Monday, May 3, 2010

Should books have ratings?

I love books. In my opinion, they're one of the greatest forms of entertainment, besides music and video games. But let's look at video games for a second: what does a game have that a book doesn't, besides the obvious? A rating system. Now, most would agree that books shouldn't be given a rating system, as they are a source of education; much more educational than listening to music or watching television.

However, let's look at some of the novels that have been released over the past 100 years: although the majority of books have been acceptable, more of the popular literary works tend to be not what we seem. For example, in Naomi Novik's novel series Temeraire, words like "fuck", "shit" (more specifically "dragonshit"), "damn", and "hell" are used occasionally, but they are very much noticeable. In fact, in Throne of Jade, a character by the name of Macready shouted, "Fire, fire, you fucking yellow-arsed millers!"

In various other parts of the series, whores and sexual innuendos are mentioned. Understandably, the books are not written for children; however, a common parent may not understand that and allow the book to be purchased. Not to mention the violent acts that are portrayed in the novels, such as battles (which are common in fantasy literature) and scenes in which an individual's death is described quite vividly.

For example, in one scene in Black Powder War, a boy falls off Temeraire during flight, and the author makes it quite clear that the boy slams against the ground, even going as far as to describe a cracking sort of sound, if I recall correctly. Although I'm mature enough to comprehend said violence, others may not be so lenient.

As said earlier, I love books, but a lot of the more recent novels have subjects that may not be appropriate to unaware audiences. Now, I only talked about the Temeraire series, but just pick up any novel in your Young Adults section and you might be surprised. Unless we're talking about Redwall. *shudders*


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