Freedom is reading (and thinking).

“The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority. The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority. The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking.”
― A.A. Milne

Intellectual freedom provides the foundation for Banned Books Week (which ends tomorrow).

Reading is Freedom

Reading is Freedom.

My oldest son loves to try to come up with new ideas, new inventions, new solutions to old problems. The other night at dinner, it began as a way to recycle more and learning a bit about the toxins that are in plastics. It turned into searching for a solution to the problem of nuclear waste.

We don’t always tell him that his ideas will work or that he is so smart. What we want to encourage is to think. We often talk about why certain ideas won’t work. I am also careful to explain that no one has yet figured out a perfect solution and that for a 7-year-old to be thinking like people more than 5 times his age and with much more education and experience is going to be what changes the world. To constantly think, and think critically.

That is what books give us. The breadth of reading material there is available to us is incredible. Banned Books Week highlights just how that could be limited and in a way that would hinder our ability to think, to be creative, to arrive at new solutions to old problems.

Are you reading any Banned Books this week?

I am not this time, but I am reading several books that are giving me pause and causing me to think… in the coming weeks there will be some Friday reviews and giveaways of each.

Find more information about the importance of Banned Books Week and lists of the most frequently challenged books at the American Library Association.


Freedom is reading (and thinking). — 7 Comments

  1. I never heard of Banned Books Week and now everyone is writing neat posts about it! If you read the list of banned books, they are all the greatest classics! There is a new book on the list about a baby penguin being raised by two daddy penguins that looks so cute. I’m going to look for it the next time I’m out!

    • That is a great one! Let me know if you happen to get it.

      We are lucky to live in a time where challenged books are often not banned, but the fact that there are still multitudes of books banned in certain public libraries and excellent books challenged so that no one might read them is bothersome and means we need to continue to celebrate this week with education and awareness.

  2. I would but I’ve read them all! Tee Hee. I can’t imagine a life without reading — books I’VE chosen not someone else’s idea of what I can or can’t read because it will change the status quo. That, to me, is outrageous, in every respect. I’ve always been considered a ‘heretic’ — someone capable of independent thought. Now, that I’ve lived so many years beyond the first name-calling, I wouldn’t have it any other way and feel sorry for those locked in the mindset of controllers. Come visit when you can.

    • Ha! Read something again! ;)

      It really is outrageous and why I will try to celebrate and write about this week every year. One thing I have missed lately is being able to actually read what everyone else out there is doing. I will stop by soon. :)

  3. “We don’t always tell him that his ideas will work or that he is so smart.” If you ever have the urge, I’d love to hear more about what you DO tell him – especially if his ideas are really out there. It’s so interesting to hear some of the ideas my 3yo comes up with, but I’m sometimes at a loss of what to say if he directly asks me, “won’t that make it better?” (or similar)

    • I have to say that my husband is infinitely better at this aspect than I am, even though we can both be out-of-the-box thinkers. Without getting too intense about it, we try to ask him how a certain problem with his design or invention might be solved. Is there a solution or is there perhaps a better way to think about the problem? Just get him to think instead of always believing he has the right answer on the first try. Also understanding how long it takes brilliant people to come up with their stories, inventions, designs, etc. so that he realizes it is not minutes of thought, but sometimes years!

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