It’s almost Banned Books Week!

Xine Way
2 min readSep 22
Photo by Ed Robertson on Unsplash

The topic of banned books has been heavily politicized, and book ban requests have risen through the years. Certain organizations (which I shall not name :x) have mobilized to take books off the shelves.

With banned books, however, things appear to be nearing 1984-like extremism. Thought crimes and “dangerous ideas” are being targeted like there’s no tomorrow.

My take on this is that even if you don’t agree with something, it should still be made available.

For instance, while my values go strongly against even the idea of Holocaust denial literature, I would not advocate for taking those books away. Everything about me screams, “We shouldn't support them, and the contents are counterfactual.” But still, just because you disagree with something doesn’t mean that it should be removed from public view or consideration.

I believe it was John Stuart Mill who supported the idea of freedom of expression, including ideas that counter what you believe. It’s only through the exchange of ideas and different perspectives that we can arrive closer to a concept of truth.

I was pretty upset when I heard about a board book (Johnny the Walrus) that erased and spread misinformation about transgender people. But I didn’t support banning the book entirely. It’s helpful to know what arguments are being made against certain political agendas, so we can better counteract them.

We need to have a more open mind towards ideas that can divide us. We need to come together and support each other, at the end of the day, even if we disagree.

Xine Way

Aspiring librarian who writes, games, and walks on the side. Always happy to connect with writers on Medium!