Readers should decide

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A response to “Suggestive reading material

The BYU Store received some criticism for selling the Game of Thrones book series, due to its gratuitous sex, violence and normalizing of difficult topics. I have not personally read the series but take some issue with the suggestion that the BYU Store should more heavily police the materials sold for content that may be deemed offensive.

Removing the content from its context does a disservice to the material and fails to look at the work as a whole, seeing the value that may be in such material (many classic works of literature include similarly challenging/offensive content). It is also unfair to apply the same set of standards to books you apply to film or TV, given the varied nature of the experience of reading something versus seeing it. For instance, if the Book of Mormon or the Bible were made into full-length films, they would likely receive an R-rating for violence and sexual content. Now, few of us would stop reading the Book of Mormon or the Bible due to their violent and sexual content, because the content is used for a purpose. There is value in having realistic material presented about applying the gospel in real life.

This is not to say that all depictions of immoral or offensive behavior are valuable and have a higher purpose, only that decisions about the appropriateness of material should be left up to readers and not made on a large scale for the student body.

Conor Hilton
Idaho Falls, Idaho

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