Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Labeling Fiction ~ Just How Would That Work and Should it be Done?

So I was on Amazon the other day and happened upon a thread in their forums. The original poster was complaining that they'd been "duped" too many times into downloading a novel onto their Kindle from the free list only to later discover that the book was Christian. They were lobbying for books to be clearly labeled as Christian by Amazon.

I had several thoughts about this, not the least of which was; there are only a few Christian fiction publishers -  learn who they are and don't download their books if they are so offensive to you. My second thought was about how many of the books being complained about have been tagged multiple times as "Christian." So I disagreed with the original poster who seemed to think this was something along the lines of spam that was being sneakily foisted on them by Christian publishers.

Still there is that little concept of not casting pearls, mentioned in the Bible. If people are not ready to hear a message, it does no good to speak to them about it because they will just stop up their ears. On the other hand, someone who is ready to hear might read a Christian story and be blessed, even changed, by it. Would labeling books mean that everyone who didn't want to read that particular book would be prevented from reading it? Doubtful. Would labeling books mean that someone who might be blessed by a book, wouldn't purchase it because of the label? Perhaps.

While I can see both sides of this issue, if Amazon does start labeling books, at what genre-differentiation do they stop? What if a Catholic wants Christian books but only those with a Catholic slant? Or what if a Baptist doesn't want any books that mention speaking in tongues? What of Muslim literature? Or Buddhist? Or republican or democratic?

It is a muddle... So I thought I would ask you all. What do you think?
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