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September 26, 2013

KEPPELER: Read it -- because you can

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — A lot of ideas someone else doesn’t want you to see.

Banned Books Week is sponsored by a number of entities, including the ALA and the American Booksellers Association and the American Society of Journalists and Authors. According to the ALA website, the event is meant to celebrate intellectual freedom — “the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular.”

You can find out more at www.ala.org/bbooks, including a copy of banned and challenged classics and yearly lists of books that happen to cross someone narrow-minded’s radar. This past year, it ranges from Barbara Ehrenreich’s “Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America” to Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” books to — yes — the “Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary.”

Why?

Someone didn’t like the ideas in them. Someone didn’t like the words in them. Someone didn’t like the inclusion of the term “oral sex.” (Yes, in the dictionary.)

Someone, for whatever reason, thinks you can’t make these decisions, to read or not to read, on your own — for yourself and for your children.

And that should really tick you off.

Pick a book. Pick up a copy of “Twilight.” Pick up a copy of “The Great Gatsby.” Pick up a copy of “In Cold Blood.” And read it.

Read it because you live in the United States, and we still have that wonderful First Amendment thing going on.

Read it because you can.

Jill Keppeler is a writer for the Tonawanda News. She can be reached at jill.keppeler@tonawanda-news.com. Follow her on Twitter at @JillKeppeler.

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