There is a reason why I am a proud supporter of the Toronto Public Library (TPL), the busiest urban public library system in the world. Yes, you read that correctly. With its 4 million branch visits and 33.3 million visits to TPL online platforms in 2021, it is extremely meaningful on a worldwide scale that the TPL has established The Book Sanctuary Collection, which “represents books that have been challenged, censored or removed from a public library or school in North America. The 50 adult, teen and children’s books in our collection are available for browsing and borrowing in our branches and online.”
Among the 50 books on this TPL-protected list: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (profanity, sexual overtones, being anti-religious, 2SLGTQ+ characters and for being morally bankrupt), Atonement by Ian McEwan (poor grammar and sentence structure), The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison (portrayal of childhood sexual abuse), The Diary of Anne Frank (Anne’s discussion of her sexuality and genitalia), and The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (sexual content and situations dealing with alcoholism and abuse).
I’d like to rant and rave about the idiots who tried so hard to have these works of art excised from our libraries and education systems, but in truth I’d rather use my time to read a book. Perhaps one of the books listed above.
P.S. For all the bibliophiles out there, I highly recommend two feel-good books about books — and most definitely for bookish bookies — by Alberto Manguel that are not banned (to my knowledge) in any library: A History of Reading and The Library at Night. Oh, and for all the other bibliolaters and bibliophages, be sure to check out this list of wicked-awesome book-related words.
You must be logged in to post a comment.