You shouldn’t read this post. You shouldn’t read this blog. You shouldn’t read this for the simple reason that I am telling you not to read it. Are you still reading? You shouldn’t. You shouldn’t have this tab open. You shouldn’t still have the internet. You shouldn’t have your device switched on.
What I am telling you is that you shouldn’t read this post.
Ridiculous, isn’t it, even just looking at that paragraph makes me wince. And yet, here I am, on the ragged edge, telling you what you should and should not be reading. Censorship. That’s what it is. It may be a highly dramatic word but that’s what it is, with all the connotations that come with that word, this is what I’m doing, right now.
I am asking you to not read this post.
But what if I said something different?
What if I said: look – I trust you. I trust you so much. I trust the innate power you have as a reader to make the right choices. And those choices might not be the choices that I would make, that I want you to make, but they are your choices. Books are dangerous, wild things, and that is their power. Learning how to manage that power is so, so vital. It is vital. And to block that through fear, or through prejudice or through wobbly hyperbole (oh, let’s say articles about how adults shouldn’t read children’s literature, anyone?), is not right. I won’t say it’s wrong, because, again, this is about people that have read things and they have made their choices. But what is wrong, is to impinge those choices upon others.
We are guiders, you and I, and we are gatekeepers, and facilitators and fans and readers and writers and people, people, people.
And if you think about the trust and belief that we should have in people, that people should have in themselves, that people should be allowed to have in themselves, then you have done what I hoped you would do.
You have read this post. You have read this post, and you have made your choices and you have made them yours.