February 16, 2012

TQOTD - Thoughts on Book Ratings?

As it stands in today's publishing market, books are not really rated in any specific way. There are some publishers who put age ranges on the back cover of Young Adult novels (like 10-12 yrs. old or 12-15). But for the most part, I know that publishers try to avoid that because they don't want to turn off certain readers.

So the way you'd find books sorted right now seems to be: Erotica, Adult, Young Adult and Children's.

So this Thursday's Question of the Day: Do you think that there should be a better rating system for books? Should they be like movies? If not, what you do you think would work to sort out the multitude of books that fly off the shelves each day? 



  1. No. I am not in favor of books being rated in the manner that movies and games are rated. In theory, it may be a good idea, but I think the four classifications are sufficient. To dig into the details and rate it for violence, sexual content, language... etc., just seems excessive and it may very well handicap the books and their readers. Additionally, I think that we should trust the authors and publishers to include/exclude appropriate material for their audience(s). My general opinion is that rating book so closely may come to the censorship of books, which I would hate to see.

  2. I wouldn't mind books being rated. You can buy what you want. But, Iwould prefer not to be reading the F bomb every other word! Sometimes reviews don't tell you that and I buy a book and cringe at it!! I also would rather know a better fit for my kids as well! You can't trust others in making their books appropriate, your values may not be the same as mine!! You can buy whatever book you want, I just want some heads up to know what content I might find in it!!

  3. So it seems that the debate is still up in the air. I understand Patricia's view that rating may lead to censorship, or perhaps a loss of readers who get turned off by the rating. But I do understand Kelly's view that it would be SO nice to have a heads up sometimes - especially if there is a graphic sex/violent scene. Maybe we can come up with something in between?

    Thanks for the comments!

    1. It would be interesting to see what others have to say!!

  4. As far as censory-type ratings go, I'm not in favor. However, as a soon-to-be language arts/English teacher, I would love more explicit details on what reading level a book is recommended for and approximate age interest levels. I love YA books, but I'm leaning toward teaching middle school, and not all YA books that I enjoy are things I would necessarily recommend to middle school-age kids, particularly when I'm not sure where a book's reading level is at. Some book retailers list lexile scores on their websites, but that's a real pain in the ass when you're in a book store.

  5. I get very frustrated when I get involved in a book, only to be pulled out by jarring content that does not add to the story. I appreciate a trusted source to let me know if there is content in a book that will keep me from enjoying, or even finishing the book. We are all different and we have different tolerance for different types of content. The more information I have about the quality and content of the book the better able I am to choose amongst the countless options that are available to me. I reject the notion that making an informed choice is somehow evil.


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