Opinion / From the Press

Classify books to suit age groups

(China Daily) Updated: 2014-12-03 07:39

The government should guide the classification of books sold in the market in different grades for readers of different age groups in order to keep adolescents away from literary works meant for the consumption of only adults, says an article on pinglun.youth.cn. Excerpts:

"I wonder whether your novels filled with vivid descriptions of sex are proper for middle school students, as our teachers recommend your books to us," a middle school student asked Mo Yan after the Nobel Literature Prize winner delivered a speech in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, recently. "Do not read them now. You can read them after marriage," Mo replied.

For similar reasons, an award-winning novel on the list of books recommended for middle school students by the Ministry of Education triggered a public debate in 2003. To ease public concern, the ministry responded by saying the book is not a must read for students.

Booksellers and publishers will not care much about such problems, however. As long as a book is popular, they will promote it. In fact, publishers and booksellers are not expected to act as moral or social guardians to youths, especially because the latter form a large part of their consumer base.

Books which young people can buy from a bookstore are not classified according to consumers' age groups in China. In this context, Mo Yan's reply was direct, but not perfect.

Therefore, China needs a classification system for books which will allow both authors and youths (especially adolescents) to find their respective niche.

Most Viewed Today's Top News
Considering money as the end is the tragedy