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Books/Characters > Censoring books

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message 1: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (bisky_scribbles) | 2536 comments Mod
I often notice that books aren't put in the same categories as movies, when I think that there can be even worse things in books. There isn't a system (where I live anyway) to stop children having access to certain books. Especially now that eBooks exist and I was wondering:

Did your parents censor books like movies? Or do you, if you are a parent? Do you read the books first before you let your kids?

My mum ripped pages out of The Watchers (my favourite novel) because she didn't believe I was old enough to deal with the sexual stalking scenes, but thought the rest was tame enough for me.

What are your thoughts? Do you think books should have a rating system?


message 2: by Harmony (new)

Harmony Kent (harmonyk) I do think there should be a similar rating system, or at least a suitable minimum age for readers. At the moment it is up to the author to gauge this and broadcast the suitability. I don't have kids, but my sister is very careful what she lets her children read. I also happen to disagree with the lax movie ratings these days. Films that are being put out as a twelve would have been an 18 just 10 years ago. Which makes it even harder to gauge a book's 'age'. :3


message 3: by J. David (new)

J. David Clarke (clarketacular) | 418 comments My parents didn't censor much at all from me. I'm not entirely certain of the need for a rating system or the efficacy of it, but I'd be okay with it being more or less like the movies. That's what Wattpad does, lets you put in a movie rating on your story.


message 4: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 1053 comments Mod
Well, if my parents ever censored anything, they were good at it because I didn't notice it. I remember as a teenager, my friend and I would 'borrow' her father's playboy February magazine for the top 10 best musicians/singers thing. Later on we practiced drawing with the other 'stuff' in the magazine. Her parents noticed but we argued that we had the same 'attributes' so what was wrong about that? Their answer was to let us use the February magazines only.
Now that I rethink of it all, I believe they had the right attitude. They didn't push it so we soon found something else to practice drawing.

Now as a parent, I didn't have any problem.My son never liked to read until he was in his twenties, so between us, if he would have wanted to read something with a little sex in it, (not erotica though) I would have handed him the book with pleasure. Reading is reading and anything would have been better than nothing.

Should book have a rating? That's hard to answer.
I'd say Erotica should, no question about that, but I don't see the idea of 17+ for a book with a little bit of mild sex when some teens have seen their share of it 'live'. Why 17 and not 16? What does the one year difference make? Do teenagers turn suddenly mature the day of their birthday? What happens during the night? A butterfly emerges from the cocoon? I don't think so.

While I am ok with a rating system, I think it might have to be more complex than the movies because it's not right there in plain sight. A book still needs imagination whereas a movie you have it all in front of you.


message 5: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Wolfenberger | 85 comments My parents never censored my reading, unless you call telling me to read less and go play outside censorship. They didn't really pay attention to my reading habits.

A rating system isn't a bad idea, but it would be significantly harder to maintain a centralized standard. There are far fewer movies than books (over a million and counting on Amazon) and movies don't take as long for an organization (like the MPAA) to review for content. It would fall to the authors, agents and publishers to rate books, which would leave the system open to variation. Too much variation and the whole rating system would lose meaning.


message 6: by Heidi (new)

Heidi Barnes | 86 comments I was only censored once and that is because the book I had, all my friends at a swim meet went through and read all the sex scenes. So when the book was on the table that was what it opened up to and my dad saw it. He burned the book and then went and had a "talk" with my grandma who I had borrowed the book from. *rolls eyes* I had read worse. I was lucky he didn't find my Dancer of Gor book. he he he

I didn't sensor my kids. Like G.G., my son wasn't a big reader and if he wanted a book he got a book. Luckily he didn't pick the adult books I read and he didn't really want to read them.

I always felt that after the age of 13, if we make a big deal about it then it will become a big deal and they will find a way to read a 'banned' book. I would warn them and let them make their own decision.


message 7: by Duane (new)

Duane Vore (DuaneVore) | 2 comments I was never censored, but then, I don't think my parents had that good an idea what I was reading. I remember reading Kazan's The Arrangement and Raucher's Summer of '42 at a rather "impressionable" age. The latter I pretty much liked; the former, meh. I definitely wasn't impressed.

Nor have I attempted to censor what the kids read. In fact, whenever I see a list of banned children's books, which includes such classes as Winnie the Pooh and Bridge to Terebithia, I take it as a required reading list and want to buy them. I want my kids to learn to think, and to do that, they need exposed to ideas that aren't necessarily mine.

I'd rather not see a rating system for books. For one thing, no one will ever agree. For another, the movie rating system just turned into another marketing tactic. It wasn't long before studios figured out that they could up the teen viewership by upping the rating. Ratings go up and down to suit the market demand.

Still, I think there should be some kind of indication about what is in a book, and I suppose that should be left up to the author. Not the publisher, unless they happened to be the same. I'm putting brief content advisories on my web site now, and will eventually migrate them to Amazon. That only seems responsible.


message 8: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (bisky_scribbles) | 2536 comments Mod
I've not read Bridge to Terebithia but the movie depressed the fudge out of me.


message 9: by Duane (new)

Duane Vore (DuaneVore) | 2 comments Actually, I could never finish the book. Every time I tried, I bawled my eyes out toward the end and had to give it up.


message 10: by Bisky (new)

Bisky Scribbles (bisky_scribbles) | 2536 comments Mod
George R R Martin for children :p

me and my mum just sat in the cinema like o_o


message 11: by Kamil (new)

Kamil | 187 comments G.R.R Martin, actually wrote a book for children.


message 12: by Carl (new)

Carl Growing up my daughter had the run of my library. My dad had bibles and theology books (guess what he did). Mom read romances. I don't recall anything between Dr Seuss and the classics.


message 13: by Michael (last edited Dec 31, 2013 11:43PM) (new)

Michael Pearce (michaeltinkerpearce) | 91 comments No censorship here, although my mom once commented that she thought that James Bond might be a little 'adult' for me... I think that I was twelve at the time. She didn't take the book away or tell me to stop reading it, and actually never mentioned it again.


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