I’m not one for giving that many disclaimers about books in day to day life. For the most part the readers that I know are similar to me in background and experiences and I wouldn’t think twice about giving them something that might be considered offensive as far as language, sex and sexuality, religion, etc.
I’m not easily offended by most things I find in literature. And with my friends- well, I have gotten to know them first and have been attracted to them most probably because we are similar. While they might be more easily offended than me, I feel like I know that they won’t be offended by general sexual situations, graphic language or violence. I’m not really screening for anything because I have already made the assumption that they are similar enough to me that it won’t bother them.
I think blogging has been different because all of the relationships that I have formed have been based first and foremost in the love of reading, and in some cases that might be one of only a few things we have in common. I just don’t know enough about everyone to know what they might find offensive. It’s eye-opening and rather fun to see the different reactions to books that I have read. What bothers others that didn’t bother me and vice versa. Sometimes I feel like I read a lot that just doesn’t phase me, and it’s been an interesting exercise to think about why that might be.
In addition to other bloggers, there are readers of the blog, some of whom have made themselves known and others of whom I am not aware. More goes through my mind now as to what I’m reading that I feel might offend others even when it doesn’t bother me, but I won’t necessarily have a disclaimer or strong caution unless I feel that it starts to get to me. I figure if I start to feel uncomfortable then it’s definitely worth bringing up.
The Book of Night Women, and The Turnaround were two books I read this year where I felt strongly enough about what I read to warn about the violence or graphic and gritty situations, etc. I also would have had to say something about America Psycho had I been blogging at the time that I read it. It was all of the above, with extreme violence included in graphic sexual situations. I read it right out of college, and I wonder if I would even be able to finish it were I to read it now.
I feel like people who have been reading Linus’s Blanket for awhile know that I don’t shy away from the harsher aspects of life that are portrayed in novels, which is probably why I only step in when things are on the excessive or graphic side. What do you feel like you need to put disclaimers on? Foul language, sexual situations, drug use, negative opinions on religion? Are they the same things you like to be warned about? Do you warn readers about anything? As a reader what do you want a heads up about? Talk to me people. I really want to know.