The Amazon and Pedophilia Controversy Continues

Have you heard about the recent controversy regarding Amazon and a book about pedophilia? It has been a hot topic all week and people all over, from Twitter and Facebook to Techcrunch and BlogHer have been petitioning for the books removal. Many people have even committed to never purchasing from Amazon again whether or not the book has been removed, for the simple fact that Amazon ever sold it. Of course those people will probably be buying from Amazon again in a couple weeks or they never bought from Amazon much to begin with, but it’s the thought that counts right?

The book in question is titled “The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure: A Child Lover’s Code of Conduct.” On Wednesday, Amazon defended it’s position by saying the company “believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable.” Many people agree and many people disagree with that reasoning. Amazon has since taken the book down.

This is a very hot-button issue and I can see sides to both arguments. I think Loren Feldman’s latest commentary on the issue explains a different side – removing this book isn’t likely to change anything. What are your thoughts?

The Book Club Across the Country: One Book, One City

The Thin Man

The “One Book, One City” plan seems to be the latest craze across the country and it sounds like a lot of fun. I found out about it from watching the local news, where it was referred to as “One Book, One Denver,” and I thought that a name like that couldn’t have come from Colorado. We’re just not smart enough. And sure enough….No, I’m just kidding. We’re commonly known as dumb hicks out here, but they all live on the outsides of Colorado. Denver is just as hip as California or New York. Ok, I’ve lost track of the topic.

So anyway, after doing a little research, I’ve found that this program is happening across the country. The plan is to have everyone in the city participate in a massive book club and is supposed to read the same book at the same time. This sounds like a great idea doesn’t it? There are some pros and cons though.

First the pros. This is a great project to help people feel like they belong to part of a group. It’s fun doing something that you know many other people in your city are doing and at the same time, you’re learning. By reading, you’re keeping your mind sharp and intellectual. It also helps out the public library systems, as the Chicago project resulted in the book being checked out more than 6,500 times. Not much, compared to the cities population of 3 million, but that’s 6,500 more people than normal, right? Give or take.

Now the cons. Who is deciding who should read these books? Some people think this “committee” might be putting peer pressure on the participating citizens to follow some kind of orders or values. Other people think this is just some plot cooked up by the book industry to sell more books. To that last part, I say, who cares? It’s a good thing to get more people reading and it’s the job of the book industry to do it. If it was their idea, I congratulate them on a job well done.

If you’d like to see if your city is part of the program, you can check out this page on “One Book” Reading Promotion Projects. They also provide an email address for you to request a listing for your city. Check the site and see if your city is participating and what book you should be reading. It looks like Denver is reading The Thin Man, by Dashiell Hammett until the end of October. Now get to reading!

Prepare to be Mortified!

I remember reading a certain story that my boyfriend wrote when he was just in elementary school. It was filled with murders and decapitations, and even worse mischief that his little imagination could ever muster. I, too, remember poems and stories I wrote back in the recess days of my life. What’s your favorite childhood story that you’ve authored? Care to get it published?

Many brave souls have volunteered their stories, poems, letters for the Mortified book. Take a peek inside the young and undeveloped minds of students from ages tween to teen; ” Real words, real people, real pathetic…” Enjoy!

“Being me, what would you do?”

Six Word Memoirs

How would you describe your life’s story in six words? “Not Quite What I Was Planning” is a paperback book from writers from the famous end to the unfamiliar with their life story in just six words.

If you have ADD or know someone who does, it’s a great coffee-table book and conversation piece. Buy it here.

Because I’m just so indecisive in my life, my memoir is, “Being me, what would you do?” Don’t be shy; create your own memoir here.

What were you doing at age 10?

Evans Book Site

Being 10 years old is an exciting age; you’ve just hit the double digits, recess is still as great as ever and you rule at tether-ball. It’s a carefree, exploratory, and absorbing age.

What were you doing at 10? I’m sure I was running wild in the streets playing tag and riding bikes while carefully evading my parents’ call to bring in me for homework. I certainly didn’t want to sit down and practice my spelling list or solve fraction problems…

I’m not sure how little Evan does on his math tests, but his writing sure deserves an A. Linked from his dad’s site, Evan’s Book Site is his own blog about books he has read and enjoyed.

I think this is a great site. It shows that, contrary to many beliefs, the younger generation isn’t entirely dense and hopeless. It’s a great site for both children and parents so that they may share knowledge in what book they want to read next.

Well done, Evan.