Happy Banned Books Week! This is the 31st year that the freedom to read will be officially honored. If you visit a local bookstore this week you may well find displays of challenged books or other events dealing with censorship. Here at the ACLU of Maine, we’re also getting in on the weeklong celebration – and you can join us!

Tonight we're teaming up with Space Gallery, the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance and the Portland Public Library for a special evening as Maine authors read passages from some of their favorite material that's been banned in various parts of the United States. The event, called "We Read Banned Books," is FREE to the public and begins at 6:30pm at SPACE Gallery in Portland.

We hope to see you tonight for this unique event, but even if you can’t make it you can celebrate Banned Books Week in your own way. Take a moment and peruse the American Library Association’s list of the top 100 banned books of the last decade. Think about the ones you’ve read and what you would have missed out on had they been banned for good.

Since the first Banned Books Week in 1982, more than 11,000 books have been challenged. Many of them are true classics. The freedom to read and the right to free speech are values that we cannot lose sight of. This week in particular, let’s make sure we remember why.