I picked up a great looking paranormal book from Amazon the other day. The cover was good, reviews were awesome, and I was interested in the storyline. I read about half of it--just enough to get invested--and then out of nowhere people were taking their clothes off and describing genitalia in ways I really just didn't want seared into my brain. I deleted the thing from my Kindle, angry that I got all invested in a book without foreknowledge that it would contain content that would offend me.
But I know I'm not the only one, and everyone has their own level of "prude" that they draw a line at. So how are we supposed to know if a book contains these elements or not? How can we avoid spending money on crap that we end up just having to throw out anyway? How can we keep our kids from reading stuff they shouldn't?
Movies have ratings. TV has ratings. Heck, every other form of media--Youtube even!--has some rudimentary form of letting users know when content has gone from acceptable to questionable. Why not books? Why are books not rated through a system like movies are?
Films are rated by the MPAA or Motion Picture Association of America. Their board of reviewers are made
up of parents, actually. It's the main criteria for being on the board, because if you are a parent, then you will view the content through the eyes of a protector of children, I assume. The MPAA is able to afford this because films must pay to have their films rated. And in order to show their films, it is law that they must first have it rated. So. They pay a fee, the MPAA rates it for them, and we're all a little wiser.
So how did books slip past this? Is it because books are so old? There are too many? Too hard to regulate a rating system?
I want to know! I did research, and not surprisingly, I can't find much on this topic. But as someone who's main form of entertainment is actually books, it would be nice to just look at the spine, see a "R" rating, and be able to slip that puppy back on the shelf. Perhaps it doesn't even need to be regulated. Perhaps it could just be a courtesy that publishers add for readers so they know what they are getting into.
Am I totally crazy here? What do you think about content ratings?