And thus ends Banned Books Week 2016, though our freedom to read what we choose is a reason to celebrate every single day.
I want to take a moment to extend a special thanks to all of you who took the time to stop by and read the guest posts and enter the giveaways so generously provided by the participating authors, and to the authors who provided us with so much unique and interesting content, not to mention prizes: Mary Calmes, JL Merrow, Jordan Castillo Price, TA Moore, Edmond Manning, RJ Scott, Jordan L. Hawk, Rick R. Reed, Rhys Ford, and Josephine Myles. Thank you so much, all of you, for the gift of your words and your unique perspectives.
Censorship is, inarguably, a dangerous and destructive practice; and a threat to our freedom of speech, freedom of thought, and to our own self-evolution. We are, all of us, to a certain extent the product of every book we’ve ever read. From Dr. Seuss to Oscar Wilde to Joseph Campbell to Stephen King to the copious authors who make up my lexicon of favorites in the LGBTQ+ genre, my personal evolution has been shaped by diverse ideas, ideals, and the ability to live outside the margins of what would certainly be a narrower world view without the broader scope which books have provided me over the years.
Restricted reading means restricted thinking. Restricted thinking leads to the absolutism of the few over the many. And we should all guard, with a jealous ferocity, the right to choose what we read, what our own children read, and be thankful for the librarians, and for their passion to protect diversity, and for their understanding that books are the looking glass through which we see ourselves and others a little differently, and, perhaps, a bit more compassionately. And, we should never, ever give anyone permission to make us feel ashamed of what we love to read.
Whether we are readers of contemporary romance, speculative fiction, horror or high fantasy, whether I loved a book you hated, or vice versa, the one driving force and common passion we share is our love of reading.
That in itself is a reason to celebrate.