Monday, September 30, 2013


cen·sor·ship noun \ˈsen(t)-sər-ˌship\
: the system or practice of censoring books, movies, letters, etc.

I was visiting blogs last week and came across a blog that discussed the possibility of a rating system for books. Some books simply are not appropriate for children, either emotionally or physically, raising issues that they are not ready to deal with yet. However, in one comment I found something interesting.

"I would love a rating system and have mentioned it before but people have argued that it is censorship."

By what possible definition could a rating system be considered censorship? Because school libraries would know right up front that these books were not appropriate for children?  That's a no-brainer. Not censorship.

The books are not being censored by any definition, nor are they being banned. The text remains the same. The readers (the author's clients) are being given the opportunity to know what the book contains.

Is it censorship to demand that advertisers (or in this case, writers) tell the truth about their products?

I, personally, do not read smut. If I find a book that has this kind of material in it, I put it down and chances are good that I won't touch anything that author writes again. Believe it or not, that is my choice. If each author indicated what kind of material I could find in a book, that would save me a great deal of time, aggravation and frustration. I'd probably also read more.

Those who choose not to mention the questionable material in their books are afraid that they would lose readers and scream censorship for monetary reasons. The fact that they lose readers anyway, and some people will never go back to them because they can't trust the content of the book, is apparently immaterial.

An honest content statement would allow them to gain more readers, first because readers like me wouldn't get aggravated by getting halfway through the book before they ran into the garbage, and second because if they wrote a book that didn't have that kind of nonsense the readers would be able to tell. There are many, many authors I would go back to in a heartbeat if they stopped writing the garbage.

Banning books is not the solution. Censoring books is not the solution. Writing out a clear, honest, description of what the book contains might be.

"Without A Voice" content description

Intended audience: adult
Profanity: none
Sexual content: none
Violence: mild (no blood), abuse, stalking
Religion: Religious topics discussed

"Spirit" content description
Intended audience: adult
Profanity: slang
Sexual content: none
Violence: mild
Religion: none

"DarkSpirit" (upcoming) content description
Intended audience: adult
Profanity: slang
Sexual content: kissing
Violence: family violence, mild to moderate
Religion: none


  1. I agree with you!! I founded More Than a Review dot com and we rate books on the level of sex, violence, language and drug/alcohol use. I would LOVE for you to share reviews on our site! It is always wonderful to find someone who agrees with our mission! I found your site through Wendy at AP.

    1. Thanks, Donna. I would read much more if I could trust the content. Your site looks great, I just registered.