Banned books are some of the most curious things on earth. That is because books are something that cannot do any direct harm to anyone. Unless of course it is thrown at someone. However, everyone’s aware that a powerful book can have a lot of influence on people. Hence, books are often banned by the authorities out of the fear that it will influence the masses in the wrong way. But it is never that clean cut a line.
Banned Books are often from entire countries because the ruling classes think that the book will turn their people against them. Whether it is a government or some kind of a dictator – everyone can be made to feel threatened and that is what makes them ban a book. Books are also often banned for religious reasons.
Certain books that propagate either very strong views against a religion or has elements that are deemed disrespectful to a religion, the followers of that religion might seek a ban on it. The heads of religious sects are also often active about banning books that they think are disrespectful or blasphemous. However, in these cases, the book does not always become ‘illegal’. It is usually up to the country’s regulatory body to do that.
The rules about censorship on banned books are different in every country, just like with music and films. Hence, it is possible that a book that was banned by one country is being legally sold in a neighbouring country. This is why a book can almost never be fully barred from reaching the people. It always finds a way out.
There are also cases where the author knowingly writes a controversial book that has the risk of getting banned. Although this might seem counterintuitive, getting a book banned is a good thing for the author. It ensures that the book gets a lot of attention and that often translates into sales in the places where the book is legal. There are also illegal avenues of book sales in places where the book is actually banned. Publishers often utilize this channel in order to make some quick money.
Whether for religious or for political reasons – banned books always attract a lot of attention. They are usually very well publicized by the media because it is a good scandal. It is possible that the masses would’ve never noticed the book had it not been banned. This is a point that a lot of people tend to miss.
Those who want to ban a book are doing so to stop people from reading it or knowing about it. But the ban usually works in the opposite way. It gets people excited about the book. It makes them actively seek out a way to get the book. This is why a lot of publishers secretly hope that one of their books gets banned. It is free publicity for everyone involved and there is usually a lot of it.