Banning Stove Top Stuffing and Books

If you didn’t know, this week is Banned Book Week. And there’s been lots of great discussion in the blog world about the topic. Well, I want to jump on the bandwagon.

I’m not a fan of Stove Top stuffing. The smell makes me queasy and I think it has too many spices. And way too much salt. So imagine I go around to all the local grocery stores and demand that they remove Stove Top from their shelves. Sorry, everyone, but Stove Top just shouldn’t be consumed by anyone because I think it’s nasty.

Someone would probably egg my house, key my car, and write me hate mail…especially around Thanksgiving.

The truth is, nobody would try to ban Stove Top. It’s absurd. But people try and do ban books that they don’t like from libraries, schools, etc. Is there a difference?

Obviously, when it comes to books there is the moral issue–it’s more than dislike, it’s beliefs. And that’s where we get into the sensitive area. Is it standing for my beliefs or is it taking away the opportunity for people to think?

There are many things I believe in and don’t believe in. For example, I don’t believe in pornography and I would fight to get rid of it. That would be me standing for my beliefs. But would I try to ban a book about a teenage boy dealing with a pornography addiction? No.

Books open up discussion, help us see through other people’s eyes into experiences that we may never have. Books about sensitive topics often are the most powerful and the most eye-opening. Even if we don’t agree, we are forming our own opinions by not agreeing.

That doesn’t mean that I will let my own children read anything and everything. I remember my own mom telling me to wait until I was older to read certain books. If I had a twelve-year-old daughter wanting to read Twilight, I may ask her to wait. Or I may tell her that we’re going to discuss the books as she reads them.

In my opinion, parents should be the ones monitoring what their children read. They should facilitate discussion about the tough subjects, and help their children form opinions. Teach them to think. And if there really is a book that you’ve read and don’t feel like your teen should read, tell them why. And if you’re feeling very strongly about it, share with other parents why you think they should read the book and consider for themselves before allowing their children to read. There’s no reason to go off to the schools and libraries and force the book off the shelf.

About Karen Krueger

I write for teens when I'm not chasing after two cute kids. I love to sing and eat cereal (though not at the same time), and I most certainly am not a vampire because I'm addicted to sunshine.
This entry was posted in Books & Reading, Q4U and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Banning Stove Top Stuffing and Books

  1. Becca Palmer says:

    Boo! First of all, I happen to say that Stove Top stuffing has been one of the things I’ve craved during my pregnancy, so no banning it! 🙂

    Secondly, I agree with you that it is ridiculous to ban books from schools and libraries. I think libraries should make choices about which books to buy according to their readership, and generally I think that happens. You don’t want an elementary school library carrying “The Joys of Tantric Sex,” or something like that. If a librarian pulls a book like that and donates it to a more appropriate venue, would you consider that an act of banning the book? Or are you referring to those movements where, for example, parents try and burn all copies of “Harry Potter,” because it encourages kids towards witchcraft? As for me, I think libraries should be able to choose the books they have on their shelves, but I think that directive should come from a librarian, and not a parent. Librarians tend to be more well-read and better informed about books.

    But if you are talking about public libraries, I think that is a bit different story. Some 13 year-olds are interested in sex, and wouldn’t it be better that they got their information from a more reputable source rather than what their friends tell them? The key that you mentioned is being able to discuss the things learned, and for that you need an involved parent or a watchful librarian.

    I guess some parents think it is easier to just ban the books of which they disapprove, and not to monitor children closely. But anytime someone talks about banning books, I think of Hitler. That’s NOT the direction I want to go.

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