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Banned--Or Simply Shunned? : Conversation question • Page 4 • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Banned--Or Simply Shunned?

Every month in Writer's Digest's InkWell section, we pose a question related to the writing life. Tell us your thoughts.
abqwriter
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RE: Banned--Or Simply Shunned?

Postby abqwriter » Wed Feb 28, 2007 10:04 am


charanne
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RE: Banned--Or Simply Shunned?

Postby charanne » Fri Mar 02, 2007 3:59 pm

I think the book store can make the decision to ban a book, but the more stink brought up about something, the more curious the pubic becomes. I'm sure there are many teenagers, younger and older than 17, who have bought the book from other place to see what the commotion is all about.

The writer ended up with a lot of publicity and probably more books sold because of the banning.

Silviar
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RE: Banned--Or Simply Shunned?

Postby Silviar » Sat Mar 03, 2007 4:41 pm

I don't think it's ok for bookstores to ban books. By choosing not to sell something, the business is saying that it's allright to make subjects taboo, that we shouldn't talk about them. Yet think how much more we know about sex and relationships because of the taboo research done by so many people. Banning books in one place starts a slippery slope of how far we will go to appease a few people who don't want to read it or have access to it. What else will we lose the right to read if we keep it up?

Bookstores may have the right, but it's unfair to everyone for them to excercise that right. If we let everyone who complained about Harry Potter get their way, children all over the US would have never had the joy of reading the series.


fernand
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RE: Banned--Or Simply Shunned?

Postby fernand » Thu Mar 08, 2007 4:12 am

Marketing to teenagers or general marketing, that is the question at stake

There is a big discussion now related to teenage pregnacy and other related issues and I will say that the marketing audience of the book is not properly defined. Because this material is directed to the audience of teenagers?

majinks
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RE: Banned--Or Simply Shunned?

Postby majinks » Sat Mar 10, 2007 3:17 am

Hi People,
Remember the Ban T-shirt “Margaret for President” ? Wal-mart took those shirts off its shelves citing the Arkansas company’s philosophy of family values. But you all must remember their “values” stem from hundreds of years of their family values tradition. A tradition in which the Master would go out to his female slaves and make more slaves.
The T-shirts returned only after a boycott.
I suggest that a boycott may work against Borders. My thinking is that super-right conservative people don’t spend much on books whereas Liberal folks tend to read more and spend more to best increase their wide knowledge base.
Michael J.

R.C.
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RE: Banned--Or Simply Shunned?

Postby R.C. » Sat Mar 10, 2007 5:49 am


metropolis
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RE: Banned--Or Simply Shunned?

Postby metropolis » Sun Mar 11, 2007 12:37 am

If it were just some small mom and pop bookstore in one town that chose not to sell the book, I'd say, "Fine, they have a right to do that." But when places like Border's choose not to carry a book, it practically becomes a ban. Borders is one of the largest retailers in the nation and THE largest book retailer. Not only is it becoming difficult for readers to find local bookstores these days (as Borders goes out of their way to put them out of business), but the major bookstore chains are having serious influence over what books even get published. Publishers know that Borders and Barnes and Noble are going to be their biggest purchasers, and there are a lot of publishers that are not willing to take risks on authors that aren't yet established, that aren't writing the type of mainstream work that Border's will purchase, and that are writing about subjects Border's has deemed unacceptable. That's the truly frightening part of this whole thing.

Aside from all that, I think people need to stop looking towards the retailers and the libraries etc. as being responsible for what their kids are going to read. Parents need to take some responsibility. It's ridiculous to think, first of all, that your teenagers aren't going to be exposed to sex anywhere else other than this book or some other book on Border's shelves. Second of all, if you really want to shield your teenagers from that stuff then teach them moral responsibility at home. If a kid learns that a book dealing with sex is taboo, they'll want to find out even more what all the talk is about.

Edit:

And I don't think people give enough credit to teenagers for making wise decisions. If a book deals with a teen's decision to have sex, it doesn't mean that another teen is going to get the idea that it's what they should be doing. Chances are every teen has a friend that has had sex that can place more peer pressure on them than a book can. Maybe this book could be seen as a way for parents to open up discussions about sex with their kids, and maybe the kids will be able to relate the book to what's going on in their own lives. And, again, if people say it's taboo, kids will want to find out why!

Oh, and when I was 15 or 16, I read the book, "How To Please Your Man In Bed," which my friend found in her parent's room and passed around to all of us. The influences are already out there! I highly doubt one more book is going to turn our teenagers into sex fiends.

majinks
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RE: Banned--Or Simply Shunned?

Postby majinks » Sun Mar 11, 2007 5:28 am

Whether the words written are on a t-shirt or in a book it is all the same. WRITING.
The forces behind to silence authors is also the same. FEAR.
To stand up for the work of others. COURAGE.
Michael J.

abqwriter
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RE: Banned--Or Simply Shunned?

Postby abqwriter » Mon Mar 12, 2007 6:10 am


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looneywriter
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RE: Banned--Or Simply Shunned?

Postby looneywriter » Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:36 pm

I will attempt to address the original question, which asks if we believe it is ok for a bookstore not to carry a book based on its THEME. (It mentions nothing about sales, etc.)

I DO NOT believe that a book should be refused shelf space simply because it has a touchy THEME. If books were only sold in bookstores because the company agreed with what they had to say I am afraid we would miss out on a great deal of wonderful literature. What would the shelves look like? Would they be filled with mundane books which portray life as simple and without conflict? (Do I hear snoring?) 

Someone mentioned a bookstore's right not to carry a book on its shelves as freedom of choice. What about freedom of the press? That doesn't just apply to journalism, it encompasses all written materials.

I shudder to think of a world where books were shunned(or banned, you choose) simply because someone found the material contained between the covers to be offensive.


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