There's a Subscription For That is a series spotlighting subscriptions the team at My Subscription Addiction finds interesting and is excited to share with readers.
When I was younger, I read through books with a ravenous and insatiable hunger. Not only did I beat my Accelerated Reading (AR) level goals each month, but I was also the captain of the middle school's Battle of the Books team for two consecutive years. Now that I'm older, however, I don't exactly have the freedom to curl up and read for hours on end—to be honest, I'm envious of the free time I had as a child to read, write, and create things that were just for me. Nowadays, I'm lucky to squeeze in a 30-minute reading session before work.
It's true: I've always had a special bond with books. There's just something about getting lost in another world and entering not only the mind of the characters but the mind of the authors as well. One night, I stayed up until sunrise to finish the last installment of the "Harry Potter" series, only to end up quietly sobbing myself to sleep when I learned of Serious' fate. My mom was furious that I'd stayed up so late, but at the time, the reaming was totally worth it. So what if I was a little tired at school that day? I'd just finished reading what I thought to be the most glorious piece of work I'd ever read. I was dumbfounded by J.K. Rowling's ability to write with such thoughtfulness and intricate detail—as a young aspiring writer, I wanted to grow up to be just like her.
If I told you that staying up late was the only trouble my obsession got me into, I'd be lying. When I was in second or third grade, a friend of mine recommended a book called "In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories" by Alvin Schwartz. I wasn't big on horror or thriller books (I'm still not), but she said that she loved it, so I decided to give it a go. To my surprise, I was intrigued by one particular story in the "I Can Read!" anthology. It was called "The Green Ribbon." In "The Green Ribbon," readers are introduced to two main characters, a girl named Jenny who always wears a green ribbon around her neck, and Alfred, the boy she eventually marries and grows old with. Although Alfred insisted that Jenny tell him why she wore the ribbon, she refused to take it off. Then, on her deathbed, she asked Alfred to untie the ribbon...and her head falls off onto the floor.
Unfortunately for me, my mom wasn't impressed. In fact, as I gave her a play-by-play of the plot, I envisioned smoke coming from her ears. Fuming, she rushed to the school and demanded that they remove the book from the library. To avoid confrontation, the librarian took the book out of circulation. I felt guilty for opening my big mouth and my friend who'd recommended the book wasn't too happy with me either. What I didn't know, however, is that "In a Dark, Dark Room, and Other Scary Stories," was and still is a banned book — contrary to what I believed then, it wasn't my fault the book was removed from the library. There were schools everywhere pulling it from the shelves!
Even so, I'll never forget that moment, which leads me to the discussion we're actually supposed to be having: Thanks to Ariel Hakim (an Ohio-based library reference associate with a BA in English and an MFA in creative writing) you can get banned books and graphic novels delivered straight to your door each month for just $46 (shipping is free!). The subscription service is aptly named Banned Books Box.
“I had been working at the Wadsworth Library behind the reference desk,” Hakim told The Cleveland Scene. “I was doing that for a little while and part of the job was to stay up on the library world. We would get various magazines, and I got interested in the book bans that I was reading about," Hakim continued. "One of the first ones I took notice of the children’s books that was about a drag queen storytime that people were getting offended by. A lot of the children’s books came to my attention, and I have little kids," Hakim added. "The more I looked into book bans, the more I felt saddened by what was happening. I’m astounded. I think it’s something people need to know about. I’m targeting people who are readers. The more good press that authors are getting, the better.”
The Banned Books Box includes:
- two banned books
- one lapel pin
- one informational bookmark that spills the tea on why the books in the box were banned
- one "bookish" item (e.g a reading tracker)
- The Banned Books Box subscription is $46 per month.
- You can cancel or unsubscribe anytime.
- Shipping is free.
- Boxes ship around the 15th of each month.
What do you think? Would you sign up for a subscription? Let us know in the comments.