I Know More About Banned Books Than Most

Teresa Roberts
3 min readMar 2


This is a Long Overdue Rant

Reading saved my life (my photo)

I know a lot about the banning of books.

That’s right! I probably know more than most people about the banning of books. Why? Well, unfortunately, I was raised in a religious cult. Lots of books were banned in my home. Which books, you might ask. Well, all fiction books. What could I read? You guessed it, the Bible. That’s right. Only nonfiction and the Bible, religious books and some biographies were permitted.

That was it.

Don’t worry. I still found a way to read — a lot. More than most of my peers that’s for sure. How did I accomplish that great feat? I had a library card and I walked to the library often and hid books under my bed. Then, I read under the blankets after dark with a flashlight.

My parents were too close-minded to appreciate that they had a child who loved to read — literally devoured books one right after another.

But I fooled them. Yay! And that accumulated knowledge that I collected over the years from reading so many books helped get me through college — twice.

So why did my parents ban books?

Because they wanted total power over me, including my thought life and any accumulated knowledge. Kind of like their god who banned the eating of fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. Out of all the fruit trees in the garden of Eden, God restricted access to the Tree of Knowledge. Interesting.

Yeah, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Right?

All these crazy parents posing as concerned caretakers are nothing more than a self-appointed Gestapo force trying to not only control their own children but mine and yours as well.

As if our biggest problem is children reading books. Hell, no. Teachers have struggled to instill the love of reading in their students for decades. Our problem is that not enough people read books.

Furthermore, parents apparently don’t know that children aren’t worried about the gay couple who live down the street.

They could care less. Nope! What are they worried about? They’re worried about whether their parents will join the throngs of parents who are getting divorced and remarried repeatedly. They’re trying to make sense of the possible new moms and dads that come and go in their lives. They’re trying to recover from two parents who fight and bicker with each other. They’re trying to acclimate to the burden of living between two houses with two different sets of rules and expectations. It’s not easy being a child in this convoluted world. Trust me, I know. But books are not their problem.

Often, it’s the parents who are their biggest problem.

I survived my radical upbringing. When I was a mother, I took a different approach. I have two children who grew up to be strong, self-reliant, and compassionate individuals. Neither one is afraid of ideas, words on paper, and books sitting on shelves. In fact, they both have college degrees. My son is a professor of German literature and reads books in five different languages.

We’re a family of avid readers. I highly recommend books of all kinds.

Instead of banning books, you should be encouraging your children to read. Begin by reading to them as soon as they’re born. Keep lots of books in the house. Turn off the TV from time to time. Lead by example. Model the power of critical thinking and a fascination with diversity. The world is an amazing place. There’s a million different ways to do things, as well as an equal number of different perspectives. Our planet flourishes because of diversity. We live in an ecologically diverse world surrounded by creativity. Embrace that. Humans should be able to freely express their creative natures.

Your children are not endangered by books nor a multitude of ideas. On the contrary. That’s what makes life worth living.



Teresa Roberts

Teresa is an author, world traveler, and professional myth buster. She’s also a top writer on climate change and the future.