Discussion: Should Books Come With Age Restrictions?

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I haven’t really thought about this much, until I started reading a book I am currently reading and was shocked by its content, thinking that the book really should come with a warning about its graphic and sensitive content. This then got me thinking even further about people of all ages, who are able to walk into bookstores, libraries or one or two clicks away, from buying all types and genres of books, without needing or worrying about age restrictions.

Movies, games and even cds these days, all have something in common. They all have age restrictions put on them based on their content and the audience they are therefore aimed and limited towards because of their content. So should books be added to this list and have age restrictions added to them based on their content, in order to protect the people who are reading them?

You can argue YES! Why is it that there is no age restriction put on books and anyone of any age can pick up books about topic that may not be suitable for their age. The most obvious example would be Fifty Shades Of Grey. But then what would you say is the correct age limit for this book? 18+, 15+ What is the right age to know, talk or discuss issues? People are all different and their maturity levels are all different. Then we have death, violence, and so many other topics that the list can just go on and on.

But then you can argue NO! Books are a fantastic way of learning and discovering, especially for children and teenagers who are too afraid or too quiet to ask questions to their parents, in a safe place. There are books that have very sensitive topics, that deal with death, violence and so on, discussed in school in very vivid detail. It’s a safe place for them to deal and experience issues such as death, plus gain information and learn about a multitude of topics, that’s range is unthinkable.

So maybe not put age restrictions on books, but I definitely think that books need to come with certains warnings, even if it may cause spoilers! I know I wouldn’t have picked up, or in my case now, have requested to read my current book from Netgalley because of the sensitive scenes involving a child, but it allows you to decide and pick a book more honestly. Some books I think should always come with warnings:
●Erotica
●Books with graphic/torture scenes
●Books about child abuse
●Books about child sex trafficking

What do you think about books and age restrictions? Do you think some books should come with age restrictions? Do you think books should come with warnings? If so, what warnings do you wish were placed on books? Comment below ☺

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14 thoughts on “Discussion: Should Books Come With Age Restrictions?

  1. starkreviews says:

    I definitely agree that some books should come with warnings, particularly when the content of the book can be triggering – rape, abuse, etc. But with age restrictions, I’m not so sure because, as you said, people mature at different stages. So that one is definitely more difficult to think about and I’m not sure where exactly I stand on it. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • ShayneysReviews says:

      Yeah, as I was writing this post, I began talking myself out of putting the age restriction on books aspect, but I was curious of what other people thought. There were too many variables, such as, how would you judge someone’s maturity levels? Some of the best works of literature contain so many aspects that may be considered inappropriate for children, yet they are taught in schools because of how much they teach them. If you look at their movie adaptations, they are usually higher in the age rating system. My English teacher once had to get permission off the parents of my whole English class to allow us to watch the movie adaptation of Frankenstein as it was rated 15 and we were only 13.

      Exactly! The content may involve a topic that may be very sensitive and could be especially personal to certain readers. That is why, I think warnings would be work perfectly! Just a little thing.
      Thank you! :mrgreen:

      Like

  2. The Not So Secret Life Of A Fan Girl says:

    I absolutely think books should have some sort of age restriction. I know some come with a recommended demographic but there should definitely be some sort of restrictions in place. If we have them for movies and games, why shouldn’t we have them for books, it’s the same content, it just happens to be written down instead of portrayed visually.

    Liked by 1 person

      • The Not So Secret Life Of A Fan Girl says:

        Even with age restrictions though, people will abuse them. I work in a store that sells video games, and I see people buying 18/R rated games for 7 year olds. People don’t tend to care about age restrictions which really peeves me, it’s age restricted for a reason folks..

        Liked by 1 person

      • ShayneysReviews says:

        That’s all to do with parenting then though. I know that my mum would always let me what 18 rated movies with her, from a very young age, like 7, 8 and upwards. That’s how I have my fear of clowns. Damn you IT!! Whereas my friends parents were the complete opposite. They would even read everything before him to ensure it was age appropriate. Even the Harry Potter books!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Not So Secret Life Of A Fan Girl says:

        My parents wouldn’t just stick rigorously to age restrictions, they would check something out first and deem what they though appropriate for me to see.
        I remember I was 13 and my parents were going to watch 6th sense, which here, was rated age 12 and upwards, and they wouldn’t let me watch it because they knew I would be too scared. I was such a sissy when it came to ghost stories!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Em says:

    I could see books with warnings and suggested age appropriateness, but I would absolutely hate it if it became restricted to buy (or check out) certain books based on age. It’s not right. Books are the one thing we have that lets us discover new things and have new experiences all within the pages.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ShayneysReviews says:

      I completely understand that, because that’s what I love about books. Discovering, learning and experiencing the new world’s and new adventures hiden within. But I think a little warning should be advised. Even if it’s just *contains graphic scenes*, *contains sex scenes* or *contains scenes of a sensitive topic*. That way you can still buy them, but you are also prepared in advance of the impending scenes and you know what you’re about to buy and read. So if you sadly have a past with child abuse, rape and so on, you will know to stay clear of that book, as it may be upsetting and bring back really bad memories. Or, if you just feel uncomfortable reading books like that, or books with really vivid torture scenes, or sex scenes and so forth, it can be really helpful.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. onceuponabookshelfblog says:

    Wonderful post! 🙂 I do agree. I think there should be some sort of restriction/warnings on books which give the readers some info of what to expect within the book and if it is a topic they are not comfortable reading, then they have the option to avoid reading it. Everyone is different and we all have issues we are quite sensitive about so it would be great if there were some warnings.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ShayneysReviews says:

      Thank you 😀 Yeah that is exactly my point! If we have a some sort of warning, then we have all the opinions presented to us and we can then decide for ourselves if we still want to read the book. Especially with a topic we may be uncomfortable with, as there may be a reason behind why that topic may be so sensitive to us, the reader.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. jessicasblog45 says:

    I agree and disagree. I agree about the warnings. When I was a preteen (around 9 years old), I read some of the Sweet Valley High books. They were written for teenagers. I also watched PG13 movies and Rated R movies when I was around 9 years old.

    Like

    • ShayneysReviews says:

      Very true. I definitely think there should be warnings!. I think it also depends on the person themselves. I have always read and watched things that were rated above my age, but I think I was ready and mature for my age. Whereas, there as there are certain things, books of films etc, I would never let my 13 year old sister watch or read because there is no way that she is mentally mature enough for them.

      Liked by 1 person

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