Monday, March 22, 2010

The Mystery Of The Sneaky Censorship At Marmie’s Library…..

Who doesn’t love a good mystery? Or a good book?

I love both and have spent more time than I care to admit trying to remember the name of the first mystery book that ever held my attention. It was read to my 3rd grade class by our teacher. I can’t remember her name either, only that she wore pearls, and smelled nice. The same pearls and the same fragrance everyday. I never minded when she leaned over my desk, trying for all she was worth to help me understand a simple math problem. Her perfume and the smell of peppermint on her breath made it quite pleasurable, and because I was no math wizard she spent lots of time at my desk, delighting my olfactory.

While I hated most every other part of organized education, I loved Reading Time. Every day after lunch, our belly’s full and a bit sleepy, we students would put our heads down on our desk, faces turned toward teacher and we'd listen while she read. She used different voices for all the characters and it was almost as fun as being at the movies.

The book may have been called “The Little White Schoolhouse Mystery” or “The Little White Farmhouse Mystery" ?????

I’m still looking.

My family is full of readers. My Marmie especially devours books. She literally pulls one up to her face, buries her nose, and in what seems like only a matter of a couple of hours you’ll hear her sigh loudly as she removes her big reading glasses and closes the back cover. As if she’s just finished a delectable lobster dinner and is wiping the last bit of dripped melted butter off her chin, "Mmmmm" she'll softly say "now that was good”.

Since she’s retired and sticks to a budget Marmie borrows her books rather than buy them. She borrows arm loads of books at a time. Yesterday she mentioned to me that someone is censoring the books she reads. The borrowed library books have words crossed out. The words being crossed out aren’t what are generally considered really filthy cuss words... words like f.u.c.k or c.u.n.t.

Instead, someone is crossing out words they obviously consider blasphemous, words like goddamit, and Jesus Christ.

Marmie usually chooses her piles of books from the “New” shelf at the library and the last 10 or so books she’s borrowed have been censored. Someone is reading these books, every page, censorship ready pen in hand. The whole word is not blackened out, just a few lines through the middle, enough of it shows through so she can read what is supposed to be there.

Even still….Marnie is furious and has every right to be.

It is illegal to censor books in a public library in the United States of America where we greatly value our freedom of speech, in any form.

Author’s make word choices and those choices should be respected.

If you don’t like what someone writes, don’t read it.

As a parent I can understand and appreciate having a right to censor what my children read, but this censorship is taking place at a public library, a public library folks in the adult section….

Marmie is a super sleuth who loves a good mystery. I hope this Jerry Farwell wannabe, the reading missionary with the censoring pen is discovered or outed soon. I can tell Marmie is anxious to turn her full attention back to all those wonderful lobster dinners just waiting to be devoured.

Marmie so engrossed in her novel she forgot that she forgot to put on her bathing suit top...


  1. Dear PPB: Love the story, the beginning, the teacher,the editorial and the overall message....Where on earth did you get that picture????Love you mostof all GOOD JOB.Marmie

  2. I hope they catch whoever is doing that. Nothing makes me madder than censorship!

  3. Ooh, now that makes me furious! I agree, hopefully they'll catch whoever is doing this. How dare they. If you/Marmie think you'd like a good, old-fashioned (I'm talking about a book written in the 1860s!) English mystery then I can thoroughly recommend Wilkie Collins' 'The Woman in White'. In fact, I'm going to dig it out and re-read it myself!


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