Why don't books have age restrictions/guidance certificates like movies?

I never thought about this before as I didn't have an interest in reading novels, but I've started and wondered why no age restrictions.

I read "P.S. I Love You". I noticed the book had the F-word a number of times and descriptions of drunk night out. This was made into a movie; certificate 12 (UK). I've just started reading "The Notebook", also made into a movie, certificate 12. In this book, there was a discription of a sex scene which I found more discriptive than the scene in the movie suggests. I checked & didn't see any guidance for age and nothing to suggest that the shop keeper or parent to decide whether age appropriate. If a 10-year old attempted to buy "The Notebook" novel, they would be able to buy it without being questioned, but if the same child attempted to by the DVD, an "age check" warning would appear.

Why not age certs on books? The mind is powerful and can easily create images as discribed in books. Do you think books should have age restrictions?

11 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Because kids are illiterate and unlikely to pick up a book in the first place.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Hmmm, you bring up an interesting question. As a writer and a reader, I don't really like the idea. I don't like the idea of ratings on books because what if the rating turned a reader off to a something that may prove to be a good read? How would you rate things anyway? People swear and make crude comments in real life. What would be "too much" in literary terms? And where would the line be drawn? Fanatical people would take this too far and we'd be back to book burning.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Wow! That's a great question!

    I remember, back in the mists of antiquity, that many libraries had special cards for children, and that they needed a note from a parent if they wanted to borrow from the adult section

    --this was a blanket rule that applied to such things as science or history books, which an older or more mature child might conceivably have reason to borrow.

    Perhaps there should be a kind of rating system, such as a disclaimer that "The contents of this book may not be suitable for readers under the age of 14" or some such thing similar to what I've seen on The History Channel or The Discovery Channel programs advising viewer discretion.

    Source(s): a lifelong, voracious reader who, like a ravening lioness, goes about seeking what books she may devour
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  • 3 years ago

    Do Books Have Age Ratings

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  • 1 decade ago

    Not particularly. People mature at different rates, and there will be people who are shocked by material at any age. Perhaps instead of rating books (which, like rating some movies, would be hard to enforce), you should check with a parental figure to see if it is something you should read.

    Atop that, you get into exceedingly gray areas - where would Lord of the Rings fall - death, gore, magic... some people would say it isn't for kids/teens.

    What are your ratings/cert systems? What criteria would you base it on? Who would do the rating?

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  • 1 decade ago

    I absolutely think they should. My mind runs a more vivid picture than any movie. And it really stinks when I get into a book, just to have to stop reading it because something was unacceptable. I'm 21 and a Christian, and I still don't want to think thoughts like some of those books out there. I also have a 3 year old, and when she starts to read, I will have to be extra cautious about her reading material because kids just soak up what they read. Definatly think the public library would do some good by rating books. Something to think about for sure!:)

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  • 1 decade ago

    books don't have restrictions so much as sections. Like books in the Young Adult section are meant for usually preteens and teens. Books in the Adult section are meant for adults. Books in the kid section are meant for kids. So yes they have age restrictions you just have to look for them.

    As for kids buying books like that, i think that their parents will check over the book, asked where they got it from, and check if its appropriate because they just don't let a little kid choose a book that they shouldn't be reading.

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  • 1 decade ago

    That's a really interesting question. When I was a kid I was a voracious reader, and I certainly read some things my mother wouldn't have wanted me to watch. Maybe books should have ratings if there are adult themes. If nothing else, perhaps it would generate interest among those less inclined to pick up a book.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    They do, the magazines on the top shelf of my local newsagent's all have the number '18' on them in a little red circle. This is to warn potential buyers that there is nothing of interest in them at all, which could not be found for free on the internet.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    My teacher of literature at high school told us to read anything that fell into our hands. He said that all books have a degree of knowledge in them, even, his words, "dirty" books. Reading books is becoming extinct amongst youths everywhere. Limiting, with who knows what criteria, their access will only worsen the problem.

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