Adam-Troy Castro is a writer of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. On his Facebook page, he posts thought-provoking gems several times a day. Each one is worth your time.
This one is important. It’s about what banning books really means. Please give it a read.
I grew up knowing that some people were against books in principle, and not just as entertainment possibilities for themselves, but as artifacts.
Books? I got from adults that they would make you a weirdo. That they would ruin your eyesight. That they would put unhealthy ideas in your head. That they would erode your understanding of the difference between fantasy and reality. That if you read comics you would go insane. That if you read horror you would become deranged and cruel. That if you read science fiction you would become a crackpot. That if you read mysteries you would become morbid. Books were bad for you. and if you had many books in your house as an adult it was proof that you didn’t have a life, or at least no life worth having. Books were evil. They were inherently bad for you.
People have told me, a writer, this.
People, grown people, believe this.
And as a kid, this was BEFORE you had to deal with those kids who believed that carrying around a book was a sign of weakness.
The assault on reading in the past few months has become a war, and it is largely ideologically-based. The bibliophobes don’t want kids to learn the wrong history, to pick up the wrong science, to embrace the wrong values, to run up against the wrong concepts; and their list of things dangerous for a book to impart has become so extensive that it now extends to the very practice. Librarians are now under siege, and in the communities where this is at its worst it is now a firing offense to even indicate to a child that if a book is not available on library shelves, it can in the age of the internet be easily obtained elsewhere.
Libraries frighten these people. BOOKS frighten these people.
The pleasure that Nazis got out of burning books was based on what was in those books, but really, often did not have anything to do with what was in those books; that was the excuse. What they loved was the sight of all that print disappearing in a pillar of cleansing flame. The very idea of a book was under siege. And that is where we are now. They are not angry that the books are dirty, or the books are subversive, or the books promote empathy for those with whom they want no empathy. The books are mysterious and arcane. Books must be made fuel of one kind so they will not be fuel of another. Imagination must be stifled. Thought must be stifled. Books must be opposed. On principle.
And this is the destination they have sought all along, because it is a key way-station on the way to the place they have wished to journey to, with every word of rhetoric.
You think this is bad, just wait until they reach the next stop in line.Adam-Troy Castro on Facebook. See original post here.