I’m a fan of nostalgia. I enjoy the silly Buzzfeed posts “You know you are a child of the 80’s if…” I had a blast reliving my childhood at a NKOTB concert with friends several years ago. I search for notable books from my past to share with the boys. I love looking back! If you read my previous entry (no pressure but this WILL be on the test), you know that I’m a fan of Judy Blume. As I was writing the post yesterday, I remembered another Blume-related saga. A few years ago I stumbled on a book titled Everything I know about being a girl I learned from Judy Blume. The book made me nostalgic for several Blume books so I went to the library and checked every thing out I could find. At the top of the list of books reread was Forever, but of course the library didn’t have this often banned book. For those of you unaware of the book, it is Judy Blume’s sex book. She ignored the G-rated norm and wrote about high school students discovering their bodies and experimenting with sex. This is one of the two books (the other being Deenie) that led to Judy Blume being one of the most banned authors. As stated in yesterday’s post, Forever was more honest about sex than books had been at the time published but is G-rated compared to some YA books today.
ANYWAY, fast forward another couple of weeks. I took a pile of books into a local used bookstore to consign. Upon checking out the clerk said, “Ma’am, I will accept the other books but I WILL not take this book.” She slapped my copy of Forever on the counter. She then proceeded to tell me that there were words in the book she did not feel were appropriate for children and that she had actually written the author when the book was first published. (Never mind the fact that the main character insists on using protection and even takes steps to become more educated about contraception. A responsible move??) She also said, in a sassy voice, “We do not sell this type book in my store.” At that moment, the other customers looked up, probably curious about the smut I was trying to sell. She finished my order and then placed Forever in a brown sack. I had to laugh as I walked out with my banned book past the aisles of romance novels. I felt as though the naked Fabio pictures on all of the romance novels were judging me. Irony? I wish I’d turned around at the door, pumped a fist in the air, and shouted “You may not take my book, but you will NEVER take my freedom!”
I’ve had suggestions from friends about trying to consign other banned books to see the reaction. Another friend said she might go in the store and ask specifically for Forever. I will admit that I am bothered by a bookstore that censors the content, but choose to laugh at the situation. (*Note: this incident happened several years ago when we lived in Bartlett, Tennessee. I recently found a copy of Forever at our local used bookstore in Conway, Arkansas and almost bought it just for principle!) So, if you are interested in reading my contraband, it’s at my house in a brown bag. I ought to proudly display the book in a prominent place but admit I might hide it again until Logan is older. ?? I’m a rebel. I’m a deviant. I’m basically an American hero. (Oops, too far, Lauren, too far.) I read banned books.