Thursday, March 10, 2016

Books- the other parts of "the Ugly" (03/10/16)

Please see yesterday's post for the beginning of this thought.

Sorry about the cliffhanger, everyone. This just needed an extra post for explanation. The second "ugly" part about books is the book Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, which is actually pretty good for a dystopia, and I think it would make a good movie. It has a similar plot to many other dystopias, but it does a decent job of being unique. I only mention it for the wordplay.

The third "ugly" is banned books. (Thank you to Btcmann for the great suggestion which sparked the idea for yesterday and today's posts.) So why are books banned, and what makes them ugly?

There are two main reasons a book may be banned (due to content). The first reason is if it contains ideas that are dangerous for readers within a specific country. This isn't much of a problem in the United States, but in countries where the government wants control over how their people think and act, good books can be banned or burned to prevent future conflict. These are sad occurrences for us in the US, but there isn't much to be done to prevent it.

Here in the United States, we have our Bill of Rights, which includes the right to free speech and press. The government is not allowed to censor books that speak for minority rights. That doesn't mean you can go around saying what you want, since your words will still have consequences. That's what takes us to our second reason a book may be banned: maturity.

Occasionally a group of parents, librarians, or other worried adults will join together in a certain community and protest a certain book from being allowed in schools and libraries. They may say that it is too graphic for youth to be reading, that it describes a scene that is not meant for younger eyes. that it contains a suggestive picture, or anything else they deem too mature, Here's where it gets ugly.

Once a book has been banned, it gains the fame of being called out. This attracts members of the book's suggested audience to read it because they want to know why it was banned. More people would read it because of this fame than maybe would otherwise, which means more sales for the author, who will produce more books like it, and more youth who would read that from which they were being protected.

So do we ban books? If banning does more harm than good, then I say that we don't. We should, however, take more measures to warn those in the target audience of the level of maturity that a book has before reading it. Movies have a rating on the front, which warns the easily influenced that it is not advisable to watch the movie until a certain age, but it doesn't prevent these people from actually watching the movie. Kids can still watch rated R movies on Netflix and on their family owned DVD's, and there isn't a reason to keep them from it if their parents allow. If novels did more of the same, it would prevent people like me from accidentally reading something they didn't want to read because they would realize beforehand that it was there. It wouldn't take the ability to read such books away from the teens who really want it and it would help people find a book more suited to what they want. Meanwhile, this method is not glorifying books enough to the rating of "banned", since it would be on the cover of every book.

Agree? Disagree? Did I miss something? Please comment below with your opinion.

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