Banned Books Week hosts Read Out


Nicholas Summers

One speaker reads Lolita at the Read Out

By Nicholas Summers, Arts & Life Editor

As a part of Banned Books Week, Bierce Library held a Read Out on Wednesday, Sept. 24, which gave faculty and staff a chance to read an excerpt from a book of their choice that has been banned in the past.

A microphone and small congregation of chairs were placed by the banned books’ display in Bierce Library so students could gather around. Faculty and staff read aloud words that aren’t often heard in public.

One of the books read was Lolita. The story is about an older gentleman who pursues a secret relationship with his girlfriend’s minor daughter.

“This book was deemed obscene and was banned, especially in the 50s in France and New Zealand,” said Beate Gersch, who is a member of the committee that organizes Banned Book Week at UA.

Lady Chatterley’s Lover was another book read by David Ritchey, a public relations professor. “[This book was] banned for being sexually graphic in the 1930’s, in countries such as Ireland, Poland, Japan and India,” Gersch said.

Banned Books Week not only celebrates the non-censorship of the books that were read at the Read Out, but other books such as Harry Potter, A Clockwork Orange, Fahrenheit 451 and many more. Bierce Library has encouraged students to take a selfie with a banned book on Instagram, using #UAFreadom and #bannedbooks to help spread awareness about Banned Books Week. The American Library Association is the main organizer behind Banned Books Week and encourages colleges and libraries across the nation to partake in the freedom to read.

“I helped bring Banned Books Week to Akron last year, I’ve only been here a year, so I hope that we make sure to continue it,” Gersch said.

Although this is only the second year UA has celebrated it, the committee wishes to keep celebrating Banned Books Week for years to come.