Banning books has a long history, and these days, it seems that books can still elicit the same old panic over morality. Here are seven books you’ve likely read—not only because they were banned at some point, but because several of these subversive tomes are now considered classics.
Banning books is a pretty big deal. People tend to think of a book ban as an impediment to free speech, and many pooh-pooh those who support book bans as too prudish or otherwise prescriptive. If you don’t like a book, simply don’t read it. Others, specifically those advocating for a book ban, feel that some books present dangerous ideas. This is especially true when those books are aimed at or made available to vulnerable populations, such as children.
This week is banned book week, which celebrates books that have been protested and essentially “kicked out” of libraries around America.
The ire of readers and censors tends to be roused by certain types of books. Book bans aren’t usually unilateral. They often happen at the level of an individual school or library.