Thursday, October 26, 2006

What do you think about this?

I came across a story that Borders is allegedly refusing to stock a young adult novel with sexual content. The novel in question, Pop! by Aury Wallington is the story of a 17-year old girl who embarks on a quest lose her virginity. Admittedly I have not read the book, but as a strident defender of our First Amendment, I can't say that I agree with Borders' decision. If they're willing to deny themselves and the author potential sales, would they be willing to deny customers under the age of 18 the right to purchase a romance novel, for example, because it portrays consensual sex between a man and a woman?

By the time I was 15 never mind 17, I had already read novels by Jackie Collins, Barbara Taylor Bradford, Anne Rice, Stephen King, Danielle Steele, Isabel Allende, Raymond Chandler, etc. I had read stories with violence, murder and rape. I also read stories in which people fell in love or doggedly sought truth or stood up to right a wrongdoing. I think I turned out okay and when my Little Dude grows up to read adult literature, I won't mind it if he reads to satisfy his curiosity about life. Hell, I'd rather he read about it than go out and do it and then post pictures of his adventures on MySpace.

What do you think?

Oh and here's a link to the original story.


Sandra D said...


I could not agree with you more!
I always encouraged my children to read.
My girls read everything from Romance to Science Fiction.
I am very much against censorship of this sort. Makes me really uncomfortable.
Again, recently no offense intended to anyone...the Bible Belt was insisting on removing Harry Potter series from school libraries.

As you know my eldest granddaughter is 13 and she has read so many Romance novels from...
Mary Janice Davidson's her still all time favorite Jude Deveraux. As a matter of fact, she just did a book report on Duchess by..none other than Jude Deveraux.

This subject is really a steamy one for me. Really.

Mary...if time permits...and I know how busy you are..I would highly recommend you read The Seven Minutes by Irving Wallace.
You will not want to put it down
and the most pertinent.
I will send you something on it off line.


lainey bancroft said...

I'm with you, Mary! Kids are curious, and IMO the safest and almost always most educational way for them to explore their curiosity is through a book. Like you, I had gobbled up Jackie Collins and the likes by high school. And it was more accurate information than I ever received from my older cousins!
My kids get access to just about anything they are informed enough to ask about. Vamp books didn't turn them goth or send them out seeking blood and ole' Harry certainly didn't make them take up sorcery.

Congrats on your confirmed sale!
Got your note BTW, I'm sure I'll love 'In Between Men'. Let you know....soon as I can plunk myself down and read it!

Emily Brightwell said...

Hi Mary, if this story is true, then it's outrageous. It's not up to Borders to censor what anyone can read. If they can do it to that author, they can do it to all of us! Parents are the only people who should censor a child's reading material - and that's stupid because kids can always get their hands on 'forbidden fruit' - I know that I did. Like you, by the time I was fourteen I was reading whatever the heck I wanted. I don't think Irving Wallace, Jacqueline Susann, Leon Uris or John LeCarre corrupted me and I don't think a YA story about virginity and the quest for losing it is going to corrupt today's youth. Honestly, what's next, book burning?

Anonymous said...

I saw this, and it really burns me up! Back when I was a kid, there was nothing to read after I'd burned through all the Judy Blume and Norma Klein titles, so I moved on to Judith Krantz, Jacqueline Susanne (sp?), and (gasp!) Erica Jong. And as far as I can tell, reading those books did not turn me into a delinquent, a menace to society, or encourage me to take part in any activites I wasn't yet ready for. What a complete lack of faith in young readers!

On another note, last night I was so anxious about attending the LB Friends of the Library dinner because of The Office- what if my VCR revolted??? What if the power went out??? So I could hardly believe it when I raced home only to find I'd recorded a rerun!

But that didn't stop me from watching it again!
Have a fun weekend!

Louise said...

This is appalling and scary.


Eileen said...

I agree with you. By the time I was 15 I had seen, read, and done many things, and I wouldn't consider myself offended by this book, not as parent, or a teenager. Shakespeare is full scandalous issues, this novel is no different that these classics, and yet they are subjected to read these books in school. Losing their virginity is much closer to their hearts than murder, jealousy and, betrayal.