Reading Banned Books Aloud Makes Strong Statement

Books are laid out and cameras are set up for Banned Books Week readings on Sept.5, 2012. (Max Sinton/UConn Photo)

Books are laid out and cameras are set up for Banned Books Week readings on Oct. 1, 2012. (Max Sinton/UConn Photo)

There are four finalists on the list for the next UConn Reads selection:

A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway
One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel García Márquez
The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston

Marc Babineau ('14 CANR) reads of Mice and Men on camera for Banned Books Week readings on Sept.5, 2012. (Max Sinton/UConn Photo)

Marc Babineau (’14 CANR) reads of Mice and Men on camera for Banned Books Week readings on Oct. 1, 2012. (Max Sinton/UConn Photo)

All are considered classics, but three of them share a special distinction. The works by Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Hurston are included among the 100 books to have been most frequently banned or challenged, according to the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom.

The freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment are being celebrated this week at UConn and across the nation.

As part of Banned Books Week from Sept. 30 to Oct. 6, the UConn Co-op joined with booksellers, librarians, and civil liberties groups across the nation to sponsor an effort called Virtual Read-Out. Students and others interested in preserving the right to read are invited to come to the Co-op this week to read a paragraph or two from one of their favorite banned books. Readings are being taped for inclusion on the Virtual Read Out website and will be posted on YouTube.

Banned Books Week is celebrated across the country in an effort to highlight the value of free and open access to information. This is the 30th anniversary of the observance, which has grown to be the nation’s premier event in the fight to combat censorship.

Taurean Stovall ('13 SFA) reads of Mice and Men on camera for Banned Books Week readings on Sept.5, 2012. (Max Sinton/UConn Photo)

Taurean Stovall (’13 SFA) reads of Mice and Men on camera for Banned Books Week readings on Oct. 1, 2012. (Max Sinton/UConn Photo)

Branch Manager for People's United Bank volunteers to read the Lorax on camera for Banned Books Week readings on Sept.5, 2012. (Max Sinton/UConn Photo)

Branch Manager for People’s United Bank volunteers to read the Lorax on camera for Banned Books Week readings on Oct. 1, 2012. (Max Sinton/UConn Photo)