Posted in Books

Banned Books Week

Celebrate Your Freedom to Read

Reading can open minds

The beauty of living in America is that we get to choose which books we read or don’t read. We have complete control over the topics and authors we spend our time with.

As a reader, I choose which books to buy or check out from my library. I get to choose to read past the first page or the first chapter or the first book in a series. Likewise, I can choose to set aside a book if I find myself upset, frustrated, angry, bored, or challenged.

As a friend, neighbor or family member, I can recommend books to other bibliophiles. I can express my opinion in the safety of my book clubs. I can write reviews and add as many or as few stars as I wish. I am in control of the books I consume.

Just as you are in control.

Like me, you can read books about diversity, controversy, or history. You can peruse romance to your heart’s content or read only scripture-based books. Politics that push your buttons can remain on the shelf. When you encounter vampires or profanity or faith, you get to decide to keep reading or to return the book unread to the library.

Like me, you can recommend the books you love to your family, friends and neighbors. You, too, can write reviews with as many or as few stars as you wish.

The beauty of living in America is that I do not censor what you read even though it may be very different than the books I love. My job as a librarian is to help all my patrons find the books that interest them–a job made easy because we live in America in a culture that provides books for each and every literary taste.

By some standards, books can be diverse and perverse. They may be family friendly or violent. They tell the story of abuse and drugs, of redemption and love. They are surreal and real; profane, litigious, adulterous, inspirational, or simply fun for fun’s sake. Often, they are a surprising mix , filled with unexpected twists that challenge the best and the rest of us.

Libraries with their vast collections allow us to explore each of these perspectives or only one. That is our choice to make.

September 24 through September 30 is Banned Books Week.

Celebrate your freedom to read whatever you want, whenever you want. 


Meinders Community Library is a combined school and public library that serves the residents of Pipestone County in Southwestern Minnesota. It is part of the Plum Creek Library System.