Should Books Have Content Warnings?

Hello Blog readers, long time no speak-y, I’ll get right on to hat I’ve been doing in the interim; I’ve been reading absolutely filthy literature.
I was wondering if anyone has been in this position, your reading a book, maybe something of the detective genre, all is moving along in a family friendly sort of way, and then BAM! pants off porn scene. It got me thinking about something I’ve wondered before, books can be just as gritty, sexy, violent, profanity ridden and scary as any other media form, but they are not rated to warn the reader of what is inside. Is this right?

My younger sibling are very strong readers and I know it wont be long before they are looking to material aimed at an older audience to suit their level, they already are a bit, I can’t help but feel it would be helpful to have a handy rating system so I know they aren’t getting into anything they’re to young for.

That said I find I’m quite surprised at myself, book ratings is something I’ve wondered about, but I’m not about to launch a campaign, If I’m honest I don’t feel that passionate about it, and yet when I go to the cinema and see a nine-year-olds exposed to scenes of torture and violent murder in 12A rated films I come out fuming.
Are books not as bad, or am I complacent?

I wonder would you like to see a book rating system implemented? Or is this something that doesn’t bother you?



About Gwen and Elinor

Two bloging buddies who love tea and biscuits.
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6 Responses to Should Books Have Content Warnings?

  1. Anela says:

    Hi Gwen,

    I definitely think a book rating system would be welcome – if it’s good enough for movies, why not books?

    I was reading a book recently about Mary Queen of Scots, and it was a great book until a turned a page and bam! It was almost like a husband rape wife scene….thats happened a few times, so you’re not alone!

  2. arriacross says:

    I guess that’s a possibility, especially for parents who are worried about the kind of books their children are reading. But I’ve been exposed to “filthy” literature at a very young age (even before I was a teenager), and I think those books taught me to be a decent adult because I’m more aware of them. But it must be because my family are a bit liberal in raising me.

    Of course, every family is different. Ratings may help, they may not. I don’t really mind, personally.

  3. I think they should have content warning, or just something that gives you a clue, because that’s happened to me a lot as well. Unlooked for porn scenes in books is probably the main reason I’ll stop reading them. In the school library we did have content warnings, yellow spot for all readers, red for year 9 and above, and then I’m sure there was a rare special blue spot for books only sixth formers were allowed. The librarian did have to read all the books we purchased and she was a little shocked at times by what was being aimed at school age children as well.

  4. kimjoyh says:

    I think they should have content warnings too. My friends bought me 50 shades of grey on my birthday just because it seemed popular without knowing what it was about!

  5. Or would content warnings merely whet the appetite further and make a book more desirable to an highly inquisitive mind?


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