Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Banned books

Today’s Guardian has a very interesting quiz about banned books: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/quiz/2008/sep/26/banned.books.quiz.
Visitors to the Irish Centre for Human Rights know of the bookshelf on the first floor landing that is reserved for ‘banned books’. We are constantly adding to the collection although sometimes it is because the books ‘disappear’, which may be a form of censorship. One particularly controversial book is Mein Kampf, which is of course banned in Germany. When I put it on the shelf it mysteriously vanishes. I know that some of our German students have found it particularly offensive. But how can we ban a book from our shelf of banned books?
Another book that disappeared is The Joy of Sex. A visiting professor from the United States gave that one to us. I suspect that whoever took it is having more fun than the one who swiped the Hitler book.
The books are there to be borrowed and read, but please bring them back. By the way, we welcome gifts for our collection.
Thanks to Michael Kearney.

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