It's Banned Books Week, which means you can throw your Lady Chatterly's and your Lolitas in the faces of censorship-crazed prudes nationwide. That's how you celebrate this, right? That, and a random list of "fun facts."

  • Banned Books Week was founded by First Amendment and library activist Judith Krug in 1982—there were a lot of books being challenged in the 1980s for some reason. Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird was challenged in NY School District in 1980, for being a "filthy, trashy novel."
  • Banning books isn't just something that happened in the olden days—in 1987, the Baptist College in Charleston, SC wanted to ban The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald for its "language and sexual references." That, of course, is just one example of many books being challenged in more recent decades.
  • J.D. Salinger's The Catcher In The Rye has been one of the most challenged novels, "a favorite target of censors." In 1960, a teacher in Tulsa even got fired for assigning it.
  • Sale and purchase of Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho was banned in the Australian State of Queensland.
  • US President Nixon attempted to suspend publication of The Pentagon Papers (a U.S. Department of Defense history of the United States' political-military involvement in Vietnam)—"The restraint was lifted by the US Supreme Court in a 6-3 decision."
  • You know who loved banning books? Nazis. They burned all of Ernest Hemingway's work in a bonfire in 1933.
  • Book censorship still happens today—just this week seven books were suspended at a school in Texas, including The Art of Racing in the Rain, which has a puppy on the cover.
  • Here's a list of the most frequently challenged books of the 21st century. From 2000 to 2009 there were 1,577 challenges due to "sexually explicit" material; 1,291 challenges due to "offensive language"; 989 challenges due to materials deemed "unsuited to age group"; 619 challenged due to "violence"' and 361 challenges due to "homosexuality."
  • If you burn a book that failed to get banned despite having dirty words and filthy ideas in it, while listening to Fleetwood Mac, and drinking a glass of whole milk, the stern old librarian from your elementary school will appear and give you that approving tap on the head you so desired as a child. Later, you will go to Heaven.

Here's a list of Banned Books the NYPL loves, and a rep there tells us they don't ban: "Banning books would compromise the services and resources we offer our users and the Library has always been dedicated to ensuring that our collections are diverse and represent those we serve. We also endorse the American Library Association's Bill of Rightsthe American Library Association's Bill of Rights that supports free access and challenges censorship."

And now, a scene from Field Of Dreams: