USA: Banned Books Week 2013

1 October 2013

11,300 books have been challenged since 1982, when the event Banned Books Week was launched in the United States and started counting. The Banned Books Week is an annual awareness campaign that celebrates the freedom to read, draws attention to banned and challenged books, and highlights persecuted individuals.

In the end of September every year, libraries and bookstores across the United States promote and celebrate commonly censored book titles.

The international campaign notes individuals “persecuted because of the writings that they produce, circulate or read,” where as the campaign directed at Americans “stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them” and the requirement to keep material publicly available so that people can develop their own conclusions and opinions.

In observance of the Banned Books Week, a list was published of 11 quotes from authors speaking about censorship and banned books.


Published on 28 August 2013

“Banned Books Week 2013 celebrated more than thirty years of the freedom to read. This freedom, not only to choose what we read, but also to select from a full array of possibilities, is firmly rooted in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees freedom of speech and freedom of the press.”

Although we enjoy an increasing quantity and availability of information and reading material, we must remain vigilant to ensure that access to this material is preserved; would-be censors who continue to threaten the freedom to read come from all quarters and all political persuasions.

Even if well intentioned, censors try to limit the freedom of others to choose what they read, see, or hear.

Sex, profanity, and racism remain the primary categories of objections,and most occur in schools and school libraries.

Frequently, challenges are motivated by the desire to protect children. While the intent is commendable, this method of protection contains hazards far greater than exposure to the “evil” against which it is leveled.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice William Brennan, in Texas v. Johnson, said, “If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the Government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.”

Individuals may restrict what they themselves or their children read, but they must not call on governmental or public agencies to prevent others from reading or viewing that material.


Learn more:

Huffington Post – 22 September 2013:
7 Reasons Your Favorite Books Were Banned
By Maddie Crum

Banning Books In The 21st Century
Published on 2 May 2013

You’d probably expect the Nazis to ban books, but did you know the threat still exists today?


Published on 23 September 2013

“I can’t imagine there’s a writer out there who is in favor of banning books,” says author David Handler. 

Handler’s sentiments are echoed by fellow writers Mark Rowlands, Sue Harrison, Brian Garfield, Walter Mosley, Joseph Olshan, Patricia MacLachlan, Elana Dykewomon, Fred Bowen, Jonathan Carroll, Joseph Caldwell, and Steve Erickson. 

In honor of Banned Books Week, watch these thirteen writers weigh in on book banning, and celebrate your freedom to read!

Home / News / USA: Banned Books Week 2013

Check Also

Israel: Court rejects Palestinian poet’s appeal to end house arrest

The Israeli court in Nazareth rejected Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour’s appeal to end her strict house arrest as she awaits a final verdict on her case.