radicals were burning campus buildings, author James Mitchener begged them , PLEASE! don’t burn the libraries.
You can stand on a street corner and proclaim your angst. You can rant on TV, but books are much more powerful statements than any such posturing. If, in the future, you come to find a book that’s ever been banned, pick it up, take it home. Read it. It will change the way you see the world.
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