Booking Through Thursday – Rating

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

No. I was just talking with a couple of friends about this and how we started reading adult books at around age 12. I remember one of my first was Judy Blume’s adult books, and just the strange transition of reading “adult” situations after having only read young adult books. I did not find it illicit or daring, but I did like the newness of it and the freedom of choosing the book. No one stopped me from going to the adult section of the library.

I feel there is something very universal about books. I still read young adult fiction and children’s lit. I enjoy them a lot as well. The industry already categorizes age groups for books. I’m not against ratings for movies or video games either, but the graphic and visual nature can be more disturbing. Still, I think ratings are very subjective. In American cinema, I find it baffling how simple nudity even without sexuality can be rated R and a lot of violence is fine at PG-13. I think part of what I like about books is exploring them, and I think ratings could limit that experience for book lovers.

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