Burn the books

The Literary Society’s annual banned book reading challenged books with performances and readings.

This year’s banned books week was Sept. 24 through the 30 and on Sept. 26, Winthrop University Literary Society’s host the annual Banned Book Reading.  The event hosted in Owens G02 highlighted some of the books on this years banned book list and opened up a discussion about censorship and the reasons books are banned and challenged, specifically in public schools and public libraries.

“I think a lot of us enjoy reading and we take availability of books for granted, but the reality is that sometimes people have a hard time finding books because those books aren’t considered appropriate within the environments that they live,” English professor Casey Cothran said. “So, I think it’s important for teachers and school libraries to have a variety of books on a variety of different topics so that people can find those books, even if they’re books that their parents would never buy for them or that they would even be allowed to buy for themselves.”

Cothran led the event and the discussion that followed. Cothran believes that it is very that important to have events like this one and to highlight banned books.

Cothran also spoke on the difference between banned and challenged books and that books are more frequently challenged rarely banned.  Some of the usual reasons books are challenged are due to sexual content, religious beliefs, political views, profanity and more. Challengers usually include parents, clergy members, school board members, teachers, and elected officials.

Literary society president Hayley Neiling said the event had a great turnout, as every seat in the room was filled and there were even people standing along the walls in the back.

Throughout the event, the literary society preformed scenes and did readings  from current banned books.  Books included: “This One Summer” by Mariko Tamaki, “Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood, J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” and “Communism for Kids” by Bini Adamczak, Jacob Blumenfeld, and Sophie Lewis.

“I have a grudge against capitalism because it hurts people a lot so I really wanted to talk about it, especially that specific chapter on what exactly capitalism is and how it began,” Neiling said.

Neiling performed a reading from “Capitalism for Kids” and believes that capitalism is full of issues the reading gave her an outlet to address some of those issues.

“It was actually better than what I thought it was gonna be because it was actually like really entertaining, I learned a lot about like, they’re a lot of reasons that books shouldn’t be banned and there’s a lot of meaningfulness of the books that are banned,” Alcorn said.

Senior Danielle Alcorn, who attended the event found the event to be surprisingly entertaining and took a lot away from the program.

Students who weren’t able to attend the event can view the Top 10 Banned books list from 2016 on the American Library Association website at Ala.org.

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