FILMS have age restrictions – so why don’t books?
Certain books can be extremely explicit for young readers and children can easily pick up books with no idea what the contents might be.
Librarians have mixed views on whether there should be an age ban.
Jan, from Neilston, Renfrewshire, said: “I do not see anything wrong with not needing age restrictions on certain books, because it is not like there are explicit photos or giving young children ideas to do anything drastic.”
But Ian, 60, from Newton Mearns, Glasgow, said: “I can see how it can help protect young children from explicit things in books and what the purpose of an age restriction is.”
Young people, for example, could pick up an explicit novel like 50 Shades Of Grey and be presented with content which, as a movie, was rated 18.
Lisa, 14, of Newton Mearns, Glasgow, said: “I was never quizzed at the library about taking out a particular book which was not aimed at my age group. I was not ID’d. The most that ever happened was that we discussed the book…small talk like if it’s a good read or if I enjoyed this genre.”
Bookstore workers shared their opinion. Craig, from Waterstones, said: “We do not stop anybody from buying a particular book because there is no law to say what book you can and cannot buy. Most Waterstones do not stop you from buying any type of book.”
There are also many online forums set up to argue about the topic and the views are mixed.
Natalie Jones, a teacher, said: “Books shouldn’t be age restricted because a picture is worth a thousand words. Therefore, a picture of something rated PG-13 will much more readily come to mind than a written description of it, although similar emotions may be evoked.
“I think book reviews will provide the answer as to whether it is a book within your personal comfort zone for a good number of books. The books can be put down when overly offensive, scary or too graphic just like movies can be turned off or fast forwarded.”
Another Reddit editor said: “Isn’t this one of the reasons why we divide books into children’s,
YA (young adult), and adult?”
Librarian Jan added: “In a way it is doubting or questioning their ability to read and what level they are capable of reading because we all read and learn in diverse ways, and nothing will change that. Yet if you were to id somebody it can be taken as in a cheeky, inappropriate way to ask somebody their ID to check a book out.”
One author who gives you pre warning is Ana Huang. Some of her books, including the Twisted series, are very sexual and have a warning in the first few pages about swearing and sexual scenes.
MY VIEW, by Bryony Sturrock: It is not as if the police are going to stop you at the door or a security guard is going to demand to see your ID and check your bags or personal belongings at the book shop or the library. It’s just a book. It is not drugs or a gun. I think people should be allowed to buy explicit books if they desire.
- What do you think? Give us your views in the comment and reply section below.