As I was making plans to celebrate Banned Books Week, I put out a call to several of my reading groups to see if anyone would be interested on writing a guest post for the week (or even providing some quotes). But apparently no one loved me enough So I asked one of my good Goodreads friends, Mrs. Missive, if she would be interested in providing a post and I’m happy to say that she said YES! lol! We have been online friends for several years (and yet have never met).
Mrs. Missive is the Moderator and Founder of the Kindle Smut group on Goodreads.com. She has an addiction to coffee and books she can get lost in. Smut lover and author advocate, she hopes that one day her world will resemble a romance novel.
Mrs. Missive on Banned Book Week:
Banned Books Week is more than a celebration of our right to read. It is an outright battle cry for the first amendment. As a society, our “normal” is always changing. We have new values and new acceptable practices every day. Human rights have advanced through the written word.
Sometimes when people were afraid to speak, they could write. Many of the roadblocks for human rights began to crumble simply because someone was brave enough to ask why they were there in the first place. Putting these whys to paper or computer in an increasingly literate society, can make them spread like wildfire.
Fiction books play an important role in our society, as well. Escaping into a world or character created by these imaginative authors let us see things from a point of view that we could never imagine on our own. This ultimate immersion helps us put our own prejudices aside for a few hundred pages and look outside ourselves.
But aside from all that, for me, banned books is about supporting authors who have had to fight to have their voices heard. Buying a book, requesting it at the library, or posting a review are all ways we can put the names of the authors out there. I don’t want to read books I won’t enjoy. I’m not about reading something because it’s a classic and I should.
I want to read something that pushed someone during my Banned Books Week. Every protest over a book means the book affected the reader emotionally. Those words put them in motion, even if the motion is one of protest, which is entirely their right. Those are words that hold power and should not be kept hidden. Or the person didn’t read the book at all and is acting on supreme ignorance. I will keep my vulgarly worded opinion of that to myself.
You may call these big words for someone who reads primarily erotic romance, a genre with a severe negative connotation. I say there is no difference in what I read and what you read. Sex is not evil. Sex is emotional. Sex is powerful. Sex is empowering. When an author pulls me in, and shows me the couple’s emotional connection when they make love, I understand how those two characters relate to one another in the most intimate way in existence. When two people have sex, when a person lets go and becomes overtaken with an orgasm, that, right there, is when a person is the most honest. That is where that character’s truth lies. So I am not embarrassed to read “smut”. I am empowered. By uncovering the truth for the characters I read, I also find another clue about my own truth. Every book I read, I find out a little bit more about myself. Love it or hate it, a book helps you uncover something.
Banned books week lets us celebrate those authors who were willing to help us discover something that no other person has before. I am reading 1984, which was challenged in 1981 in Florida schools. I am also waiting on The Perks of Being a Wallflower from the library. I won’t list all those challenges or bans for that one. There are too dang many. Then I am picking up some of my Selena Kitt books that were pulled from Amazon for content that occurs in a fictional world. Not all of these will be my taste. Not all of these will leave me with warm fuzzy feelings. But by reading something someone was told they shouldn’t, I am gaining knowledge that at least one person missed.
Celebrate Banned Books Week with me. Find a new piece of your truth.