Good Morning / Afternoon / Evening, we’re glad you stopped by Forbidden Books Club. We hope you’ll stay a while and join the conversation. Today we’re interviewing our esteemed and wonderful and fabulous (she made me use those adjectives) founder, Erica or as most people call her, “E–“. She has several blogs, but Forbidden Books Club (FBC) is the newest. She’s a lover of books, writer, and an introvert. She works full-time and goes to grad school part-time. She has
NO — I mean, a very limited social life and the friends she has are like family and she would do anything almost anything for them.
FBC: Why did you start Forbidden Books Club blog?
E-: It’s kind of long story so in the immortal words of Inigo Montoya, “Let me ‘splain. No there is too much. Let me sum up.”
It all started in 2011. (Don’t worry, I will sum up). So, back in 2011 a brand new meetup group came on the scene and it was a book club that focused on reading banned books, which I promptly became a member of. Unfortunately, in the three years I’ve been a member I’ve only attended one discussion and it was the one I helped organize. A year passed and I decided to start my own meetup group that was conducive to my schedule.
You can stop asking when is she going to answer the question. Welp, here it is the long and the short of it. After I posted the first meetup in September, I got to thinking it would be great if people had a place to continue the discussion and perhaps even get the discussion going. In comes creating this blog. It was originally just going to be for my meetup group, but the hamster hopped on the wheel and ran its little heart out, the light bulb went on, and I said, ‘come one, come all’ and decided to open it up to the interwebs.
FBC: What is the interest in banned/challenged books?
E-: I have always been an avid reader at least up until college and then reading became a necessary means to an end (I was an English Lit major). Having been exposed to a variety of literature growing up and in college it angers me to know that there are people out there whose sole purpose in life is to keep me from reading something that offends them. That really sticks in my craw.
FBC: How did you come up with the name Forbidden Books Club?
E-: That’s a rather long story, so I’ll sum up. The original name was ‘I Read Banned & Challenged Books Club’. Whew. That was a mouthful. This guy sent me a message via Facebook asking if I had a list of banned and challenged books. I told him I was compiling a list and encouraged him to like my page. He proceeded to comment on the name. He told me it was a bit long and redundant. At first I was angry. You know, how dare he? I worked hard trying to come up with something catchy, but then I thought about it and he was right. We threw some names around and out came Forbidden Books Club. Sometimes strangers aren’t bad people.
FBC: What do you hope to get out of this blog?
E-: Very simply, I want this blog to be a place where people can come and discuss banned and challenged literature. It doesn’t matter if you feel a book should be banned or maybe you feel like I do — banning books is wrong.
FBC: Did your parents ever censor or forbid you to read certain books?
E-: Nope. My parents never said I couldn’t read something. As a matter of fact my mother had a summer reading list for my sister and I. And we had our own book discussion at the end of each week.
I wonder if my parents had censored or forbade me to read certain books if I would be as open-minded as I am or sensitive and understanding to other people and their cultures. If they had I never would have read books like:
- Blubbler by Judy Blume
- Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
- Iggie’s House by Judy Blume
- How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
- Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
- Forever by Judy Blume
Yepper, I was a Judy Blume junkie growing up. Although worn and tattered, from time to time I pull out Iggie’s House. Iggie’s House was very real for me because my family was the black family that moved into the all white neighborhood and no one wanted us there. With Iggie’s House I learned a little something about perseverance.