So I was bored and was wondering.....


TV shows have a rating (like TV-14 or MA) to rate the content.

Movies and Videos have ratings.

Video Games have ratings

Music CDs have sticker ratings (For Cuss Words)

Some websites have ratings (18+ or some require 13+ in agreement of use)

About every form of entertainment has ratings.


Makes me wonder if reading books among the youth is overlooked for the simple fact if a young person is actually reading paper and not blowing stuff up on their gaming console, texting everyone in a 100 mile radius, talking a cell battery dead, or myspacing themselves into a social frenzy, adults overlook some moron demanding a rating and are just satisfied they are actually reading.

My father turned me onto reading a lot when I was quite young. I rmember he started me on Louis L’Amour. I also remember reading teen books (Like the THREE INVESTIGATORS) but now a days with all the electronic media available seeing young people actually reading a paper book is kinda rare… … books.html

Someone is paying JK Rowlings, squillions of mulackas in royalties. Some kids somewhere must be doing some reading! … launch.htm

And then theres Jacqueline Wilson, who sells in the thousandsn`thousands: … 1000114043

Philip Pullman, likewise.
The list is endless, almost.

Youve been at the shine again, avent y!
Take care

Your diagnosis of the lack of a rating system puts it on rather too high-minded a basis, I suspect. Which is to say, I am skeptical of your diagnosis, because it suggests there is not such a ratings system for some /good/ reason.

I think a ratings system for books is precluded for entirely practical reasons.

Compared to a movie, with books you have too much data that is too inaccessible. With the movie rating system in the US, you can hand the job to a dozen judges who watch the movies and rate them. Nothing comparable could be done for books, because i) of the sheer volume of books being published, and ii) of the time and effort required to read them.

Rating them might be rather futile anyway, since you would have limited control over the innumerable points of sale and no control whatsoever over distribution (once a book is “in the wild”). This is unlike movies which (until lately) one could only see in the movie theatre–so a relatively small number of points of sale and complete control of distribution.

What one could imagine, I guess, is baleful socio-political forces pressuring the publishing industry into “voluntarily” marking their own books according to some established code. (I suppose it is something like this that gave us the comics code and the movie ratings system.) So, we could wonder why /that/ hasn’t happened. (I am tempted to say, “It is thanks to term limits,” but I shall refrain.)


P.S. Okay, now you’ve done it. I am going to have to reminisce. When I was in junior high school, my chemistry teacher confiscated my copy of Puzo’s The Godfather. My mother had to come to school to retrieve it from the vice principal. She gave him a piece of her mind on the subject, and then when she had become fully certain of his small mindedness, told him (more or less) to stuff it. There was glory in that. Yay, mom! I just wish it had happened for the sake of a better scandalized book. I believe Puzo would agree. Somehow nobody wanted to confiscate my copy of Ulysses in high school. But for the winking approval of my English teachers (whom I am sure never read it) I think all others were oblivious to its scandalous reputation.

There was a time when people believed that it was as dangerous to put novels in the hands of youths as some now believe (insert your/their most hated form of popular entertainment) can be.

Anecdotal evidence would indicate (I susspect), that if youve actually read Joyces tome, cover to cover, you`re one of a very small band of folk who have. Have you? :open_mouth:
Take care

Yes, indeed, and studied it a good deal. I can with confidence claim to have read it through twice completely. Once for myself and again later to prepare presentations for a group of students who were (supposedly) reading it.

I feel more special already.


Ahha! We have amongst us, one of Molly`s acolytes then 8)

well if one is seeking some serious “rating” I dare you…


Ah, but that was long ago when I was a flower of the mountain, yes…

Ill wager youre a ‘Melon Fetishist’ …arent y? :smiling_imp:

Mr Wock,
You really do need to get to grips with this boredom problem! :open_mouth:
Take up crocheting. Or better still, why not make an appointment with Dr Mulality?

  1. When I was fourteen I hung around with some ‘beats’ who told me that Ulysses was the coolest book ever. I went to the library in Banbury where I was living briefly (in time and in spirit) and the young librarian said was I sure, then went downstairs to the locked up books and got it for me. He was very cool. I read it (just the first section, then) simultaneously with Gone With the Wind. Couldn’t see why one was better written than the other. Can now - I think.
  2. When my daughter was 16 she was reading Lolita. Forgot it and went to the school library to take it out and read it at lunchtime. The librarian looked at it and said ‘Why are you reading a dirty book by a pervert?’ Not cool.
  3. Time was a book on the lap or in the hand of a young woman reading in a picture indicated that they were masturbating. Once books were really dangerous…Happy days

The late John Updike, if memory serves, was a, seasoned, recipient of the Literary Review`s annual Bad Sex in Fiction Award. I wonder how Joyce would fare if Ulysses was published today? :smiley:

Getting away from bad sex (for the moment at least). Many years ago, almost twenty, I should imagine, I came across a book, in the bookcase; no idea who owned it, wasnt me. I wasnt a reader of fiction at that time. The cover caught my eye. Twas a young woman stood in a verdant landscape. I read the first page out of curiosity, and It became, and still is, the only book Ive ever [i]carried around with me[/i], to be read at every possible opportunity untill Id finished it.

Every so often I give various members of my family the third degree. “Who brought this book into the house at the time? Anybody know where it is now? I can`t find it!” All deny any knowledge of it. So it must have been teleported into the bookcase.

It was 'RAIN FOREST’ :smiley: What better setting for ‘Gymnasticated Fornication’ could there possibly be, than a Borneo jungle! :smiling_imp:
Take care

Well, thank you, Mr Vic. Much appreciated. I’m told it was once sold in an SPCK bookshop, shelved under ‘Ecology’.


Well…youre [i]still[/i] turning up in the most diverse locations, aint y :slight_smile:
Take care

So I was in my local small-town bookstore one day and found Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance - shelved under Auto Mechanics.

I think this can be explained by looking at history: up to the 19th century (and in some respects well into the 20th century) the ability to read wasn’t commonplace, but rather something for the higher classes. And at that time the book as a medium already had a history of many hundred years. Of course, there’s always been censorship and people who try to keep other people from reading certain books for one reason or the other, but historically books have only been rated by the genre appended by the writers or publishers.

When a new medium came to the masses in the last decades there were always people calling for regulations - and the more visual the medium was, the easier it was to justify.

There’s the sentiment that reading is always abstract and works the mind - whereas visual media “just influence”. Reading is considered “good” for children, and I’ve seen parents sigh relieved when their children read Harry Potter. “Finally they’re reading SOMETHING!” they exclaim. And the children read Harry Potter. Then they read it again. And buy the games. And the lunchbox. And the DVDs. Those children aren’t likely to become readers.

So books are good for children, the rest is not. That’s the sentiment of most people, though it’s utterly surreal, because not all books are “good” and not all video games are “bad” for children.

That’s normally the kind of service you find in so called sports gear shops - where the spotty attendants could no more advise you on the best material for lining the core of a nuclear reactor than they can identify a shoe specifically designed for a pronating long distance runner.

I used to live near a video shop that didn’t do new releases, but carried the classics and the best of the new - if you had no idea what to watch the owner would recommend some and then describe them to you. He lived and breathed what he did.

Bookshop people should be the same. They should have to pass an entry exam. And they shouldn’t be allowed to stray out of their area either! I don’t want someone who majored in Julia Donaldson down in the social commentary area spreading gruffalo germs.

Hey hey, watch it! I once ran a bookstore.

You ask too much. One can’t be up on everything that one wants to see in a bookstore. If I was well-versed in literature, Northern-California popular-metaphysics and chewable books, that should surely count as doing really well.


I went into a bookstore looking for The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. The dear ditz asked which one I wanted. “There are several, but the best one is the one he wrote himself.” Really!

chewable books is a relevant category in itself.

Maybe someone should invent digestable books too, so you can reinforce what you read by eating and absorbing it.