Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Rating System for Books

I can understand why some people would think that having a rating system for books, something similar to what is done for movies, would be a good idea. I can understand it; but I can't agree with the premise. I'm perfectly happy with the general categorizations commonly used in libraries and bookstores now: Adult, Young Adult and Children. In fact, the books for children are often further broken down into what is appropriate for general age groups within that classification.

Toya Bryant, over at American Chronicle
doesn't believe that is enough, however, and yearns for a true rating system even for the adult books:
I recently went to my local library and checked out a book that was written by a well-known author. It had a catchy title, the cover art was fascinating, and the storyline was one I thought would hold my attention. Unfortunately though, when I took the book home and began to read it I realized that it used odious lingo that I personally find distasteful. But because there is no rating system in place I was made to make a blind selection.

Modern day literature has gradually begun to reflect the licentiousness of society today. The inclusion of vulgar speech, sexual acts, extreme violence and even drug use have become the new normal for many literary works. That further necessitates a rating system that allows us to make an educated decision on what we opt to read.
I think the big difference between DVDs or movies watched in theaters and books is the ease with which a book can be closed for good if a single word or paragraph drives you to do so. It's not that easy to stop a DVD before exposing children to its content or to walk out of a movie that offends you.

We suffer enough from the Nanny States of America already, so please don't waste time and money slapping "Rs" and "PG-13s" all over books because more bureaucracy is exactly what we don't need today.

48 comments:

  1. Considering that there is a "teen" book about a sex slave, I'm in favor of a rating system.

    It's not all that important for adult books, though sometimes it'd be nice to know whether or not to skip the impulse buy, but there are some really risque young adult books on the shelves these days. I think if parents knew the book their child was begging them to buy was the equivalent to a rated R movie, they'd encourage them to get something more appropriate.

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  2. Annie, slap me if I'm wrong, but I have to think that young readers are generally more mature and, dare I say, brighter, than those who get all their entertainment from movies and television garbage. I think that the general guidelines are fine and that teens should be able to read what they want...even adult books.

    I began reading from the adult shelves of my hometown library by the time that I was 12. I didn't always understand what I was reading but the good news is that it didn't turn me into a sex pervert or otherwise scar me for life. :-)

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  3. A rating system for books just wouldn't work. Our courts are clogged every year with the old "is it art or p*rn" cases... can you imagine how many variations there would be in literature?
    It's true that s*x sells, so the bookstores will always carry such materials. That's a fact.
    Let's not burden our courts or marketplaces anymore.
    If there are "sex slave" books aimed at teens, then it's probably published by a small publisher... one a teen wouldn't know about except for the internet.
    Parents should use the internet too. If you don't know anything about the book in your kid's backpack, Google it. It takes 15 seconds and you'll know more than you ever wanted to.
    We need to protect the kids... and if parents just stay involved, we can keep the government out of our books and everyone will be okay.

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  4. I guess my experiences must be pretty limited because I get a pretty fair...actually more than fair idea of what I'm going to see in the book when I read the book jacket. I can't say as anything has ever really stunned me enough that I need some kind of rating system. And if I was really all that concerned, I could check out what others have to say about the book...or how about the librarian?

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  5. What an absolutely ridiculous idea! What would that mean? Catcher in the Rye gets an "R" rating because of language and so no one under the age of 17 is allowed to read it? Or Judy Blume gets PG-13 and kids under 13 can only read the book if they have the permission of their parents? A rating system in my opinion amounts to censorship, and for what? Because some adult man was offended by some language? Sorry to be a little ranty. I am studying to be a librarian after all. I feel strongly about a such matters.

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  7. As I said before, I'm not against a rating system. I'd like to think parents take the time check out what their kids are reading, but the sad fact is, they don't. I've seen kids purposely looking for the raunchiest stuff in the store; then they sit in the corner and giggle over it. The teen section is FULL of books with glorified drug abuse, casual sex, etc. Most parents are just so happy their kids are reading, that they don't bother to check out WHAT they're reading. Seems to me, a little "S" or "D" on the book, signifying extreme sexual content or drug use would be an asset to people to lazy to take the time to care otherwise.

    That said, I'm not a prude, and I don't appreciate being called narrow-minded. Just because I'm concerned about some of the content being passed to children doesn't mean I have a "tiny mind." I'm the first one to take teens to the Shakespeare section of the store, but Shakespeare isn't graphic.

    I can throw my resume and degrees out there if you insist on assuming I'm ignorant, and I could debate you on this subject for some time, but seeing as how you instantly jumped to the conclusion that anybody who disagreed with you on this matter was automatically an imbecile, I don't really see the point.

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  8. Hi Sam,
    Glad to see your blog is working again. I got your comment asking to help spread the word about the problems you were having, but I was in the middle of moving and was just having pre-written posts automatically post themselves, so I didn't see your comment in time to help.

    I agree so much with what you say about the Nanny States. I also think Toya Bryant's comment about blind selection just shows laziness. You don't have to select blindly when there are reviews and blogs and Wikipedia and Amazon and so on that will tell you plenty about the book.

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  9. Wait: Shakespeare isn't graphic? I can not think of a single Shakespeare play that isn't graphic.

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  10. I'm not fond of running across a graphic sex scene in a book but at least it's a lot easier to skim past than sit through in a movie theater. While I appreciate the intent to spare the children (and my) delicate sensibilities, it's just one more burden that would break books at this point.

    An avid reader since forever, I read Rosemary's Baby when I was nine at my grandfather's house. Other than never having any children, I can't say that it affected me at all.

    Kids/adults who are out for cheap thrills will find them. Might as well find them in the pages of a book.

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  11. You all made some great points and I can see how deeply you all feel about the question. I appreciate the lengthy responses and various points made on both sides of the issue.

    Personally, I have a "gag reflex" when it comes to any kind of censorship other than when it is applied to pornography (there might be a time and a place for that stuff, but I do thing that impressionable young people should be kept far away from it). When it comes to the printed word, nothing really bothers me that much because I always figure that I can so easily avoid it and that others are perfectly capable of making the same choice for themselves.

    Reading requires a greater effort than other media experiences and, bottom line, I have to figure that those capable of reading are probably capable of handling what they read...or might be bored with it because they don't comprehend it. So I would find a rating system for books to be a complete waste of time, money, effort...and it would offend me.

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  12. "An avid reader since forever, I read Rosemary's Baby when I was nine at my grandfather's house. Other than never having any children, I can't say that it affected me at all."

    Carrie, I have to tell you that this quote from your reply made me laugh out loud on a night that I really needed something to cheer me up.

    Thanks.

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  13. I'm sorry if I offended you, Sam - not my intention at all!

    And for the record, at no time was I supporting censorship.

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  14. Annie, I wasn't referring directly to anything that you've said here.

    I was speaking only in general terms. You know that I always respect your opinion...as I do those of everyone who takes the time to post here...at least so far. :-)

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  15. I was thinking of this exact topic the other day when I returned a book to the library in which the main character, out of nowhere, said that she was "turned on as she watched his twitching c--k."

    No prude here, either, but I seriously wanted to scribble a warning across the cover of the book! LOL

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  16. Got to agree that a sentence like that one would be a bit jarring if it came from out of the blue.

    It reminds me of my reaction, every so often, in reading a favorite female author of mine and she throws out some words, either descriptive or in dialogue, that I can barely imagine a lady like her even knowing...guess I'm old fashioned enough to be shocked sometimes, myself.

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  17. I'm happy to hear that made you chuckle!

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  18. I struggle to find good fiction that doesn't have foul language in it. I don't use that kind of language and I don't want to read it. I've bought several books only to discard them after a chapter or two because the author couldn't tell his/her story without using 4 letter words every other paragraph.

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  19. Dennis, I certainly understand what you're saying and I realize how profanity can easily be overused and ruin a book. But, for me, certain types of dialog just don't ring true if all profanity has been deleted from the conversation. I expect it in certain circumstances and locations and it adds to the atmosphere for me.

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  20. Annie seams to be taking a beating and I'm not sure why. What is so disabling about a rating on the front cover of a book? For those of you who are anti censorship has an R rating in a movie ever detoured your decision in what movies you will watch? Probably not, the rating isn't for you. The book rating isn't for your either. More information on the content of the book is more knowledge which in my experience is conversely enabling.

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  21. Brian, I hear what you're saying but I don't think that rating movies and rating books are the same thing. Movie ratings are more appropriate in my mind than are book ratings because reading well and at a certain level requires some maturity - buying a ticket to an R-rated movie does not.

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  22. Well, since you guys seem to be so fiercely debating this, I thought you might be interested in hearing the opinion of a fourteen year old girl. Currently for my humanities class, I'm doing an opinion project on book banning in public libraries. I am against it, however I have to agree with J. Anne that a simple rating system might prove to be helpful.
    I can't count the times I've started a book, only to find halfway through it's just plain filthy and not something I wanted to read at all. What I'm thinking is something along the lines of a quick label on the inside of the book that says, "Warning, book contains graphic sex scenes/cussing/drug use," and whatever else certain people could find offensive.
    It's true that some people will use this rating system as a way to find something inappropriate to laugh over but hey, we're kids. At least this way, instead of the library being blamed, parents can take it up with their kids instead.
    Another possibility, and this one I'm a bit iffy on myself, is having a brief email sent to the parent of an underaged kid if they check out something above their "rating age." If the parent has a problem with their child reading the book, they have the means to take it away from the teen and return it to the library if they chose to do so. I have friends who's parents are incredibly strict about what they read or watch on tv. My mom is pretty lenient though, and encourages me to read what I enjoy as long as I understand it is fiction and not reality. Personally, I think it should be up to the parent and child to decide what they should and shouldn't be reading.
    It may sound naive to some, but I think it's worth some thought at least. To actually employ this system would take a lot of time and money, and I realize that, but who knows, it might prove to be useful later on.

    **Also, I'm aware that this is a pretty late comment, but it is also helping me get my thoughts straight for my project, so if no one reads it, it's not a complete loss. (=

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  23. Emma, thanks so much for such a thoughtful and thorough comment.

    I agree with you that it should be up to parents and children to decide what reading material is appropriate. Some are just better readers, and more mature, at earlier ages than others. I was reading books from the adult section when I was still very young. Much of what I read went right over my head - other stuff didn't - but I survived and I think stretching myself to read above my level was a good thing for me overall.

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  24. I think there should be a rating system for books. Not to rate it "age appropriate" but at least give a heads up about what is in the book. I have 5 children and have been closely monitoring what they read because there is no rating system. I just think it would be one less headache, for me anyway. It's okay if people think that I'm being lazy if I allow someone else put the rating on the book... I guess I am if I'm not reading the books first and then giving my kids the go ahead to read it (or trash it). And it's okay with me if people call it censorship. I censor my kids from stuff.
    I also turned out fine from not reading books with foul language or sex scenes as a kid. I don't want my children to think it's okay to boink in the school bathroom and other such weird things I've run into in books.
    So I think we all have our different opinions according to where were coming from. I also don't think that there should be laws against allowing certain aged kids to buy/check out books with different levels of ratings. I think it should be purely to educate you, "warn you" what is in the book and allow the parents to do the censoring. So if the parents don't care to begin with, they can continue not to care. But for those who do care. I think it's a fantastic idea!

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  25. Heather, those are all valid points.

    My concern is that having someone else decide what a child should be allowed to read is dangerous...it should be handled by the parents of those children. I realize, though, that would be a hugely time-consuming task and that not all parents have that kind of time.

    I think, too, that blanket ratings are not fair to more mature readers who would be shut out needlessly from access to worthy books.

    Frankly, my first tendency is to decry this kind of thing because I am very much against big government and having my government involved in what I consider to be the privacy of my own life. Our trend toward becoming one big nanny state with the Big Nanny sitting in the White House scares, and saddens, me.

    I understand your view, however, and appreciate you posting it.

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  26. Censorship is the deletion, or suppression of objectionable content.
    A rating system is a guide for readers.
    As a bookseller, I think many readers would like a rating system. Publishers could include a rating for each book they publish.

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  27. Anonymous, as long as the rating system were just a suggestion, I have less problem with it. If the government, or some group, is to decide who has the right to purchase books, based on ratings, however, I have a huge problem with this. We're not speaking of pornography, after all.

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  28. As a parent of a tween I have been struggling with this issue. She is such a fast reader there is no way I can read everything before she does and thus have to base my opinion on the summary of the book. The content however could be so different. For those of you so opposed to a simple rating system that acts as a warning I will tell you this. I purchased a book at Target that was on the regular shelf and it looked like a simple romance novel, so any teen could pick up this book and read it thinking the same thing. Well it was the most foul thing I have every read not that it bothered me but it bothers me that my daughter or any other kid of a reading age could purchase that book and read it. No warning on the side for a parent to check out or anything.

    I think it is crazy that they can put ratings on movies, games, cds, but not put warnings on books. I mean it is not as though there are editors reading this that could simply note this is adult content with graphic sexual content or excessive violence.

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  29. I am not trying to attack you here Sam but you have kept with a common theme that most young readers are more mature. I am going to give you a quote from the book I was referring to in my prior post and you can tell me if you think a young reader has the maturity to read this.

    "Damn you're tight, and hot. Your @ss is sucking at my finger like a little mouth, needing more. DO you need more, sweatheart? At the same time, hard fingers captured her cli? and pumped it wickedly. Oh God, she could come so easy, if she could just get closer. She relaxed her buttocks as flames licked at the little bud. Simultaneously, the little entrance sucked the hard finger deeper as the pressure eased at her cli...

    Like I said it takes alot to offend me personally but that is something that kids could buy at Target, Walmart, etc. with not a single warning on it. Do you not find that a little bit disturbing? That wasn't even the worst of what was in the book just the first thing I could find. And sorry if I offended anyone but no censorship.

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  30. Marlene, I understand what you're saying, believe me...and I may be starting to come over to your side of the argument - at least a bit.

    I had time this week to really talk to my 10-year-old granddaughter about her reading and I learned a lot about what kids her age are reading...and probably should not be reading. At 10, she is reading at a beginning high school level already and is bored with books aimed at her age group. That means she is always pushing the envelope with her mother (my daughter) about what she will be allowed to read. Since I'm the most avid reader in the family, I've sort of had the role of "watchdog" handed to me and it is not easy to keep up with her. She reads about 100 books a year and I can't possibly review all of them first.

    I'm starting to lean toward at least a very basic rating system...or some sort of parental warning.

    Thanks for your input.

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  31. Why does the government need to get involved? Why can't the book publishers post a honest rating on the back of the book? When you go the the library to check out a book. Most of the time your not going there for a specific book. Therefore wouldn't have researched the book. I'm for a rating system! I have been offended by even some kid books. Also why do adults who do not want a rated "R" book have to always read the kids stuff?

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  32. Jennifer, the U.S. has become a nanny state and government is insisting on a role in every aspect of our lives. This kind of thing is just the tip of the iceberg...get ready because Big Brother is watching all of us.

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  33. When has the government ever rated anything? (Movie ratings are done by the MPAA; while television ratings are done by the individual networks.)

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  34. I would like a content listing of what one can find in the book similar to what some movie sites have. One movie "rating" page lists specific content, such as curse words used or nudity shown. For example, the movie "Apocolypse Now" has approximately 188 profanities, with 86 "f" words alone. That amounts to one profanity every 30 seconds!! And I am not even addressing the examples of nudity or violence. Is this something that I would want my student exposed to in school? Nooo. Yet my child's high teacher wanted to show this in class. Not a wise or necessary choice.
    Having the same option for books would be great.

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  35. I would love a rating systems on the books i read! It wouldn't be a form of censorship, but a warning. even if it was just inside one of the flaps at the bottom corner a little small 'D' or 'S'. that way people would be warned before they read the book, and we wouldn't have a lot of crazy people trying to ban our books.

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  36. I'd like to be tipped off. not too much to ask for. waste of money when I have to toss a book in the trash after finding out that is where it belongs.

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  37. I came across this post while looking for other systems on rating books based on what I thought after reading it. I wasn't specifically looking for information about a government rating system for books. More like "I thought this book was awesome, but it gets 4 out of 5 stars because the story was rushed."

    However, reading this post and the comments was very enlightening. I have to say that it would be nice if the publishers were to include a little "contains: foul language, sexually explicit scenes, drug use" on the copyright page, but I definitely do NOT want the government to have anything to do with it. If enough people were to write to the publishing companies with this suggestion, something would get done and if enough people feel strongly about this, the publishers will realize it once the ones that are including the "warnings" start selling more books.

    That's just my two cents. I couldn't stop myself from replying once I saw that this post was still getting responses in spite of being over two years old! :-)

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  38. Thanks for your input, Alysha. What you say about measuring the importance of this kind of thing by sales statistics would be interesting, and would certainly motivate publishers if they did see an uptick in the sales of "labeled" books.

    I'm fascinated by the fact that this post is still getting comments every so often. The longevity of things posted on the web is kind of scary...and encouraging.

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  39. The rating of books could prevent me from getting into books that are bad for my mentality and it would take away the unnecessary banishment of books I like. ex. Huckle Berry Fin

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  40. The wording, "even drug use," is interesting, because it implies that Toya feels it's worse than "extreme violence."

    I think (I just thought of this) that books don't have a rating system because books are a personal, one-at-a-time thing. You're experiencing them, yourself. This is with the exception of audiobooks, of course.

    If they started rating books, it would quickly lead to censorship (you can't read this unless you're 18, or even, nobody can read this). That would make me sick, because, as an author myself, I'm delighted by the more-or-less anything-goes world of literature, compared to the fairly restrained world of movies. No ratings.

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  41. Well then, interesting thread. A couple points I'd like to make in response to the posts. Rating systems all seem fine & dandy as a way of gauging what to read & what to pass on, but until it's officially changed to something "acceptable" in it's wording, an anti-slavery, classic novel like Huckleberry Finn is best not for young eyes. Although it's supposed to support Jim & the historical accuracy of our own country(google February as Black History Month, lol) it wouldn't be suggested for tender souls. When I was a kid, sure I tried to pick up a romance novel for some smut talk to giggle over (even though I doubt I'd understand it) but the story was too boring to find the dirty stuff & always got put down. My brother's porn collection I stumbbled over on the other hand....well that had pictures & left nothing to the imagination. As for not showing Apocalypse Now for profanity, I have to agree there are better war movies, but finding them without curse words will be a stretch...sometimes curses & racial slurs find their way on to battlefields(I know, hard to believe! lol). Even Discovery & PBS have shown Vets speaking profainly of real experiences(Spoiler Alert!-Schindler's List is graphic!). As for what I've found personally in books, if it's over your head(as for a child) then you'll probably stop reading it. If it's too profain for an adult or kid, you'll stop reading. If you're not in anyway like that, but you enjoy imagining through words a different world, you'll keep reading. If you're picky or squimish, you'll google it first. If you rate books, where would it end? Newspapers should be rated, as well as magazines. People will always go overboard & take ratings as "Word". What would this post be rated? A 14yr old posts about her thoughts & a school project & then granny decides to quote an explicit book...& who's to put the breaks on that?! Ratings sound like a good idea, but instead be happy you've chosen a book over another media or hours on farmville, etc. Read, be enriched, experience similar & far off ideas at once....& if the book is well written with one curse or one sex scene, don't turn your back on an author with one fault. Besides, are we all free in our lives of characters that do drugs, swear & have sex? Are we all that squeaky clean? I guess you don't want your kids to know what the world is truely like...just keep watching Fox. :P
    PS-Love the disclaimer! THE IRONY!!!! "Comment moderation has been enabled. All comments must be approved by the blog author"

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  42. Totally a supporter of the idea of a ratings system. A couple things noted in the comments here that I think should be addressed.

    1. Government role: yes, the government has turned into a nanny state. Ratings systems have nothing to do with it. Movie ratings are maintained by the MPAA. Video game ratings are maintained by the ESRB. The explicit content label on music is put there by the RIAA. None of these are government agencies. All of these are industry regulated standards. There is no reason that the government would need to get involved, the AAP can maintain the system. In the case of enforcement, that's usually done at the hands of retailers. They generally set a store policy about selling with respect to the ratings systems. It is only in some states that they've set laws requiring retailers to restrict content to minors (it's been much more so the case with movies, but a few have ventured into video games and music as well).

    2. "Readers are more mature": This is two fallacies rolled into one. First, it's a strawman. The primary argument isn't that ratings should be imposed because kids can't handle the content, the primary argument is that parents and consumers should have information available about objectionable content to help formulate their consumer choices (and yes, make specific calls with respect to their children). Second, it's an argument from elitism. The argument says, in nicer language, that book readers are inherently better people and so don't need to play by the same rules as "watchers" and "listeners." I know kids who could play concert piano at 14, others who were singing classical opera at the same age. They couldn't buy explicit content music without their parents buying for them. I'd stack them up against your young readers any day.

    3. "This is censorship": It isn't. We have ratings systems on movies, video games, and music. Nobody considers these works censored. All we have are systems that inform consumer choice, and in some cases protect the ability of parents to control the content that minors access. You can still buy the materials. Kids just might need to ask their parents to buy it for them (and, you know, those kids didn't drive themselves to the book stores). Seriously people, we wouldn't let a 10 year old watch Boogie Nights, why in the hell would you sell them a copy of 120 Days of Sodom?

    4. "It's unworkable": It most certainly is workable. It would be an industry set standard. The industry could make it very broad, such as the explicit content labels the RIAA has adopted, or the more granular approach of a general rating plus the additional indicators citing the presence of various types of content, such as they do in most television programs on networks. Obviously we want something that's common sense. Somebody mentioned that this could be a threat to the industry, and that's nonsense. The explicit content advisories did just about nothing to the music industry. The real potential threat to the publishing industry could be the same as the music industry; illegal downloading. Ratings pale in comparison.

    So, that's my $.02.

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  43. Posted on behalf of Graham:

    Those who wish for a guide aren’t interested in having film ratings on books, just a warning of content, so they don’t waste their money, and fill the author’s, publisher’s and printer’s bank accounts, by purchasing novels that appear good from the synopsis, but then turn out to be very offensive. The bookshop certainly won’t provide a refund. Also, our libraries spend thousands in taxes on multiple hard-back copies, but continue to hide behind the ‘no censorship’ excuse, although some of them may be starting to accept a reader’s request that a warning note be applied to an individual copy.

    I have read over 400 novels in the Past 10 years, and I used to encounter bad language at the rate of 2 or 3 books per year. Now it is more like 25 to 30. Consequently I no longer purchase new, only from charity shops or borrow from a library.

    Using expletives and profanity is just too easy; the author cannot be bothered trying to develop good literary skills. Lee Child shows it can be done in the first 15 thrillers in his ‘Jack Reacher’ series, none of which contain bad language, although there are some gory bits, but he still puts across a gripping read. On the other hand Joy Fielding’s ‘The Wild Zone’ contains the 4 letter word beginning with the 3rd letter of the alphabet, no less than 5 times.

    Will it ever change back to how it used to be? I think not, because it is the vogue to keep pushing the boundaries of shock and controversy. I have begun listing my ‘bad’ reads on a website, but whether it is any use publishing it or not, I really can’t decide. By the way, this contribution has come from across the pond in England.

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  44. In a free market system there is NOTHING wrong with people developing classification systems that disclose levels of content in books that some people may find objectionable. Anyone who would block such efforts needs to ask themselves why they believe in violating a reader's human rights. Every reader has as much right to know the classification of content of a book as to know the ingredients in foods or supplements they consume. What you read becomes part of you, and being 'surprise attacked' by objectional book content can cause harm to people who are not ready or able to deal with that level of content. People mature at different rates, yes some people might enjoy being surprised by vulgar, obscene, violent, racist, sexist, drug-related, profane or other content. But that does not give them the right to prevent other people from promoting content protection systems. I do believe it is a human right for people to classify things, books or anything else in life, and share their analysis. No, this does not and should not equate with banning or controlling books involuntarily, people should have free market rights. But I think it is time for more universal book classification and rating systems, for people who care about the quality of 'ingredients' in what they or their family members read. My teen-age daughter has a summer reading list that with no warning would expose her to explicit sexual content in books. She does not choose to read books like that right now. She deserves some warning about the content of the book choices she has.

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  45. If part of the argument is that kids are more mature these days, we shouldn't equate "mature" with development of discernment. "Impressionable" is the most apt description, and reasonable, responsible guidance is what is most needed, not babysitting by Hollywood. I can't keep up with the voracious reading habits of my 13- and 14-year-olds, but I do have to take the time at least to skim the books and peruse some conservative websites for recommendations.

    The idea that it's fine to expose kids to whatever's out there is like saying we should go ahead and remove the age restrictions for drinking, smoking, driving, etc. Makes as much sense.

    Great discussion.

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  46. Charris, thanks for adding to the conversation. Your points are well stated. I'm starting to see what you describe going on with your children in the reading habits of my 12-year-old granddaughter. It's tough to keep up with her and I often wonder what's slipping through the cracks in those books she goes through so rapidly.

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  47. As a parent of a 12 year old daughter who is an avid reader. I feel publishers should post an advisory rating if the book contains adult content. Much like video games provide the same. NO ONE is advocating censorship or ratings that limit access to books. To be frank, I don't enjoy reading as much as my daughter and I'm a very busy person. I don't want to read an entire novel to ensure there is no inappropriate content. A simple parental advisory should be in place.

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  48. Well put, anonymous. You make some strong points.

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