Yea, you read that title correctly – Charlaine Harris’s Southern Vampire Series has been banned from libraries all over. According to various library associations’ Most Challenged Titles lists, this vampire series is high on the big bad book list. No joke.
Just like so many others, I am beyond upset over this. It doesn’t make any kind of sense. I’m assuming the folks banning the Sookie Stackhouse books are doing it because of True Blood, the show based on the novels. You see, the show is full of porn-worthy sex scenes, copious amounts of blood and gore, gay relationships and so many more supposedly sinful things. But – the books aren’t. Yes, the books are totally for adults, but compared to the show, they are quite tame. These overly conservative folks need to pick the books up and actually READ THEM before they consider banning them, because it sounds like these people are watching the show and assuming the books are just as naughty. It is completely unfair to Charlaine Harris, who is having her work criticized over a show she has no control over.
Personally, I think any kind of book ban is just ridiculous. Last time I checked, we lived in a modern world where we were free to read whatever we want. But apparently if you want to read something to your liking you have to go somewhere else. It’s bullshit. If libraries keep this up their book selection is going to be pretty minimal seeing how the majority of books aren’t about sweet virgins that cuddle kittens, frolic in the flowers and stare at rainbows. What the hell do they expect? Books are meant to entertain you, to teach you, to show you a new world. What one person finds unorthodox and insulting, another person may find life-changing and moving. We have the right to read whatever we choose, and no one should try to take that right from us. Libraries should be a magical place for every bookworm to feel safe and free in, not a place where they feel judged and wronged.
UPDATE: You are asking for more info on the matter and here it is – The Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris are on the top of Canada’s most challenged list (a challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group). Here is the CLA’s official report on it.
As the report says, “Library materials were retained in 41% of the 2009 challenges, relocated or reclassified in 32% of cases, and removed in 25%.” So, some libraries banned the books. Most kept the books, which is a good thing, but the fact that some of them did remove them is ridiculous.
As for America’s most challenged list, the Sookie books are not on the top of it. The ALA’s website appears to only show the top ten most challenged books of 2009, so all I know is that Charlaine Harris’s books aren’t on the top ten. Oddly enough though, Twilight is on the top ten list of most challenged books in the USA. Now that’s just insane.