Thursday, August 27, 2009

Book Ratings

I've been traveling a lot lately. And through my travels I have found myself in many an airport bookstore. Overwhelmed. I have felt this way because I normally go to the bookstore with a recommendation, an idea of what I'm going to buy based on someone else telling me it was good. I didn't realize how much I appreciated these recommendations until recently when I have bought three good looking books of my own volition. These three books were purchased at three different airports over the course of two different flights. Their 'back of the book blurbs' sounded amazing. But all three of these books turned out to be 'R' rated in my opinion. It has prompted me to wonder: why do books not have ratings? Sure some might say: Well, you can just look them up online and know their content. But that doesn't help me in an airport or on an unexpected trip to the bookstore.

I'm not proposing authors can't put whatever they want in their books. I'm just saying, don't consumers have a right to know what we're buying? Just a little letter on the back bottom right corner (like on movies) saying: Rated 'R' due to violence, language, and sexual content.

Now, how can I go about making this happen? And who's with me?


  1. I do agree! But to do this would require that millions of books already on shelves be either tagged with a sticker or reprinted. I'm not sure the world is going to do that for the few of us that are discriminating, though we may be able to make that happen with YA books that are becoming more and more explicit. As parents, I think we are not alone in this feeling. I also feel very lost in a book store without recommendations. Which is why I love Goodreads so much. We can share our love of good wholesome (or at least the ones that are PG-13) with each other.

  2. I'm glad someone else has agreed with me on this. I've picked up many YA novels thinking I was good to go and been downright shocked by the content.
    Others, it just would have been nice to know. Especially when looking for books for my nieces/nephews.
    I'm with you. As to how to make it happen, no idea!

  3. I hate it when that happens-I've also picked up a good-looking book and found it rated 'R' and then I just felt awful about reading it at all...not exactly the feeling good literature would inspire. And usually I don't finish it. What a waste. I usually go by recommendations or satisfy myself with SkyMall.

  4. You would think that even without ratings they would maintain a certain standard with YA, but unfortunately I've found that a lot of YA book are full of garbage. With adult books I've found that you have to get to know authors. Some are much more salacious than others. Ratings would definitely be helpful!

  5. Thus the reason I don't pick up books off the shelf. I only read recommendations. Period.

  6. Sisters! This is why we need to write books! Get to work!

  7. OK I completely agree with this concept. I bought a book that looked like a fun read the other day, it was completely vulgar. It was a young adult book with completely inappropriate content displayed as a normal and proper way of acting. I was discussed.

  8. I know what you mean. The other day I read a book for kids 12 and up and there was one word that made my jaw drop. I was all for my daughter to read this until I came across that!



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