Put ratings on books as we do with films

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Posted October 2, 2020 | Elizabeth Cromwell ,Ocala

Literature comes from all different walks of life. From innocent children’s books to erotic fan fiction that has been published into ongoing series, the wide world of books keeps expanding every single day.

By giving the population free range of books, it comes with a side of backlash. Some people in society believe that certain books should be censored or even banned. While I believe everyone has a right to read whatever they would like and expand their minds, books should be monitored in libraries so graphic and hateful content does not fall into the wrong hands.

For many authors it feels like a slap in the face when their own creations come into question for being inappropriate for a certain reason. With that said, one of the focal reasons that articles come into question is because of the very mature content that many of them bring into light.

For instance, “50 shades of Grey” by E.L James has become very controversial over the past couple years. Due to its very sexual and mature content people have spoken out against it many times. A sample of that is when the Brevard Public Library in Florida removed 19 copies from circulation based on one person’s misguided sense of decorum.

While them removing the copies is a little harsh, they got the point across about what they do not want to sell. Novels like that are very grown-up and should be monitored on who buys them. One thing that I believe that should happen is that books should be rated like movies are. If you are not living under a rock, you should know that movies are rated using things such as G, PG-13, R, etc. Obviously if someone wants a rated R movie and they are underage, they are going to find a way to get it, but having these ratings gives a very suggested age restriction.

I think we should put these same ratings on books due to some having very developed content that minors should not have a hold of. It puts warnings on books so that everyone can be happy. We are not banning books. We are just giving heavy suggestions on what ages should and shouldn’t read. No one wants a very mature book falling into the hands of a nine-year old.

At the end of the day, if people really want something, they are going to think of a million and one ways to get it. If we ban books, they are just going to look for a less legal way to get what they want. Therefore, books should be monitored in libraries, not banned. There shouldn’t be free range of texts due to some being very sensual and grown. The last thing we need is the next generation to be even more “informed.”

Elizabeth Cromwell, Ocala

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