Banned Books Week: Siddhartha

Katie’s pick for Banned Books Week is Siddhartha, a novel about self-discovery with many great takeaways for the reader.


Katie Ly, Special Projects Manager
Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

Why was this book banned?
The main character fathers a child out of wedlock and has sexual encounters with prostitutes.

Why do you love this book?
Siddhartha is about a man on a spiritual journey of self-discovery. It’s beautifully written and approachable, told from the point of view of a common man. What I love about this book is that everyone who reads it takes something different from it. It has given me a greater understanding of my own personal journey and is a book I will carry with me through different stages of life.

What is your favorite quote from this book?
“Wisdom cannot be imparted. Wisdom that a wise man attempts to impart always sounds like foolishness to someone else … Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom. One can find it, live it, do wonders through it, but one cannot communicate and teach it.”

Why is literacy and access to books important to you?
Literacy is the gateway to self-empowerment!


This week marks Banned Books Week, which celebrates everyone’s right to read. This year’s theme stresses the importance of the First Amendment and our right to read in the ongoing battle against censorship. As we reviewed lists of the top challenged books throughout the years, we asked our staff to talk about their favorite banned books, and the importance of literacy and access to books in their lives.

Check out our other staff picks:
David – Eleanor & Park
Emily – To Kill A Mockingbird
Gohar – The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Matt – The Great Gatsby

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