Booking Through Thursday: Rating Books

March 28, 2013 § 1 Comment

Booking Through Thursday

This weeks BTT question is:

Movies have a rating system to help guide the consumer weed out adult/violent/inappropriate knds of films. Video games do, too. Do you think BOOKS should have a ratings system?

This is a really great question and one I feel pretty strongly about in some ways. In my personal opinion, I think the idea of rating stuff is kind of pointless. When it comes down to whether or not I decide to watch or read something, I’m not looking to ratings, I’m looking at what the story is about. That’s the deciding factor for me. Whether something is going to be gory, or intense, or have sex in it isn’t really what I care about.

As far as ratings for parents deciding if their kids can read or watch something, same goes. I mean, every kid is going to be at a different level than the next kid and their parents are going to know what they can or cannot handle. In those situations, regardless of the material, rating, or warning, that parent is going to decide if their child can handle something and hopefully, be there to discuss it with them afterwards if necessary. Maybe that’s presumptuous of me to say since I’m not a parent, but I do have brothers who are much younger than me and I’ve caught myself having to do this with them when they want to watch something on Netflix and that’s the attitude I intend to go into parenting with down the road.

How about you guys? Ratings for books? Yay or nay?

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§ One Response to Booking Through Thursday: Rating Books

  • Cyberkitten says:

    Definitely No. I can understand (mostly) the rating system with movies and even (to a lesser extent) with games but putting ratings on books would, in my mind, be tantamount to censorship. Imagine if a book received an 18 certificate but the publishers wanted a wider audience so asked the author to edit it back to a 15 or 12A! Or even worse if they edited out the bits they didn’t like without involving the author!

    Also can you imagine how difficult it would be to come up with an agreed rating system? Some of it might be easy – sex and violence – but how about novels that push the limits in other ways, that challenge the way you think or see the world? Will they get higher ratings too?

    Basically I would view any rating system, no matter what the intent, as an attempt at censorship and a restriction on what people can read (which I view very strongly as a bad thing). I was reading books supposedly above my reading age (whatever that means) for most of my childhood and early teens and came across many things in fiction that I only discovered IRL much later. Such things prepare you for the real world and shouldn’t be edited out no matter what the justification.

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