When it comes to self-censoring the books I read, it’s usualbookly more about the genre than the content.  I’m not a big fan of sci-fi or fantasy.  I’m usually all over realistic fiction and… that’s about it.  But the problem with me is that I categorize most books under realistic fiction.  Harry Potter could have happened, after all.  The whole point of the story is that we muggles just don’t know about their hidden world!

Anyway, when I self-censor I do it by reading the inside book cover.  If it doesn’t feel plausible in any way then I won’t read it.  Or if there’s something that annoys me in the blurb about the book, I’ll put it back on the shelf.  Or if it’s too… been there, done that I dismiss it.

Okay, so I self-censor a lot.  But I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing.  Sure I don’t ‘spread my wings’ as far as they can go, but it’s because I’ve done it before and end up not finishing a book — one of the worst book fears a reader usually has.  I’m sure there are a lot of books that, had I given them a chance, I would have loved!  But there are also a sea-full of books out there that I am almost guaranteed to love, so I can afford to be a little picky.  After all, book love develops from book likes 🙂


6 thoughts on “Self-censorship

  1. I don’t think I really started to “spread my wings” as a reader until I started teaching high school and suddenly my knowledge of books (which I’d always thought was pretty extensive) wasn’t enough. There were all kinds of readers in my classroom whom I couldn’t reach with books because I knew nothing about the topics that interested them. Fantasy/sci-fi was one big area I didn’t read, but I also had nothing for the (many!) reluctant boy readers in my classes. They seemed pretty interested in sports, so I started reading sports books. I read Walter Dean Myers’s novel, Slam, which was surprisingly good, and then I read some sports nonfiction–a couple of books about Michael Jordan and a brilliant book about football by Michael Lewis called The Blind Side. And I was hooked! Turns out, I LOVE sports books! A few fantasy books you might try: in addition to Sage Blackwood’s Jinx, maybe Megan Whalen Turner’s The Thief (featuring one of my top five characters of all times, Eugenides), Jennifer Nielsen’s The False Prince, Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, or Marissa Meyer’s Cinder would be a good match for you.


    • It is so personal! And I don’t think it’s always a bad thing. Like we read, if you’re not ready to read something (this was for kids, but I think it applies to adults, too) then you naturally self-censor yourself.


    • I think that once you’re an adult you probably self-censor more because you don’t have as much time to read. So, at least for me, when I do have time to read, I want to make sure that it’s going to be something I really enjoy.


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