This morning when Ilogged into my library catalog, this is the message that I saw,

Banned Books

Someone, somewhere, doesn’t want you to read these books. Find out more at:


There is something fascinating about banned books, isn’t there? It draws you. The mere words, ‘banned’ makes them ever so enticing. It makes me want to read them, find out what is inflamatory, derogatory or indecent about them.
I went through the list, and can only wonder at some of the famous books that are in the banned list. The words within quotes are the words from the website above.

The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkein. ‘The book has been banned as ‘satanic’ in some areas and was even burned by members of a church in New Mexico in 2001. The controversy is ironic, though, as Tolkien was a devout Christian and many scholars note Christian themes in his work. ‘ says the site.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll – ‘Alice was banned in the province of Hunan, China (1931) for the portraying animals acting on the same level as humans. ‘

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J K Rowling ‘It was banned and burned in many US states for promoting witchcraft, and also banned in some Christian schools in the UK. Maybe they didn’t realise it is just a story. ‘

Black Beauty – Anna Sewell. ‘It was banned by the South African government during the Apartheid era because of the word ‘Black’ in the title. ‘

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer – Mark Twain ‘Alongside Huckleberry Finn, this book has attracted controversy for its use of racially charged language. In fact, this novel of a young boy growing up along the Mississippi River not only raised important questions of racial inequality that are still with us today, but revolutionised modern American story telling into the bargain. ‘

The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood ‘A dystopian fictional world where women’s only function is to breed. It was no.37 on the American Library Association’s 100 most frequently challenged books 1990 – 2000 – challenged because it was claimed to be anti-Christian and pornographic. ‘

Do check out the website, if you want the complete list. It was fascinating to read why so many books which we would recommend based on so many criteria, is/was also banned in certain countries based on some other criteria. Also, how something that was inflammatory in another time period, would not even raise eye-brows today.

I also can’t help wondering why we still insist on banning books, when, in today’s global world, it is just so easy to get hold of a book, banned or not.

How is it for you? Are you more likely to try to read a book, because it was banned? I know I would. Banning something just makes me curious. Forbidden fruit, you know.

That reminded me of something from my childhood. There was some scandalous movie, which was making the waves. There were two older girls, daughters of my parents friends, whom I overheard lamenting, ‘By the time we get old enough to watch this movie, it will not even be outrageous!’. So true, don’t you think?

28 thoughts on “Forbidden…

  1. Except for the last one on your list, I have read them all 😛 Jesus!! Now I wonder if that will make me a pervert :mrgreen:

    I have read all of them 😦 That would make me a bigger pervert, then 😦

    Yup, the word Ban makes me run to get hold of the book and that is what happened when I went and got Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses 🙄 It’s another story that my brain was totally in a Banned mode to his writings 😥

    You know, I am yet to read Satanic Verses. Husband has downloaded it on the Kindle – now I just need to surgically separate it from him, to read the book 🙂

  2. How can any one ban TOM Swayer… !!!! Sigh…

    I haven’t a clue!

    I am what I am thanks to him !!! He was a huge player in my growing up years !

    Same here! Both Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer are such wonderful books!

  3. Interesting! Like others here I too am not able to believe that these famous books are banned in some countries!

    I know! I have read all of these, and can’t understand why they have been banned..

    Black beauty is banned because it had the word black? Ridiculous.

    I agree!

    The last line is very true! I too would like to peep into the banned books!

    🙂 Me too 🙂

      • I can understand why some of the books in that list were banned, but Alice in Wonderland?!
        I knew Da Vinci code was banned because even my frn had felt strongly abt what was written. I remember the wonderful conversation I had had with his mom abt the book and why it was considered as unchristian by folks…

        • I agree that a lot of people might not agree with the content of books – but to ban them? To be honest, I think banning works the reverse way – more people end up reading it.. Even more so in today’s global world…

  4. I would not read a book just because it was banned, but if I do get around to reading a book that was earlier banned, I like to think over why it was banned in the first place.
    How can anyone ban Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, Alice in Wonderland and Black Beauty?? :O Surprised. These books played such an important role in my growing-up years. I could not find anything scandalous or outrageous in them. But then, what you say in your concluding paragraph – It would not be outrageous when we grow up – is so true too! 🙂
    I have read several of Roald Dahl’s children’s books that were banned in different countries – I don’t understand why sometimes – they are fantastic books that can open up whole new worlds to children!! I also read How Opal Mehta got kissed, got wild, and got a life by Kaavya Vishwanathan. I believe the book was banned in India on the grounds of plagiarism. I loved the book for the fun, light read that it is.

  5. I’ve read everything except the first and the last. And now I’m convinced how idiotically we judge things. Seriously. If those were the reasons those books were banned….God save them! 🙄

    ha ha ha…I loved that last line! 😀 So true, times are changing so fast!

  6. hehehehe…as far as I am concerned banned books do hold and excitement factor but have read only one such book, Opal Mehta one!!!

    I read these books without even realizing that they were banned 🙂 I wanted to read Satanic verses since ages, but somehow, it has been evading me 🙂

  7. that’s some website! thanks for sharing Smithu…

    ah the lord of rings reminds me of a novel that uses it’s[LOR] baseline story as a backdrop…Micheal Ridpath’s ‘Where shadows lie’

    Haven’t read this – is it good?
    going to check more on the website…

    Did you find any interesting books that you want to pick up 🙂

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