The Morning Coffee – 22 May 2014

For your reading pleasure today, I have a couple takes on the current debate over trigger warnings (link, link), the problem with selling ebooks in Google Play (link), and more. And no matter what some may say today, it was the printing press that destroyed society, not the internet (link).

  • Every drunken man's dream is a book (Indies Unlimited)
  • How a Raccoon Became an Aardvark (The New Yorker)
  • The irresistible rise of the short story (Telegraph)
  • Library Journal & BiblioBoard to Curate Self-Published Books in Libraries (GalleyCat)
  • On Why The Authors Guild is Wrong about the Future (The Geeky Press)
  • Publishing Campaigns Grow On Kickstarter (PW)
  • Selling Ebooks on Google Play: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly by Jason Matthews (The Book Designer)
  • What's Missing From the Conversation About Trigger Warnings for Books (BOOK RIOT)
  • Why Trigger Warnings Threaten Free Speech, Original Voices, and Thoughtful Discourse (Reluctant Habits)

10 thoughts on “The Morning Coffee – 22 May 2014

  1. I’m with the Book Riot on the trigger warning issue. The Reluctant Habits argument just doesn’t work for me. Sure people who suffer trauma might benefit from confronting their issues through watching films or reading, but why should they have to suffer through unexpected depictions of their trauma in a room full of strangers in a classroom when they are not ready to confront it. War survivors and sexual assault victims should always have the choice to view/read or not to. The people saying add trigger warnings are not saying don’t teach the books with violence, they are saying be understanding to those who have already lived the books. Calling censorship on a content warning in a book is just weird, it’s like calling movie ratings censorship. Rating a movie R doesn’t mean don’t watch it, it means be prepared for violence & adult situations.

    1. Actually, the movie rating system here in the US is a censorship system.

      While the system appears voluntary, on many levels is effectively the same as censorship. A movie with an NC-17 rating, for example, won’t be shown in theaters. Similarly, a movie with no rating won’t be shown in theaters.

      So yes, it is correct to look at the MPAA’s ratings system and be concerned. I could easily see that parents groups might start pressuring libraries and bookstores to only carry books that lack certain trigger warnings. “Please, won’t someone think of the children” is what they say now based on their complaints about the content; trigger warnings would give them a ready excuse to ban books that they had not even read.

      1. I understand where you’re coming from on the movie rating system now. I was unaware there were movies not shown in theatres, because frankly I only go to the theatre once every 3 years or so. Added to that I come from a small town where very few movies are shown in the first place. If it’s not a blockbuster, it’s not shown. I wait until movies are out on DVD & buy them. Because of that I’ve never much paid attention to movie ratings, I’ve been watching whatever/reading I want, whenever
        I want for my whole life. If someone tells me I shouldn’t watch/read something I hunt it down to see what the fuss is about.

        I can see where trigger warnings might be fuel for the psycho censorship parents, but I’ve been fighting against those types since the Paypal fiasco. I don’t expect them to ever go away, they seem too obsessed with controlling other people’s lives for that. Parents need to realize telling their child they can’t read something is the fastest way to get them to read it.

  2. In regard to the “raccoon” article, the irony is that if someone wished to correct the improper “Brazilian aardvark” terminology in Wikipedia, they can now cite that article as their source for so doing.

  3. I love the report on the 16th century “tsunami of swill”.
    Too bad the original scholarly source isn’t available in ebook form… it would just add to the fun. Of course, paperbacks were derided too…

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