MSAD 52 school board member Kyle Purington of Greene contemplates removing the graphic novel "Gender Queer" from the Leavitt Area High School library at a meeting on Thursday night. Purington later voted with the board's minority as the board decided to keep the book in the stacks. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

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I agree with the Jan. 27 column in the BDN when the opinion contributor writes, “When you have no one to advocate for you, a book can become a lifeline.” As a society we need to be aware of what books we are censoring and why. We should be asking ourselves the questions, what is the reason for taking this book off the shelf? Is it because of the content or is it because we ourselves are not ready to accept it? While sometimes it is just a matter of time before we are able to understand a concept, other times we need to look within us to check our own biases.

Without books we do not have multiple ways of looking at a concept or hearing the largest array of stories we can for understanding. This in turn blinds us from being able to have all the information we need to make decisions and gain true insights. The way to remedy this is to ensure that we are not too hasty in the choice to censor books. When we do this, we rob ourselves and others the ability to assess the value of the material.

Whether you agree with censoring books or not we should be careful in doing so. There can be negative implications in doing so including learning how to be inclusive of others and considering different points of view.

Ben Bucklin