Monday, October 3, 2011

Winner of the Banned Book Contest Announced

I had a number of good responses to my giveaway contest of The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins.  See here for the original post.

Basically I asked readers to tell me why they deserved the book, and I'd evaluate using some mysterious subjective criteria known but to me, and announce the winner.

I should first say up front, thanks to all who took the time to write!

Well, Mister Tristan (the blog, not the 3-year-old human being), is nominally about the softer side of Ultrarunning, a sport I love.  Rather than the hard-core technical how-to stuff, I love to write about the thinking and the philosophy and why the sport matters.  But if you scroll around here you'll quickly see that I'm a lefty, progressive blogger who quickly gets outraged at the erosion of civil liberties and social injustice in general.

That's why R. J. Yinger's response takes the book this year.  It's a short tale, steeped in nostalgia, and directly addresses censorship that personally affected a young man.  Here it is in its entirety:

I was in the seventh grade at St Anthony’s Grade School Dayton, Ohio. It was the ancient times when I still lived on Glen Rd., before our house was magically transported to John Glenn Rd.

It was the first Wednesday of the month when the bookmobile was coming. Most of your readers will not relate but grade schools didn’t have libraries and the branch closest to my house was long bike ride along narrow busy streets. Librarians were respected, books more so.

I boarded the bus to get my six library books for the month. My grandfather had a great library mostly murder mysteries and my parents were college grads dad on the GI bill so books littered the house but library books were special. Science fiction was my genre, I got 4 Tom Swift Jr. books per year from Grandpa since learning to read but at the library the stacks would call out their recommendations. This day Mein Kampf called to me. I remember it was thin, just a snack.    

Twelve, is that when we begin to die? Standing in line checking out, Mein Kampf removed from my pile. That is for adults take your five books and wait for enlightenment young man you child. I remember the rest of the day being red. I remember riding my bike to the library. I remember my hands freezing cold (who knew of wind chill). I remember searching the card catalogue gathering the much thicker volume from the shelf, holding it in my hand openly, defiantly as I exited the building. I don't remember riding home or even reading the book.

It is still on my shelf and I will return it if I win the contest.

Mr. Yinger--well done!  Please email me with your snail mail address so I can get the book on its way to you:


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