Let's Talk Bookish

Let’s Talk Bookish: Banning Books

I’ve been missing a lot of these book discussions recently, but I hoping to get back into. There are some really great topics that I’ve missed that I’ll be trying to post of later in the upcoming weeks.

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, created and hosted by Rukky @eternitybooks, where we discuss chosen topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts.

This week’s question: Banning books, a bookish sin or a reasonable act?

This was an easy answer for me I think it’s a terrible thing to do. I must admit I haven’t put a ton of research into this subject so there many be aspects of this debate that I’m missing, but banning books it’s just not something that happens at schools, but is something that happens at prisons and other places as well. It is form of censorship that I think is truly controlling in a way I don’t support.

What is the purpose of a book?

Obviously there are many answers to that question and it would depend on who you ask as to what answer you would get. However, I would say that in general a couple answers are agreed upon especially in the larger community.

  1. Entertainment: Fiction books especially are a large source of entertainment for people. Banning that form of entertainment would be like banning shows like Game of Thrones, Scandal, Stranger Things, etc. Shows that might be a little bit more “adult” , but that students of certain ages have definitely watched. Parents are able to allow or deny access to that material to their children. I believe it should be the same for books if we are talking about banning books from schools. Parents should have the ability to allow or deny certain access to books. Not all parents agree on what is appropriate or not and having an outside source decide for you is something most people don’t appreciate.
  2. Broadening your horizons: Whether reading fiction or nonfiction one reason authors write and why readers read is to get new information and experiences. By banning books people are censuring not only the books themselves, but thoughts, ideas, and possibilities. That to me is a very dangerous thing to do.

Schools

Most schools ban books when requested by parents. I believed those requests are mainly based on complaints about language or sexual explicit content. While I believe parents should have a large say in their child’s education I don’t believe it is appropriate to try and get a book completely banned from school because I can guarantee that not all parents will agree. If the parent is truly that concerned then they should be looking over the books their children are reading. If they are not willing to put in that level of commitment than I don’t think they have much of a leg to stand on when trying to force a school to get rid of a book. I know parents are busy and that is a lot to expect, but truly every parent has different standards on what is appropriate and expecting a school to agree with everyone parent is silly.

Prisons

So, I actually spent some time looking into this subject a bit and its utterly ridiculously. There truly seems to be no rhyme or reason to these bans and it seems to vary from state to state. Alabama has banned art books about African art as well as anatomy drawing. There’s also world travel guides that have been banned. California seems to mainly sticking to banning pornography though if you look they also are banning books on the black panther party and alternative religious practice outside of Christianity. You look at Florida’s list and it doesn’t make sense with some issues of magazines like Popular Science being approved while others were rejected. If you’re curious about which books are banned where you can look here. There’s no good way to look up certain books, but most lists are alphabetized.

The Final Stance

From what I’ve seen through just a very brief exploration of this topic my feelings remain the same. While there might be some books that people might not generally argue with being banned (anything with sexual content probably). I think banning those books makes it easier to slip in books that might challenge the status quo like Harry Potter. Harry Potter is be usually requested to be banned because people think it encourages children to practice witchcraft which generally not something conservative christian groups appreciate. You also have books banned in prisons that are about the problems with our current prison system. That is a very intentional removal of knowledge and information.

So, I don’t approve of any censuring of books. You as an adult or parents have the responsibility to choose what you read. You don’t have to agree with it or like it or encourage people to read it, but neither would I say you have the right to take that ability away from anyone else.

Let's Talk Bookish

Lets Talk Bookish- Is there a time limit on spoilers?

Welcome to my Let’s Talk Bookish post. Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, created and hosted by Rukky @eternitybooks, where we discuss chosen topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts. So, this discussion post was supposed to be written in December, but due to time constraints I didn’t get a chance to post it then. So, here it is.

Previous week’s topic: Is there a time limit on spoilers?

My answer: Yes! I think spoilers are the worst. I hate when things are spoiled for me and I know others do too. However, if you don’t make an effort to see and/or read something after a certain point my sympathy fades a bit. I would say the larger question for me is how long do you have to wait?

I have two answers.

Two Weeks

My impatient answer is two weeks. I love talking and sharing my joy with people about good books or movies. I feel like I’m almost bursting if I can’t share my thoughts with anyone. This can be in on the internet or to people who have no intention of watching/reading whatever it is I’m excited about. I would say that this is the super fan timeline of willingness to wait.

A month

This is the more patient and understanding part of me. We all have busy lives and not all of us can read everything right as it comes out. A month gives someone much more time to go at their own pace and schedule without having to drop everything in order to beat the super fans and their crazy love.

Spoiler Warnings

I know I said there is a time limit on spoilers, but I think a nice thing to do is put a spoiler warning; especially, if you’re writing a review. People have very strong views on spoilers and whether you agree with them or not I wouldn’t recommend alienating readers. If you give a spoiler warning then at least people know what they’re getting into.


How do you feel about spoilers? Do you think that there is a time limit? If so, how long do you think it should be? I’d love to read your thoughts!

Let's Talk Bookish

Let’s Talk Bookish: Are TBRs need to be a book blogger/reader?

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, created and hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books, where we discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts. Posts are written on Friday’s.

This Friday’s discussion the question is do you need to have a TBR to be considered a book blogger/reader?

First, for those of you who might be confused. TBR is an acronym meaning To Be Read. Many readers have lists of books that they really want to read, but haven’t yet had the time. Hence, the creation of TBR list.

Secondly, the very simple answer. No, absolutely not. You don’t need a TBR to be a book blogger/reader. Your book blog is whatever you make it and if you don’t have a TBR and aren’t worried about it then its not a big deal. Most book bloggers want smaller TBRs so if you don’t have one then you’re already ahead of the game.

Why it might feel like you need a TBR

So, this question really threw me for a loop if I’m honest. I feel like my answer is the obvious answer, but as I continued to think about it I can see how someone could really wonder about it. The book blogging community talks A TON about TBRs. It’s a uniting force within our community, because most of us have them. There are even reading challenges based specifically on getting your TBR list under control. I can see if you’re someone with no TBR to speak of that it might seem like you’re missing something. However, outside of bonding over the length of your TBR or similar conversation you’re not missing anything. You are still a very valid reader and blogger TBR or no.

If I don’t need one why are they a big deal?

  1. Community. As I mentioned before the book blogging community really seems to bond over TBRs. It’s nice sometimes to know you’re not the only one obsessing over book or have a large stack of unread books on your shelf especially if you have friends that aren’t big readers.
  2. They help people remember the books they want to read. As a book lover I want to read SO MANY BOOKS. I don’t have time or money to purchase all the books that I’ve seen that I think I would enjoy, but a part of my bookish heart dies at the thought of forgetting about a book that I was once so excited to read. That is why I have a TBR via Goodreads.
  3. People enjoy lists. There’s nothing more satisfying then making a list or setting a goal then getting to cross off a line of it as often as you can. While a small fraction of the reason I have a TBR it is nice to get that feeling of success not only from having read a good book, but also being one step closer to reaching your goal of books you’d like to read.

So, in short if you have a TBR that’s cool, but also if you don’t that’s also cool. You are still a reader and a book blogger if you don’t have TBR. I applaud your restraint at not hoarding books like a possessive dragon.


So, what do you think? Do you feel like you need to have a TBR to be a valid member of the book community? Do you have a TBR? I look forward to hearing your thoughts.