October is National Book Month!
National Book Month officially started 20 years ago in 2003, and celebrating it this year is more relevant than ever. Since the printing revolution in 1439, literature is one of the main ways to share information and tell stories.
The importance of books and reading can not be overstated. Reading encourages gaining knowledge, open discourse, new ways of thinking, free flow of ideas, critical thinking, imagination and creativity. Reading makes us better global citizens. It is a way to learn about and connect with different cultures and ideas that we may not have access to in our everyday lives. Books open our eyes to worlds beyond our own.
Any attack on literature is an attack on free expression. The most pressing threat to free expression in literature is book banning. Book banning is one of the widest forms of censorship, and is seen in schools, libraries and prisons across the United States. Books about race, gender, LGBTQ+ identity, history and other important topics are being ripped off of shelves in an attempt to remove those important issues from discourse. Banning books is extremely dangerous, it places some viewpoints as the default while limiting representation of others. Keep an eye out for our banned book reading list coming later this month on our blog and social media.
How you can celebrate national book month
Join or start a book club
Read banned books
Support small/local bookstores
Support authors from marginalized communities
Educate yourself on literary freedom
Share your favorite books with others online
Organize or attend a book swap
Read a book in a genre you don’t usually read
How are we celebrating national book month?
At IFEP, we see national book month as a celebration of free expression. Keep an eye out throughout the month for content on our blog and social media, including reading lists and interviews, as we recognize the importance of literature.