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Sunday, April 19, 2015
What To Do With Bad Books?
can agree we want books to achieve something good in this world. They open us to new ideas, share values,
educate us, inspire and motivate, challenge the establishment, honor history,
and impact us so positively. But what do
we do with bad books?
do we do with books that:
our language or violate the rules of grammar?
riddled with errors?
hate or ignorance?
people from growing and seeing their dreams?
facts and data?
or distort the truth?
boring and fail to keep our interest?
answer is that one would speak out against a wrong or shun the things he or she
dislikes. Others would say you do
nothing and go about making good reading choices for yourself while making
recommendations to others on books to read or avoid. Or, should something else be done? Could anything else be done?
you enact or enforce laws that call for censorship, book bans or require an
authorization to publish?
you stage loud protests and aggressive boycotts?
you move towards violence against the writer or publishers?
thing is, you could make allowances, excuses, and exceptions for any book. For instance, a book that’s filled with
errors still may hold something useful in it, something that makes it greater
than its weak points. Even a book that
preaches violence may be deemed acceptable if it shows a historical perspective
or it rails against a corrupt government that needs to be overthrown. No one wants to endorse the diary or memoir
of a racist or sexist, but we know that free speech demands society allows for
everyone to write what they want. But free speech also permits – and even demands -- that we counter such books and seek to correct the record.
should we just shortcut all of this and find a way to ward off the publication
of useless, crappy, annoying, poorly-written, hate-filled diatribes? Should we form a panel of qualified experts
and let them decide what’s publishing-worthy?
Do we let the majority rule what we publish or read? Is it up to the librarians, bookstores,
Amazon, and other middlemen to act as quality-control gatekeepers?
only let democracy take care of this.
All ideas deserve to be circulated, even ones calling for your demise,
but the hope is that an educated, loving and free society has the ability to
put garbage in its place.