To Judge A Book By Its Cover

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To Judge A Book By Its Cover Essay, Research Paper To Judge a Book by its Cover For as long as the quill has been able to catch thoughts on paper, writers have created socially disturbing material. Years ago, the acceptability of a book was either met by beheading the writer, or honoring him with a seat at the queen s table. How times have changed. America, home to freedom of intellect, speech, and expression, has created an environment that allows objectionable material within easy reach of young children. The framers of the Constitution could never have imagined how controversal the First Amendment has become in view of writers unshackling themselves of any shred of morality by authoring pieces of literature that most would find offensive, yet some would find enlightening.

Library shelves across the nation are ripe with inappropriate books, within easy grasp of any minor, that have the potential to warp young minds. Presently, just about anyone, regardless of age, can wander the aisles of local libraries and peruse the contents of any book and then check it out with virtually no safeguards in place. A parent’s signature is required when initially opening the account to ensure checked out material is returned, but after that, youngsters basically have carte blanche access to everything the library has to offer. Parents may never see what their adolescents are finding of interest. The minds of children, full of curiosity, snooping and filling the void that parents have good reason to make elusive, greedily lap up the dribble of some warped

author’s pen. Shelves and rows loaded from floor to ceiling with books containing pictures of art illustrating various sexual positions, manuals graphically depicting murder victims, books upon books full of political ideologies, rape, sex, illegal acts, how-to books showing bomb construction–the list is endless. How can impressionable minds of children be exposed to such mature material? Now is the time to start rating books. Television programs, video games, movies, even music is filtered by some rating system. The movie rating system has been in place for decades; the book rating system can be just as simple. A restriction sticker or stamp describing the objectionable content on the cover and giving an age-appropriate notice for reading is all it takes. In April of 1998, a

horrific incident took place in Littleton, Colorado. The shooting is all too familiar. Dylan Klebold, and Eric Harris, according to later findings, spent many hours in their local library researching, Hitler s Nazi ideologies, and even reading his autobiography Miem Kamf countless times fueling their rage (Lessons Learned). Could this have been avoided? So many books over the years have propelled young people to commit horrendous acts and still no rating system on books. Sadly, school children spend between five and ten times the amount of contact with teachers than they do parents. The system could not only draw the attention of library staff, but alarm parents, teachers and fellow students of noxious contents beneath book covers. This system allows teachers and parents to form

a type of control, limiting the material viewed by students. Many parents and teachers feel it is good to see children reading, but do they really know what they read. Picture a child burning his eyes into a pornographic magazine laid out on his desk at school, hard to picture because obtaining the magazine requires a specific age, and also the content is so visibly unacceptable the child does not stand a chance viewing it. Picture instead, a child reading a steamy, supermarket checkout-aisle romance novel. Besides Fabio throwing his love over his shoulders in passion on the cover, no way to identify the smut beneath the child s eyes. This system would have ensured that the child never attained the book, because whether purchased or checked out, the child would have been stopped,