If you know me at all, you know that I am a book lover. I read voraciously and with great passion. I read from a wide variety of genres and I love to talk books. I have always been like this. Growing up, I used to spend every Thanksgiving at my cousins’ house. It was one of the few times that we saw them each year and it was inevitable that you would find me secreted away in one of their rooms or up in their loft devouring one of their books. It wasn’t that I was antisocial, it was just that the siren call of a book I hadn’t read was far too loud and off I’d disappear. I’d easily finish a book over the course of the day. I was not only into reading, but I was INTO reading. You could not get my attention if I was reading. My entire family up and walked out of a restaurant once, leaving me sitting at the table, deep into my book, not even noticing that they had left until several minutes later when panic ensued.
I say all of this to say that book are one of my true and great passions and that is what makes the three news stories that I am about to share so distressing to me.
Story Number One: The cops are called on a teenager giving away free books. At a free book giveaway event. The gist of the story is that a book, Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary Of A Part-Time Indian, was banned from a school. The students opposing this signed a petition to have it reinstated and somebody crowdfunded an effort that resulted in a free copy of the book to anybody who signed the petition. So, books come in, teens go to hand it out AND A PARENT CALLS THE COPS. This is definitely an instance of the teenager being far more wise than the adult. According to the article, even the cops were not entirely clear as to why they had been called out. The only good thing I can take away from this is that all the exposure prompted the amount of free books being given away to be doubled. Grow up, adults. Banning a book only makes it more desirable, don’t ya know?
Story Number Two: It was requested that Hop On Pop, by Dr. Seuss, be banned from the Toronto Public Library for its violent content. You do not even know how much I wish I could say I was kidding, but this is a real thing that really happened. Apparently, according to the person who submitted the request (as well as several other almost as ridiculous), the book encourages young children to abuse their fathers by jumping on them and, thus, should be banned. (Forget that the book also says to please STOP hopping on pop….). The library maintains that the book is just fine and has left it on the shelves. Glad somebody has some sense still….
Story Number Three: I have no link for this despite much searching. I was listening to the radio the other day and there was a big discussion about what ranks in the top hobbies these days. Unsurprisingly, video games rated the list, as did arts and crafts and exercise. I have to admit that I was very surprised (and dismayed) to hear that reading did not make the cut of the top 15 hobbies and yet, AND YET, LEGO DID. Yes, Lego was in the top 15 hobbies OF ADULTS, but reading did not make it.
And now I need to go hug a book. Or jump off a cliff. I’m undecided.