Reading List

Reasons Behind Books Banning and Censorship

On account of certain content within the pages of a book, some book was stumbled in controversies or banned or censored. The common reasons for banning books or censoring certain books are:

Racial Theme or Dialogues:

The books with a story or dialogue that can encourage racism towards one or more group of people.

Example: The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell


Encouragement to Destruct Lifestyle:

Some books encourage lifestyle choices that are not standard or could be threatening or destructive. This includes Drug use, Co-habitation without marriage or Homosexuality.

Example: The Perks of Being Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.


Blasphemous Subject:

The subject that is sacrilegious against God or sacred things, had often attracted controversies and banning books.

Example: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, Mobi Dick by Herman Melville, The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie.


Intimacy Issues:

Many Books with the content of sexual situation or dialog were banned or censored.

Example: Fifty Shades series by E.L. James.


Violence of Negativity:

Book with the theme of brutality and sadism were frequently banned. Some books have also been deemed too negative or depressing and have been banned or censored as well.

Example: American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis


Presence of Witchcraft:

Books that include sorcery or witchcraft themes were banned or censored.

Example: Harry Potter Series by J K Rowling.


Political favoritism or partiality:

The Books that brace or questions extreme Political groups or philosophies like fascism, communism, anarchism etc.

Example: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinback, Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison.


Inappropriate Age:

These books have been banned or censored for their content and the age level at which they are targeted. In some cases, children’s books are viewed to have “inappropriate” themes for the age level at which they are written for.

Example: The Catcher in the Rye by J D Salinger.


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  1. Very informative! I guess this must change from country to country. In Australia, public libraries and bookshops do not censor books. They are providers, censorship is not their role. However, schools and private institutions use their own discretion. Most books you mention are old now and no longer controversial. The Fifty Shades series was not well-written but like all provocative works it created greater interest. Harry Potter is a flash in the pan like Lord Of The Rings series when it first emerged. A banned book is really intolerance towards those who hold different opinions from oneself.

  2. Informative post. It really doesn’t sound as though things are very different in the US vs Australia as mentioned in the previous post. The books you mentioned are considered “classics” e.g. Huckleberry Finn, Gone With The Wind and many of Kurt Vonnegut’s books, all of which are still banned in certain schools. When a book makes the “banned books” list, it generally has been banned by SCHOOL libraries. Very seldom in today’s society are books banned by public libraries or university libraries. Although, given the current climate sweeping Europe, Australia and the US toward intolerance, religious zealotry, and anti-science bias, the rate at which books are protested in schools AND universities is rapidly increasing. That is what happens when ignorance is allowed to go unchecked. The point is to read these banned books, share them with others and make everyone aware than censorship does exist in EVERY country.

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