Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Age Guidance Labels on Books

It appears that the UK divisions of Random House, Hachette, Scholastic, Penguin Books and Harper Collins have decided to begin labeling books much the same way electronic games are labeled today. Instead of using a coded system as with games, the book labels will give suggested age ranges.

Of course, bookstores already segregate titles according to reading level (Borders uses Beginning Readers, Early Readers, Young Adult, etc.), but labeling the book is a thorny subject.

The folks at No to Age Banding argue that "accurate judgments about age suitability are impossible" and that "it’s also likely to encourage over-prescriptive or anxious adults to limit a child's reading in ways that are unnecessary and even damaging."

Author Phillip Pullman wrote this for the Guardian:

You simply can't decide who your readership will be. Nor do I want to, because declaring that it's for any group in particular means excluding every other group, and I don't want to exclude anybody. Every reader is welcome, and I want my books to say so.

So shall we expect the "industry standard" to reach our shelves?

Via: Design Week

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