6 Sept 2012


.....Well, that's one way of looking at it.

If I were to mention book burning to you would you straight away think of ......

  • The Chinese Philosophy books burnt on the orders of the Emperor Qin Shi Huang in 213 BC
  • The Torah Scroll burnt by an unknown Roman soldier in the year 50
  • The burning of the entire library of Antioch by the Christian emperor Jovian in 364
  • The Buddhist writings that were either burnt or otherwise destroyed following the conversion of the Maldives to Islam in 1153
  • The 'Obscene' poetry burnt in 1584 by  Pasquale Vassallo, a Maltese Dominican Friar
  • The many, many books burnt in Cromwell's England between 1640 and 1660
OR ......

Like me would you straight away think of the books burnt by the Nazis of Germany in the 1930's and 40's?

Not by any means a comprehensive list, the Wikipedia site's latest entry on the list of book-burning incidents states .....

On February 22, 2012, 4 copies of the Qur'an were burned at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan due to being among 1,652 books slated for destruction.

Scary stuff I think you'll agree and it doesn't end here for if Clare Phillipson director of a Women's refuge here in the north east of England has her way 50 Shades Of Grey by EL James will be joining the list as she urges readers to bin  and burn the book on November the 5th, saying .......

"It normalises abuse, degrades women and encourages sexual violence. There is lots of abuse in the book, not just sexual abuse.

"There is emotional and sexual abuse of a 20-year-old with no sexual experience who is persuaded that being hit is good fun."

Now, not having read any of the 50 Shades books, I don't feel qualified to comment on any of the specifics but suffice to say I'm not in favour of the banning let alone burning of any book


To be honest, I think it a little bit arrogant of Clare Phillipson who, presuming she has actually personally read the book(s), deems it unsuitable for us to read and thus make up our own minds.

What the media have to say ......

What says you? Will you/would you burn your copy of 50 Shades OR, for that matter, any other book(s)?

Just thought I'd let you know that I'm hoping to participate in Sheila's Banned Book week which runs from the 30th of September through to the 6th of October. For more details visit Sheila at Book Journey HERE.


Small Kucing said...

I may not have liked what I've read in that book, but I won't go as far as burning it. anyway, there is nothing to burn as mine is an e-book.

But I do feel some of the things in the book is a bit sickening for me. the part about emotional abuse where Christian grey kept stalking Ana.

am not sure whether am over sensitive but I feel like there is some sort of anti religion sentiments in that book. could be that am influenced by Michael leehan's Ascent from Darkness . funny part is I did not really enjoy his book either .

Mary (Bookfan) said...

I'm not interested in reading the 50 Shades books but I still wouldn't burn them. I simply won't read them. That's all. I understand Ms. Phillipson's objections but don't agree with her actions.

Yanting Gueh said...

I haven't and don't really intend to read the 50 Shades book (there's a series?), but I wouldn't burn books either. If it's truly offensive, I wouldn't keep it. Just give it away perhaps? (The first thing that came to mind when you mentioned book-burning is really Emperor Chin.)

Gina said...

Really? Burning it? *shakes head* It may not be the book for me (not my genre) but really, there were SO many others that came BEFORE this one! She'd literally have to burn at least half (or more) of the books in that genre and frankly...its fantasy/fiction. If that's someone's idea of "fun", that's THEIR choice....not ours (or hers) to make.

Trac~ said...

I personally LOVED the 50 shades of Grey trilogy and certainly wouldn't burn them. I would agree that the first book in the beginning was pretty rough, but the other 2, it was a true love story and if I ever read books more than once, I would certainly read this set again without hesitation! :))

Suko said...

To me, the burning of books is a symbol of repression, control, and censorship. I have not read the 50 Shades trilogy but I know it has evoked strong reactions; it is up to individuals to decide what they will or won't read.

The Bookworm said...

I don't agree with burning books. And I'd like to think that in this day and age it wouldn't be suggested. I read and enjoyed 50 Shades, burning a book won't make it go away.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

I haven't read 50 shades and I don't wish to read them. Not because it deals with consensual BDSM, but because I've heard from people I trust that it isn't well written.

As for burning... no. I don't like censorship. How about it starting a debate on the issue. Get it out in the open? Burning books only try to hide what they deem "bad".

BTW, I actually assume she didn't read it. People who do this actually have a strong opinion but rarely do the homework. It's very rare when you find someone who has that kind of opinion and does the required reading...

Kelly said...

No book burning for me. If I don't like or approve of something, I just don't buy it or read it.

50 Shades of Grey doesn't appeal to me, but I've had family members read it.

Alexia561 said...

Burning books? Really? Hard to believe someone is actually suggesting this in the 21st century. *shakes head*

Kimberly @ Midnight Book Girl said...

Ugh! There are plenty of books that I think are complete crap but I would never burn them, ban them or tell people it's not suitable for them to read. It's 2012, you'd think we'd be past this by now.

Jenners said...

I love that first quote! And as drecky as 50 Shades supposedly is, I don't think it should be burned. Recycles perhaps, but not burnt.

Revd. Neal Terry said...

'Drecky' - marvellous word for it, haven't heard/used that word for a long time. I've read about 70-80 pages, filched from a colleagues desk at work. This was sufficient for me to feel the lack of quality in the writing (It's very Mills&Boon with added naughty bits). A strictly feminist reading would understand the book as perpetuating a patriarchal model of relationships and every strong worldview has it's book burning fanatics. The most telling criticism of the book I feel was the British BDSM Association berating the book for doing it all wrong. So even if one is interested in a more adventurous sex life, this is not the way to do it, and they do actually say some of the practices in the book are dangerous. It is another triumph of marketing above any sort of quality whatsoever.
Naomi Wolf anyone?

Betty Manousos said...

hello tracy!

i'm with mary (bookfan)
no book burning for me either... this takes us back to the middle ages. i would never burn a book. i just don't read it.

big hugs to you, my dearest!

Yvonne @ Fiction Books Reviews said...

Hi Tracy,

I haven't read any of the 50 shades series, nor do I have any intention of doing so.

They really just don't interest me and I think that 90% of people probably feel the same way if the truth was known and only read them to keep 'in with the 'in' crowd'.

I guess that's the power that marketeers and advertisers have over an easily led and malleable general population, who just don't seem able to think for themselves.

I certainly don't have any problem with the books being on sale, I can walk past them quite comfortably and on no account should they be banned or burned, although I do agree that there should be tighter controls on the age group of the youngsters who seem to be buying them.

It's a free world and so long as someone isn't doing anyone else any harm, they should be left alone. The minute that a crime is committed which relates directly to any contentious material, then maybe we need to act quickly to avert more trouble.


Heather said...

Hi Tracy,
I added a link to this post. very interesting. \i have only burned old love letters which i really didn't want to keep. There are books I choose not to read,though I would never tell anyone else they couldn't read them.

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