Let’s Talk Bookish – Should Books Have Content Warnings?

Hi everyone, I hope you are all doing well! As it is once again Friday, it is time for another Let’s Talk Bookish edition. Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books and Dani @ Literary Lion. This weeks topic is all about prologues and epilogues!

I can’t say that this is something that I have ever considered, probably because I am an adult and a bit like movies and games I can watch/play what I want. But I think that it should be considered in the book community because it is something that crops up repeatedly that books have been shelved in the wrong place and could end up in the hands of readers they shouldn’t.

Why do you think it is that books have no rating system to determine what is and isn’t appropriate?

I’m not sure why books don’t have a rating system because I think it can only benefit the book community. It probably comes down to the idea that people don’t want to be policed in the books they read. But I think that a rating system can only be beneficial, it lets all readers know what content will be included within a book, and then it is up to them whether they want to read it. Maybe it should almost be included as content warnings as I am not comfortable with books containing vivid gore, so I wouldn’t pick it up if that was listed on a book. I think it also links back to the idea of having trigger warnings in books (which should be a standard and I really hope it comes more common).

Should there be books that are kept out of the hands of children?

There are definitely books that should be kept out of the hands of children and young people. There are a number of different books that should be kept out of the hands of teens and young people because of their content. Books such as Nevernight by Jay Kristoff because of the gore and Sarah J. Maas books because of the high levels of smut within them. I think this also goes hand in hand with making it easier for booksellers who may not have read the books to know whether to shelve them in Teen/YA or Adult. I think we all remember the ‘drama’ surrounding Sarah J. Maas books shelved in the YA section and people reading them way to young due to the content.

Is it the responsibility of parents or should there be a standard book rating system to deem what’s appropriate?

I think it should be down to parents in some ways, but I know myself the older that I got, the more independent that I became, and my parents didn’t have a clue about the books that I was reading, mainly because Fantasy was not their thing. So I think it needs to be more accessible as to what content is going to be in the book so parents can have a quick look at the blurb or the inside cover and know what is going to be included rather than feeling they had no clue or that they had to read the book first. So this is also something that publishers and authors need to work with too.

I think to sum up my very messy ramble (sorry about that) I am more in favour of content and trigger warnings within the book community so everyone, readers and parents, can know what is going to be included within a book and whether it is suitable. Whether this goes hand in hand with a rating system, I am unsure because this could mean having ID with you when you go to the bookstore to buy a Sarah J. Maas or Stephan King book, which is not something I am sure we would want. And it is would also be something extra that all of our hardworking booksellers would have to do as well as the jobs they already do.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!

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