My Turn: Banning books may make kids want to read them - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

My Turn: Banning books may make kids want to read them

A recent story about parental concern over literature being studied in a Brunswick County School brought to mind something that happened in my home state of West Virginia.

In 2007, and with the urging of parents, a school board in West Virginia removed two novels from a high school.  You may have heard of the books - Prince of Tides and Beach Music.  The works were written by renowned author, Pat Conroy. Conroy uses flowery language and yes, curse words.

Completely out of character, Conroy injected himself into the controversial debate and made the best argument ever with a letter to the editor of a local newspaper. Here is part of what he had to say:

"Because you banned my books, every kid in that county will read them, every single one of them. Because book banners are invariably idiots, they don't know how the world works — but writers and English teachers do."

Protesters should be careful of the unintended consequence.  They are only generating more audience for the material they are protesting against.

That's my turn. Now it's your turn. To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at


Emailed comments from viewers:

This segment tonight was completely pointless. The controversy over The Color Purple has been over for a few months now.  However, since you brought it up again, I still feel that the book should not be in HS Curriculum.  You must be ok with "flowery language and curse words" so I challenge you this: if it's okay for 16 year olds to read in a classroom, then please read a portion of it on the air.  I think you will change your tune once you actually look at the graphicness of the language used and see how it is inappropriate to fill our teenagers minds with these visions.

PS- I do not appreciate being called an idiot because of not wanting children exposed to the themes an language in certain books. With all the words in the English language, if a certain author can't get his message across without the use of "flowery language", then perhaps HE is the idiot.

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