The Problem With Some Literary Criticism

Have you ever heard someone mutter, “How could someone give _____ a book deal?” I know you have. Or they’ll question why anyone would read a book by ______. But those criticisms all miss the mark.

I have no issue with disagreeing with the views of someone. I have no issue with disagreeing with the content of a book. But once we get into this discussion as to who deserves to have their name on a book we delve into a discussion that really boils down to censorship.

Don’t like Bill O’Reilly? Don’t read his books. Don’t care for Bill Cosby? No one is forcing you to read his work. And this is the same in every case. Politicians, celebrities, whomever. If you feel so strongly about someone having a book, then speak out about it. Tell why you feel the way you do. Heck, write a book of your own. But we tend to criticize countries and governments and societies that censor their books, let’s not mistakenly aim to do the same because we have negative feelings toward someone.

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New Clean Reader App Removes “Offensive Language” From Your Books

Most books I read have some cussing. Not pages and pages of it, but some. Well (if you don’t like characters cussing) you no longer have to read those words. You know the ones I’m talking about. There’s a new app called Clean Reader that essentially barricades you from cuss words in your books. And it’s easy to use. All you do is download the app and set your settings based on how much or how little you want the language to be changed. Oh, the app isn’t only for cussing. It covers A LOT of different words and phrases and is constantly adding more.

But you have to purchase the books through the app. So you can’t read on your Kindle, Nook, and I’m not sure what the app is like on iPhones and iPads.

I understand that some people don’t like “offensive language” in their reading, but I’m not a fan of this. How many rounds of edits and rewrites did it take for the book to reach its final state? Plenty. And all along the way the language could have been changed but wasn’t. I just don’t think an author’s work should be changed (drastically, in some cases) without his or her permission to cater to some reader. If you really don’t like the language THEN DON’T READ THE BOOK. How hard is that?

Anyway, what do you think of an app that essentially censors books? I hope it fails miserably.

You can read more about the app here. It is available in the App Store and Google Play. I won’t be linking to it.


On this day in 2014 I published What’s That one Series of Books you Won’t Forget?.