A book worth banning is a book worth reading


Kandice Johnson

The Beta Zeta chapter of Sigma Tau Delta held their annual Banned Books Read-Out Tuesday during Banned Books Week.

The event featured students and members of Sigma Tau Delta reading excerpts from the banned book of their choice.

Banned books are books that have been removed from the shelves of a library, bookstore or classroom because of controversial content.

Banned books are usually challenged on political, religious, sexual or social grounds.

Shelby Russell, an English Master of Arts graduate student and president of Sigma Tau Delta, said the event’s purpose is to discuss the topics that had the book banned and get people to understand the content instead of being afraid of it.

“It’s really important, because a lot of these books that are being banned are about topics that are important in today’s society,” Russell said. “Reading these books would help people understand that culture and stop some of these issues from happening.”

The Great Gatsby, A Wrinkle in Time, I am Jazz and Fun Home were just some of the books that were read during the event.

Russell read Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower, a book that was banned for its depiction of homosexuality, sex, masturbation and “adoration of alcohol use and drugs.”

Assistant Professor and faculty sponsor for Sigma Tau Delta, Jana Giles read James Joyce’s book Ulysses, a famous modernist novel published in 1922 that was banned for its sexual descriptions.

Giles said she chose to read Ulysses because more people should be exposed to the context. “It’s so masterful,” Giles said.  “I mean even that one section doesn’t really give you a great picture of how amazing Joyce is.”Giles said the book is famously censored for mentioning masturbation.

“You just didn’t write about people masturbating on the beach,” Giles said. “You wouldn’t see it in what was supposedly a literary novel.”

Giles said she hopes people learned that literature in particular and other types of writing are meant to represent the whole human experience and not just some experiences that some people don’t want to admit occur.