If you’d like to see the footage of me taking my turn reading in the jail cell, click here. (I get started around the 6:00 minute mark.)
As Banned Books Week comes to a close, I wanted to share my experience and thoughts about reading a banned/challenged book in a jail cell at DML East Branch Library earlier this week.
Books have always been a major part of my life. I have several memories of my dad in the summer yelling at my sister and me to stop reading and go outside to play like “normal” kids. So we’d shuffle outside. When he’d come out to check on us a little while later we’d be reading in lawn chairs outside and he would start yelling again. It wouldn’t be for many more years that he’d realize reading was playing for us.
What’s really shocking about Banned Books Week is learning about how many of your most beloved books have been challenged or banned. Pretty much every classic piece of literature has been challenged or banned somewhere and all of the books that defined your childhood were too. It’s sort of makes you feel like a rebel of some kind.
The best way to celebrate Banned Books Week is not to get in the way of people who want to explore the human experience through the written word and this starts at the individual level as far as I’m concerned. I went to elementary and middle school at a time when tracking students was popular. They decided when you were really, really young whether you were smart, average, or below average and kept you with others of your type throughout. When we were all dumped together in high school, I couldn’t understand the kids who said they “don’t read.” It wasn’t until I started working at the library that I saw how people grow up thinking that reading is terrible. So often I would hear parents yell at their kids for trying to check out or read books that weren’t at their own level, shaming them into putting them back. I won’t even go into how many times I heard “You know you’re not allowed to check out books, now go get a DVD so we can go home!” My parents did right by my sister and me by letting us pick out books that were too old for us. Our reading levels were higher than normal and any books that were too difficult to understand (e.g. War and Peace) we set aside for another time.
Back to reading in the jail cell, it was a lot of fun – especially since I was reading one of my favorite books, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. It was neat because the first time I experienced this book was when it was read aloud to us in high school AP English by our student teacher, Ms. Grise. It meant the world to us at the time and it really stuck with me in a meaningful way.
Welcome!I love Dayton, I've lived here for all of my 26 years and don't plan on settling anywhere else. I started this blog as a way to showcase the best of Dayton (as seen through my perspective) and also to share some of the things that occupy space in my mind, namely beauty, home decor, quotes, and various aspects of my life.
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