May 9, 2024

Maybe that’s why they call it the next chapter


Book censorship is fascinating to me.

Anytime there’s a new story about authorities taking measures to suppress a writer’s ideas and information, I always have the same two thoughts.

The first one is, why can’t that happen to one of my books? What a dream come true. To know that a concerned parent group or community bookstore was trying to censor or ban my ideas?

Not only would that be amazing pr for my work, but the rebellious and nihilistic part of me would be tickled pink. The knowledge that my book caused some small town librarian to pucker up, talk about audience impact.

I’m not a big metrics guy, but if an actual organization deemed my work educationally unsuitable, sexually unacceptable, politically motivated, or ideologically offensive, I would crack open a bottle of champagne and toast to my own transgressions.

In fact, I once had a business idea to capitalize on this underserved demand.

Because in a crowded marketplace, where every author wants write the next great viral novel, maybe the secret to literary success is writing the worst one.

Censiore would be the name of my hybrid legal advocacy, content editing and public relations company. For a nominal feel, our team files a claim to get your book censored, restricted or removed from libraries and schools. The company also leverages the ban into a compelling marketing campaign that attracts rebellious readers.

And for our platinum customers, we pair you with one of our certified transgression specialists. Based on the national library association’s list of the most commonly challenged literary themes, experts help you rewrite your book to incorporate fifty percent more violence, satanism, drugs, profanity and nudity, to ensure your work is properly blacklisted.

Censiore, building the best laid bans, one book at a time!

But all ridiculous business ideas aside, here’s the second thought that runs through my mind in regards to book bans.

Are people really that insecure about their own minds? Do we honestly have so much fear of external influence, that we believe the mere exposure to certain words from opposing ideologies will change our views and our identities?

My mentor once told me that a good book traps you into doing your own thinking, and I wonder how many of us are open to that same experience.

Look, our world isn’t getting any less polarized, so we need to get out in front of it. Our challenge is to balance fear and curiosity, so that the human engine of growth chugs on.

Besides, what’s the worst thing that could happen?

I learn something that makes me question everything? I realize that I’m not the person I used to be? I change into a more evolved version of who I am?

Maybe that’s why they call it the next chapter.

We’re turning the page on our own story.

How often are you exposing yourself to educationally unsuitable, sexually unacceptable, politically motivated, or ideologically offensive material?