In the words of Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, "words are, in my not so humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic". We'd like to add to that by saying that words on the pages of books are not only magic, but also powerful, influential, mind-boggling, reality-warping, and government-scaring.
This last week we have been enjoying one of our favourite bookish celebrations, Banned Books Week. This week aims to highlight the censorship, challenge and banning of books across the globe, and to challenge it right back. Recently, we ordered in copies of the utterly brilliant Greta Thunberg's 'No One is Too Small to Make a Difference'. They sold out quicker than you can say superhero. Books like these have the power to start revolutions, and people want to read them. Naturally, that means that some people up top would rather they weren't able to do so.
So that's what Banned Books Week is for; fighting the censorship of important books. In creating our display for this celebration, we were shocked by some of the titles that have been banned and removed from reading lists and school curriculums.
For example, Mark Twain's classic novel Huckleberry Finn has been widely challenged and censored since its publication. The novel was labelled "trash" and "suitable only for the slums". Hemingway's novels have come under much fire too, both A Farewell to Arms and For Whom the Bell Tolls having been banned from curriculums in the USA in the past. Even Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, hundreds of years old, has a rich history of causing trouble with schools, libraries and governments in Europe and the USA, for being just a little too saucy for their sensibilities.
However, what's really important to note is that despite the challenge they've faced, these books and their writers are known all over the world, and have had a subsequent effect on not only other writers who take inspiration from the works, but also on their readers.
So perhaps that's a lesson to us all to keep reading banned books and fighting censorship, to keep challenging our governments, and above all, don't let the muggles get you down!
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