This book has been banned. Here's a definition of book banning.

This Book Has Been Banned!

What is Book Banning, Exactly?

Books have been banned throughout history. And they continue to be banned or challenged today. And yes, books are banned in America – on a pretty regular basis, in fact. But what exactly does that mean? Here’s a definition of book banning.

Though challenging a book might sound like a person or group just expressing displeasure, it’s more than that. The American Library Association describes challenging a book as an effort to remove that book from school curriculums, or restrict everyone’s access to it at the library and bookstore. Banning a work is the actual removal of that book from the institution in question.

When it comes to why books get banned, Ursula K. Le Guin summed up the bottom line nicely when she said that a so-called dangerous book “will always be in danger from those it threatens with the demand that they question their assumptions. They’d rather hang on to the assumptions and ban the book.”[1]

Click here to see an overview of Book Banning & Burning Throughout History.


[1] Le Guin, Ursula K. “Unquestioned Assumptions.” The Wave in the Mind: Talks and Essays on the Writer, the Reader, and the Imagination. (Boston: Shambhala, 2004), 248.

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