Recently, I've noticed that I've been surrounding myself with people who read. Not just people who read magazines, blogs, facebook statuses or twitter, but people who actually sit down and enjoy a good page turner - or the new technological rendition,Kindle, or something of the like. My old roommate would sit for hours reading The Lord of The Rings, my cousin, and some good friends from El Paso use books to pass the time instead of watch whatever's on the tube, but I wonder if it's just the people I surround myself with that read religiously, or do others outside of my bubble hold a leisured literary background?
Then I decided that I have to sit back and look at the types of people I'm talking about. I know plenty of others who don't read, if they do it's in pure secrecy, and they are just as good of friends to me as my book worms. I feel that consistently reading is the gateway to to a double life, I'm not talking about two personalities, but the creation of a different world if only for a moment. I'm my experience, books are a great way to escape from reality and an even better way to keep to yourself. I'm not saying all book readers have some sort of social incompatibility where they need to be away from the world to feel safe, but it's of another realm. You get to be the outsider to someone else's life in your own head, you literally get to be in someone else's shoes with everything you've learned thus far. Every story is different for every reader because we all have a diverse perspective while looking at a situation.
This all might seem like I'm rambling on with no point, and at the beginning I was, but now I realize how important books are to me. Every one of us needs a way to escape reality and through books, there is a way to find yourself, a therapeutic way to somehow ease you out of whatever slump you might be in. The way you relate to a character is the same way you can see a problem being solved or dissolved right before your eyes. This love for books is probably a one way relationship where I can go on and on about, but what is most distressing is that fact that some books are being banned. And not just those ruled unfit for the youth but those that teach of a specific heritage, of culture of tradition, of history. The idea of free speech was not just for anyone to say whatever they please, but for a specific intellect to go out into the world and give a reasonable notion or idea or thought for anyone who'd listen and see their point.
What most don't remember is that many of our pop culture today would not be where it is. Beat poetry paved the way for Heavy Metal, and the fusion of genres. But they were all banned for a while, until someone somewhere deemed them worthy enough for mass production. There are multiple other genres today that are in danger of not being heard, and that's why I feel the reader should be able to choose what to put in their heads.
You might want to cut off my free speech at the moment, but hopefully my somewhat emotional ramble will help you into a used bookstore to pick up an unmentionable book, or one by a different author, or an old classic. What I'm trying to say is, books are here for us to use our own judgement and reason, and for us to decide whether or not it's fit for what's going on in our lives, or for what realm we want to visit at that moment to get away from the present.
This might be a subtle protest against book banning, but it's a protest nonetheless. Keep literature in our classrooms and our hands, whatever it may be.