Banned Books Week!

by Jessica on September 23, 2014


Here’s a little refresher on what  Banned Books Week is all about.

Banned Books Week is the national book community’s annual celebration of the freedom to read. Hundreds of libraries and bookstores around the country draw attention to the problem of censorship by mounting displays of challenged books and hosting a variety of events.

Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982 according to the American Library Association. There were 307 challenges reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom in 2013, and many more go unreported.

The Banned Books website is the place to go for all things Banned Books of course but I’ve picked a few highlights to talk about below!


Graphic Novel Emphasis: In June, the Banned Books planning committee announced that there would be an emphasis on comics and graphic novels this year. During this years Banned Books Week they aim to shine light on this still misunderstood form of storytelling. They will celebrate the value of graphic novels to readers from all walks of life.

“This year we spotlight graphic novels because, despite their serious literary merit and popularity as a genre, they are often subject to censorship,” said Judith Platt, chair of the Banned Books Week National Committee.

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) is a great resource. Check out their website here.


Virtual Read-Out: Since the beginning, Banned Books Week has staged these local read-outs. They are a continuous reading of banned/challenged books. In 2010, Banned Books Week started the Virtual Read-out so that readers from all around the world could participate in the Read-Out. Tons of people have created videos proclaiming the virtues of the freedom to read. There is a dedicated YouTube channel. You can also check a few out on the website here.

Celebrity Videos: On the Banned Books site there is a section with mini interviews with celebrities talking about Banned books and some talking about what banned books they’re reading. You can see the likes of Judy Blume, Whoopi Goldberg and Khaled Hosseini among many more.  Check them out here!

Every year at Vroman’s we celebrate Banned Books Week by putting up displays full of Banned Books and celebrating the freedom to read.

Here are a few photos of all our displays for you to peruse. Stop in the store and check out the displays in person and let us know how you are celebrating your freedom to read!

Giant Banned Books Display in our Children’s Section!

The Giving Tree challenged as Sexist?

Banned Books Downstairs!

Banned Comics!

For more information on Banned Books Week check out the official website here!