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BLOG: 50 Shades of...Censored?

Is it 1912 or 2012? I am free to write this blog, but can't borrow a book from the library? Scratching my head over censorship.

I have finished the first two books in the very controversial trilogy, "50 Shades of Grey," and I am well into the last book. While the book is very... um... erotic, I do not see the reason it has been banned from our library shelves. The verbiage is not vulgar or disgusting. The context of the story can be a little disturbing, but I found myself wanting to know why Christian Grey is the way he is, and rooting for this very odd couple. I have read far more vulgar books from the library than this one. I thought we live in the Land of the Free, not the Land of Censorship. How far have we really come as a country if someone else determines what we can or cannot read? Why do others get to decide what is appropriate reading material for me? I don't get it at all.

In a country where we are free to walk outside in whatever clothing we see appropriate, befriend whomever we deem worthy of our friendship, go to work or school wherever we want, watch whatever shows we enjoy, marry who we love (still wishing for all 50 states to allow same sex marriage here), go to the church of our choice, drive wherever we want, etc., why are books being censored and what gives the people who ban them the right to decide what is appropriate for me?

You can go onto the Internet and buy anything from clothes, to shoes, to pets, to cars, to candy to a college degree, yet not walk into a library that our tax dollars help support and borrow a book? Did you know you can buy chips from Alcoholics' Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous on-line? Yep! You no longer have to attend meetings, quit drinking, stop doing drugs and work your steps to be clean and sober. All you have to do is Google "AA/NA Chips" and for a few measly dollars, you can make everyone (but yourself) think you are clean and sober for however long you want them to think you have been. Just don't go to the library and ask for the book. Actors are allowed to say 4 letter words on regular television and that is acceptable, but an adult can't go to a free library and exercise freedom to choose a book? I just don't get it. My life, my body, my choice... just not my reading material.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Peter Nincompoop June 15, 2012 at 11:13 PM
What makes me most upset about this issue that people who oppose the library's decision not carry this book, are quick to label it censorship, and claim the library is banning books, let me make this point clear, THIS IS NOT CENSORSHIP, BECAUSE NO ONE IS STOPPING OR PROHIBITING ANYONE FROM READING THIS BOOK. Censorship is a very hot word that evokes emotion in this country that has been used by critics and the media to sensationalize this issue. Censorship would be if the county government made it illegal to sell or posses this book. Apparently the author of this article and the rest of you who claim this is censorship, have not read the multiple stories on the subject or have chosen to ignore that fact that the library decided not to buy this book because it did not meet the selection policy established by the Library board of directors, most importantly being that reviews both professional and popular have spoken of the poor quality of the writing in this book in addition to the pornograph subject nature of the books. This book began as a blog, where the writer wrote her interposition of sexual encounters using the characters from the Twilight books. Are there other books in the library that have sex and violence and these subjects have been the subject of stories since before stories were written down, however the book is just a series of graphic depictions of sex acts strung together with a poorly written plot.
Phil Dirt June 16, 2012 at 12:28 AM
Someone has to decide which books to purchase. The only thing I take from this is that Jill Bracewell wants to be the one to draw the line between appropriate and inappropriate, rather than those who actually work at the library.
Matt Murray June 16, 2012 at 01:33 AM
Haters gona hate...
Jill Bracewell June 16, 2012 at 02:24 AM
I am loving all of the comments this blog has created. Let me make one thing clear, I do NOT view this book as pornographic, nor do I approve of "porn" of any kind. There are no vulgar descriptive words of human anatomy in the books, and while the scenarios may be a bit much for some people, for others, they are not. I am not asking anyone to "fund my taste for erotic books", but simply stating my opinion that I feel it is wrong for any person/persons to decide what a free library will or will not allow me, as an adult, to borrow. I do appreciate all of your comments!
Lady June 16, 2012 at 10:32 PM
I really couldn't care or less if the library carries any book. If I want any book they do not carry I will go and purchase it. The only reason I think this book has gotten so much hoopla everywhere in the media is that it is a best seller that talks openly about sex. Many, many folks are uncomfortable talking about sex in any context.
Dianna Snodgrass-Comes June 17, 2012 at 02:20 AM
what does that even mean
Dianna Snodgrass-Comes June 17, 2012 at 02:26 AM
i think everyone that purchaces these 3 books should be sure to pass them on to their friends that want a good read, it is 2012 , maybe it will spice up some of your lives . happy husbons - happy wives
Natalie June 17, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Jill Bracewell has a hidden agenda on every blog. Perhaps she should use some of her money she receives from the state and splurge for her own book. Better yet..use that money to spend time on the computer putting together a resume to get out there and get a job...then she could buy her own books. Expecting the county, state or federal government to pay for everything for everyone is disgusting. Your second paragraph is indicative of just what levels you will go to in order to harass and bully others. Try visiting the library and seeking books about PARENTAL ALIENATION...though knowing your history you could write the book yourself...
Natalie June 17, 2012 at 04:26 PM
totally agree with Phil
Natalie June 17, 2012 at 04:29 PM
never mind the fact that this book is so poorly written
Natalie June 17, 2012 at 04:32 PM
sounds like Jill might need to update herself on the many devices now available for people to download whatever books they want...Kindle anyone??
Wings June 17, 2012 at 10:59 PM
Omg seriously people? Apparently most of you never even read it. The book is FAR from porn and was so poorly written it made it hard to even read. It was narrated by a girl who sounded like she was 12. I honestly have no idea how it even got popular because the first book kept me as interested as watching paint dry would. Second book will never be touched with these hands of mine. The library should ban it for the hundred times she makes a reference to her inner goddess or him commenting on her biting her lip. Ban it for just being an incredibly horrible book not it's laughable porn.
Jill Bracewell June 18, 2012 at 12:10 AM
Wow, Natalie (if that is even your real name), how completely rude and inappropriate for you to broadcast what you think is my life and my financial situation. I am assuming that this is a huge Privacy Violation on your part, and I will be reporting you and your comment to the Patch editors. Whoever you are, and wherever you are getting your information from are sadly mistaken. But thank you for trying to insight a riot in what I am sure you know is a delicate situation.As far as your "bully" insinuation, tread carefully, the alienated one lives with me.
Jill Bracewell June 18, 2012 at 12:20 AM
Thank you Phil, that is what I was trying to say in a nutshell. I want to be the one to make the decisions as to what I think is appropriate or not, not to have some person do it for me.
Jill Bracewell June 18, 2012 at 12:25 AM
Book 3 was a disappointment. Wings, I agree with what you said, the inner goddess and lip biting repeating every other page was overkill. But, now that I have read it, I think I will go back to Patricia Cornwell's "Scarpetta" novels....much more enjoyable! Thank you to everyone for all of your comments! Wondering what my next controversial blog will be about...
Wings June 18, 2012 at 03:52 AM
Always up for a good read I will check them out Jill.
franking June 18, 2012 at 05:51 AM
"But thank you for trying to insight a riot ....." I think you mean incite.
Natalie June 18, 2012 at 12:10 PM
Thank you for the "insight" regarding my desire to "incite" a situation. ....I know they do have dictionaries, etc. for free in the library. It would sound like your response is a bit threatening to me...If you put yourself out here on a blog for all of the area to read then please develop a thicker skin when people question your motives.
we-miss-nj June 18, 2012 at 01:08 PM
Yes, but you implied it was censorship, you idiot.
we-miss-nj June 18, 2012 at 01:14 PM
I couldn't agree more Peter, the author (and those replying in agreement) are not the sharpest tools in the toolbox, they don't know what freedom really means or how to define the word "censorship", even with the help of the internet they're clueless...
RG June 18, 2012 at 01:47 PM
We-miss-nj....there really is no need for name calling. If your comment was directed at me, it's rude and uncalled for. I actually do spend quite a bit of time reading and I have read many things on censorship- which is why you will note that I NEVER said this is censorship...so you can feel free to read into my comments however you want and insist I'm saying things I'm not saying..but as someone who likes to debate with peolpe, it's done much better without attacking others and calling them names.
franking June 18, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Her response to you wasn't threatening, but it was a hyperbolic shout out for the site to perform some censorship. I don't feel any compulsion to riot, but I do love the smell of irony.
Karl Schuub June 18, 2012 at 07:02 PM
This author of this blog would assume that every book, magazine, or other published materials must be purchased by the citizens of Harford County so that she can view whatever it is for free otherwise it's censorship. Wonder if she'd help pitch in for the enormous building we'd need to construct just for the room to house what would amount to the contents within the Library of Congress. What utter and completely, illogical nonsense. Common sense for which she apparently has zero as she's doubled down on the entire assinine concept a few times here, suggests just the lack of space alone requires a reasonable filtering process.
Natalie June 19, 2012 at 12:44 AM
regarding second paragraph of blog...for the author's information...times have changed, computers have changed the world (in case you didn't notice) .....Weight Watchers Online - a friend lost 30 lbs using this site .....online education courses - another friend earned a master's degree online ....AAonline - a friend uses this site for his sobriety are you actually implying that these sites are false? are wrong? are invalid simply because they happen online??? to questions someone's integrity in regards to the many, many, many websites available for help is not only ignorant it is arrogant..
Jill Bracewell June 19, 2012 at 06:31 AM
I was wondering when Karl would appear with his 2 cents.....as usual, it is not worth 1...
Jill Bracewell June 19, 2012 at 06:33 AM
Maybe I should use the millions I allegedly "get from the state" to build said building? Some of these comments are laughable. If you don't like what I post, instead of insulting and bullying me, just DON'T READ THEM! Thanks! Jill
Karl Schuub June 20, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Pretty sure Jill you've been shown the door by just about everyone that's posted to this goofy blog. Your problem is your perception is way off base. Was unaware of any money you get from the state - could care less. There isn't a building big enough in this county, maybe even the state to house the free access to "every book ever printed demand" so you can have the smutty ones at your fingertips.
Phil Dirt June 20, 2012 at 04:26 PM
Jill, I believe you have misconstrued my comment. I do not agree with you on this matter and was implying that you would prefer to be the person who decides what is appropriate or not for the library to carry. Do you think that this book should be purchased and Hustler magazine should not? Isn't that a decision that someone had to make? If so, who should make it - you or the paid professionals at the library?
Matt Murray June 20, 2012 at 06:34 PM
This thread is a joke. The library has much more offensive books right this moment. Read I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell by Tucker Maxx. Now this is an offensive book and literally piss your pants funny. Stop hating.
Jill Bracewell June 20, 2012 at 08:42 PM
Matt, great book!

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