There Was This Book I Didn’t Like…



Did you ever think a book should be banned?

Last night over dinner, the man of my dreams and I were discussing Banned Book Week and To Kill a Mockingbird. I happened to mention that I noticed a book on the list that I could understand why someone might object to that book. 

The title of the book is Running With Scissors and it was written by Augusten Burroughs. I know it was well received and I read it because it was popular when it came out in 2002. The book was not my cup of tea. I suppose it says something about the book that I can still remember some scenes. Not fondly, but I can remember them.  The book had an incredible line up of dysfunctional characters and their sexual proclivities. 

This book was popular enough to be made into a movie that starred Alec Baldwin, Annette Bening, Brian Cox, Joseph Fiennes, Evan Rachel Wood, Jill Clayburgh, Gwyneth Paltrow and Joseph Cross. I did not ever see the movie – I was amazed that they could make a movie from the book and wondered how Annette Bening  could accept a role in it. 

On the list of books banned or challenged in 2006-2007, Running With Scissors was listed. The book was challenged in the Howell, Michigan High School by (I am not kidding about this) the Livingston Organization for Values in Education or LOVE. They had the book checked by law enforcement to see if it violated laws against distribution of sexually explicit material to minors.  It was determined that it did not violate the law. 

Really, I can’t make this stuff up. Do you get worried when a group has the word “values” in their name? Somehow, I never really think that their values are going to be the same as mine. 

While I did not like the book or the explicit nature of the book, I would not think to tell someone else that it should be removed from a library. I will, if someone asks, tell them I did not like the book. I feel it is totally within my rights not to like a book and to voice my opinion. I do not feel that I have the right to have a book removed from a library because it doesn’t meet my value system.  My values are not the same as yours.  My life experiences are not the same as yours.  As can happen with books, if I read it at a different time in my life, I may appreciate it more than I did. (or less…)  

Oh, and I am not interested in having your value system dictate to mine.  

“Censorship is the height of vanity.”

Martha Graham

Thanks for reading!

About Carol Early Cooney

I love to read. I love to share my thoughts on books and hope to hear what you think also. Looking to see what books I read beyond those I write about? Check out my Goodreads!
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2 Responses to There Was This Book I Didn’t Like…

  1. Early says:

    Naked Lunch by William Burroughs is that way for me. I love The Beats, but NL is just plain evil – lots of gay sex as a prelude to homicide. No, thanks…

  2. Julia Tomiak says:

    Wonderfully said, Carol! Under current reads, I’m not a fan of The Hunger Games, and I made my son wait to read it, but we had a great conversation about it. He went on to read The Lord of the Flies and we compared the two and their commentary on human nature.

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