“Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.” Does this quote sound familiar? Those of you who have read Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird may recognize it as a passage the character Scout uses to explain how her appreciation for the ability to read and the time she spent reading grew out of the realization that she may no longer have that experience of reading at home with her father again.
Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird is an important, Pulitzer Prize winning, book about racism and rape, set in the American South, that has been read all across the country by high school students since it was first introduced in the classroom in 1963. A 2008 survey indicated that it has become the most widely read book in school across this country. The American Library Association (ALA) also finds that the book is among the most challenged and banned books, many years making it to the “Top 10” list, meaning that people continually question whether or not students should have access to the book.
This above quote found in To Kill A Mockingbird therefore not only speaks to the importance of access to books, but is also symbolic of the fight against censorship. Libraries across the country, including the Katharine Brush Library at Loomis Chaffee, are celebrating the fight to end censorship this week, September 21-27, referring to the week as Banned Books Week. Learn more about challenged and banned books by checking out our second floor library display.