Booking Through Thursday (24) Rating Systems for Books

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly bookish meme where participants are asked a series of questions about their reading habits. To join this or future Booking Through Thursdays Click Here

This Week BTT Asks: 
Do you think BOOKS should have a ratings system?

Good question this week. Honestly I do not see the need for a rating system. Books are already divided into categories such as Middle Grade, Young Adult, Adult, Non-Fiction etc.... What I wouldn't mind seeing however is a very small on the back Mature Content warning on Young Adult books. Not on the front cover with a big honking red sticker (hate those). On the back, under the blurb.

I would also not mind seeing Young Adult signs in bookstores  with age groups written underneath. I know Borders used to do this but I can't remember if Barnes&Noble does. To me Young Adult starts after 13 and that's even pushing it as I'd personally prefer it marketed to 14+ but lots of the parents seem to think the content in those books is okay for a 10 or 12 year old. For some readers sure, I was reading adult horror books at the age so can't really judge. However, for parents who seem to shy away from the naughty I think most YA these days isn't suitable for pre-teens. Putting the recommended ages under the sections at the store might stop book bashing by these particular parents as the blame falls solely on them if they go against the recommendation and buy it anyway.

Anyway that's pretty much my only suggestions. I don't want to see good books turned bad because of a few sexual innuendos or cuss words. That is why I strongly believe a rating system wouldn't work.  What is to much for one rater might not be for another. It's to subjective.


Now for my questions:

Do you think books need a movie style rating system?
Have you ever picked up a book and been shocked by its content?
If so, Which book was it?
Do you think a rating system would of influenced your decision to buy it?
Leave me your answers in the comments below. I love reading your responses!


  1. I agree. I think most high school aged kids are fine with YA content and parents if younger kids can check the books out first if they're concerned. I don't think a ratings system is necessary.

    1. Yes it really comes down to parents waiting until AFTER the child has read the book to call it inappropriate. With sites like Goodreads this shouldn't happen but sadly does.

    2. Are there goodreads lists that do this? Maybe a YA Fantasy E, or M, same system they use for gaming.

  2. Yes. I remember picking up Wake, which the librarian helped me choose, and turned twenty shades of red. In the first couple of chapters a girl walks through her friends dream. Her friends topless and there's a bit of a sex vibe on. I was shocked because I Had no idea what I was getting into. Of course now I'm used to ya having mature themes, but back then I wasn't.

    1. I haven't read Wake yet but I can definitely see why you would be taken aback by a scene like that.

  3. I agree also, it's fine the way it is now.

  4. I like it the way it is now as well. Thanks for visiting. :)

  5. I agree age "ratings" can be a helpful guide, though overall my preference would be a content rating, which I explain more in today's post. :-) My full response, as well as some extended discussion in the comments, can be found here.

  6. I like the idea of letting people know what kind of content is in the books but I just don't know how this would work. Personally I started reading romance at 12 so the content in YA novels wouldn't have seemed very much to me.


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