September 24, 2014
When a book gets banned, it means it has reached a level where it has gone beyond just being a book. It means its story or message has become part of the zeitgeist. That scares some people, so they attempt to ban it as a way of stopping its spread, which never actually works. If you happen to look at a list of banned books, you’ll recognize all of them because they are important to us as a society.
When a book reaches this level of popularity, there are going to be different types of fans. A person may casually enjoy reading a book, but after that, they might not think much about it. At the other end of that is fandom and imagine what the people who tried to get a book banned would think if they found out about fandoms! Here are some banned books and the fandoms that love them!
SILENCE. You cannot ban Snape.
The Harry Potter Series: J.K. Rowling’s beloved tale is one of the most banned books in America and the list of reasons why it should be banned are as numerous as the number of books in the series. Mainly, there’s the issue of witchcraft and the claims that the book is trying to indoctrinate children into becoming wizards and witches themselves! An argument was even made that because Wicca is a recognized religion by the US government that having Harry Potter on the shelves of a school library violates the separation of church and state.
Please don't burn books in this. Thanks.
The Lord of the Rings Series: Another book series that led to a seemingly endless string of movies, J. R. R. Tolkien’s tale of Middle-earth was also accused of promoting satanic beliefs and witchcraft that had people burning the books! But not only that, people have called for its banning because of its depictions of smoking, which is an ironic thing to protest with a book burning.
Here’s to you, old sport!
The Great Gatsby: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s story of the Roaring Twenties was banned because of profanity and sexual indecency, which is fascinating because of how tame it really is. The book was banned in Charleston, SC because of some “damns” and “hells,” plus vague references to sex. This didn't even happen close to its publication date of 1925, but rather during the 1980s.
The Hunger Games Series: The popular young adult trilogy that spawned a series of movies has become one of the most banned books because of claims of violence, offensive language, and that it is anti-family. A lot of complaints actually are due to the movie and not the book, but that hasn't kept parents from taking it out on the source material. That makes sense, right?
If you've followed along, you probably noticed a trend that these books are not only extremely popular, but many have gone on to create billion dollar movie franchises in addition to having loyal fandoms that can be found online. Even if a book is banned at a particular school or library, that censorship never truly achieves its goal of getting people to stop reading the book. If anything, it creates demand for it and we must be vigilant in making sure that a local ban does not turn into widespread censorship.
Are there any fandoms of banned books that you are a part of? We’d love to hear about it!