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A different read

February 11, 2009

Re "Why book bans fail," editorial, Feb. 6

Whether Rudolfo Anaya's "Bless Me, Ultima" should be compulsory reading in any school district is an issue of substance. Dropping the book from the compulsory list is in no sense banning it. As you suggest, because it remains available to the students, it may be more popular and more subject to discussion by readers than it would be if required.

I do not envy the superintendent. Faced with the expectation that some of those compelled to read the book would be offended, the decision may have been correct. But as long as "Bless Me, Ultima" remains accessible, it is not banned.

Michael Richter

Los Angeles

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