Monday, May 14, 2012

Latest WTFckery: When Libraries Ban Certain Books From Adults Because They're "Too Racy" or "Not Well Written"

When you hear about schools or libraries banning certain books, it’s usually books for a young adult audience because we all know *insert sarcasms here* the young impressionable minds of teenagers will act out what they have read by having sex, doing drugs, cursing up a storm or practicing black magic.

It’s not all that often you hear a library banning a certain book written for an adult audience. As an adult, you have the right to pick and choose what you would like to read no matter how disturbing or poorly written that book might be based on public opinion. Reading is a very subjective experience and another person’s piece of crap is someone else’s diamond.

When I read that some libraries were banning Fifty Shades of Grey based on the racy material the public fondly calls, “mommy porn” I had to do a double take. Seriously? No matter what you may think of Fifty Shades of Grey and Fifty Shades Darker and Freed, these books are all that the world seems to be talking about. People from all walks of life, including bothe men and women are reading them. Fifty Shades of Grey is the #1 book in the national for ten weeks in a row. And yet libraries are banning it, specifically in Florida, Wisconsin, Georgia. Why? One of the reasons is that, "It's semi-pornographic”, or so those in charge at these libraries believe. I guess the tampon sex scene, Christian showing off his red room of pain and collection of sex toys, and the belt smacking ass scene in Fifty Shades of Grey has people clutching their pearls in shock. All those wonderful orgasms Christian gives Ana, and in turn her accepting Christian's kinkiness as a consenting adult in her 20’s is wrong and deemed “pornographic”.

But what really gets my goat is those in positions of power at libraries who are banning it haven’t read Fifty Shades of Grey! WTF?! You have the gall to ban a book adults (not from children or teenagers), aka tax payers who pay your salary and keep libraries up and running, but don’t have the decency to read what you’re banning and censoring from the public because of what you heard or read in SUBJECTIVE reviews that state Fifty Shades of Grey is racy or not well written? How can anyone make an informed decision if they haven't read a book and support their claims on what they have read from others and not read themselves?


"It's semi-pornographic," said Don Walker, a spokesman for Brevard County, Fla., where the library put 19 copies of the book on the shelves then pulled the novel after reading reviews about it. Some 200 notices had to go out to people on a waiting list to read it.

Librarians in at least four Florida counties have declined to buy the book — even though hundreds of people have requested it. Reasons range from not having the money to poor reviews.

"It doesn't suit our community standards," said Cay Hohmeister, director of libraries for Leon County — where Florida's capital, Tallahassee, is located.

In Gwinnett County, Ga., a suburb northeast of Atlanta, all 15 library branches will not carry the book.

"We do not collect erotica at Gwinnett County Public Library. That's part of our materials management collection policy. So, E L James' three books in the trilogy fit that description," said Deborah George, the county library's director of materials management.”

Don Walker pulled Fifty Shades of Grey off the library shelves not because he read it, but because he read SUBJECTITVE reviews, and from that made a a very misinformed decision about pulling Fifty Shades of Grey, the #1 book in the national for ten weeks running after 19 copies were ordered and a waiting list of 200 tax paying ADULTS who want to read it.(at other libraries there's a 700 deep waiting list for this book)


How can Don and other librarians who acquire books think this is a good enough explanation for banning such a book?

Does that mean the Gwinnett County Public Library in Georgia and the Brevard County Library in Florida will start removing other racy books like:

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov: A fifty something male pedophile obsesses over a 12 year old girl and engages in a sexual relationship with her that doesn’t just include missionary sex but oral sex. "The novel is notable for its controversial subject: the protagonist, middle-aged literature professor Humbert Humbert, is obsessed with the 12-year-old Dolores Haze, with whom he becomes sexually involved after he becomes her stepfather."

Flowers in the Attic by VC Andrews: A book that’s well known for it's brother and sister incest that continues over the course of the series where the brother and sister end up getting married. This books is being marketed as a young adult in some book stores, and don’t be surprised if you find it on your library shelves in the young adult section.

American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis: Graphic descriptions of sexual torture, mutilation and death by a serial killer who targets women for his own sick enjoyment.

The Hunger Games by Susanne Collins: Children from the ages of 12-18 are forced to kill one another to the death by impalement, stabbing, cutting throats and beating one another up, not counting death by genetically engineered bees and man eating dogs.

The Bible: Passages of fathers having sexual incestuous relationships with their daughters, including murders of children and the hanging a man on a cross and crucifying him as a form of punishment.

The Sleeping Beauty trilogy by A. N. Roquelaure: A disturbing and erotic fiction. "The novels describe explicit sexual adventures of the female protagonist Beauty and the male characters Alexi, Tristan and Laurent, featuring both maledom and femdom scenarios amid vivid imageries of bisexuality, ephebophilia and pony play. Also bestiality in a form of cat licking off butter from the heroine’s vagina is involved"

The books I listed are currently shelved in libraries across the US. Other books are considered graphic, filthy, disturbing and in some opinions', poorly written. If Fifty Shades of Grey, the #1 book in the nation for ten weeks running is banned from libraries, then shouldn’t these books I listed, as well as other questionable fiction and materials?

Don’t be surprised because of this, Fifty Shades of Grey and Darker and Freed increases in book sales and continues to hold the top 3 spots on all major book lists for weeks or possibly months to come. A book being banned is great for the publisher and author’s bank account, so if I was E.L. James, I would be smiling all the way to the bank, which she already is with 3 million copies of her books being sold in less than a year.



Pam said...

I think it is perfectly okay for the libraries who haven't bought it not to buy it. I've requested books to be bought at my library and it not be bought. They are curators and have little money and a lot of them are already not buying RH books because of the news about their library ebook policy. Also, if they don't carry erotica period, why should they start now just because a book is popular?

KB/KT Grant said...

The Sleeping Beauty trilogy is erotica along with The Story of O, Fanny Hill and most of DH Lawrence titles, so why not Fifty Shades?

Also Robin Schone books are at the library and are heavy duty erotic romance also.

Jeanne M said...

I'm continually amazed at how many books that were required reading when I was in school are now banned.

I've always felt that it's not a library's perogative to judge a book just as they can't force a person to pick it up and read it. To me libraries have always represented a place of choice and the decision to read or not read up to the invidicual person.

I'm also amazed at the books that are no longer allowed to be read in our schools. I was fortunately going to school in both the 50's and 60's to have wonderful teachers who may have assigned us a book that was controvercial but then allowed to discuss why we did or didn't agree with the author and that sometimes we must take in to consideration the time-period in which the book was written and the morays of society at the time. It also gave us the opportunity to discuss the prejuices that occured during different time periods and be more in tune to what was going on around us in our community and country.