So apparently there's been a big online to-do about a book.
I found out about it at the Behler Blog. I love the Behler blog and read it regularly. But in this case, I have to respectfully disagree. I did, in the comments below her disillusionment, and I do now. And this means something to me -- though it's probably like those political comments I'm not supposed to make here in case I make a person radically opposed to my point of view not want to read my stories. But I want to clarify my point anyway. Hopefully without offending anyone, including Lynn, whose points I am disagreeing with. I understand her point and I understand disliking a book so much and thinking it is so wrong that it should not exist. I agree with that part. I wish it had never existed. But it does.
She thinks Amazon should refuse to carry this book.
She was happy her local bookstores refused to have OJ's book in stock.
Now, if you haven't been reading up online and don't know which book I'm talking about -- some random guy self-published a how-to book on pedophilia using Amazon's automatic digital publishing site. It's a horrible thing.
There's no way I'm paying money to be sure, but based on the title, it sounds like a really really horrible thing -- and possibly a criminal thing. If it is a criminal thing, I believe it has enough publicity that the correct authorities are looking into it. And that the correct authorities are not Amazon.
Unlike most of the world, I think Amazon should treat it just like they would every other book.
I think Amazon should treat me like an adult that has the ability to make up my own mind and make my own decisions. I think Lynn's local bookstores should have treated their customers like adults, able to think for themselves and make their own decisions. I don't have a problem with them thinking it wouldn't sell in their close-knit community and not stocking it. I have a problem with them taking a stand against OJ and deciding that their opinion should apply to me.
What is the difference between what they did and the women who destroy library books so their children aren't exposed to something they find objectionable? I don't think any of these people would support those women.
Why should Amazon or the libraries be expected to parent me?
I don't want them to decide what I read.
I don't want them to decide that something shouldn't be available because someone else finds it objectionable. I don't care if that someone is most sane people, including me, as it is in this case, or if it's people who thought OJ was guilty and didn't want him to profit from his murdering ways (possibly also most sane people including me) or if it's the Far Right determined that Harry Potter contains references to witchcraft and is leading children to worship Satan (I suspect fewer sane people fall in this category).
I don't want them to decide what I read. I don't want them to tell me what I should read. I don't want anyone but me to decide what I read. I don't care if even I think there's got to be a whole lot of wrong in this book. It's not anyone's place to decide it for me.
I do not need Amazon to parent me. I do not need my local bookstores to parent me. I do not need the local libraries to parent me. I do not need them to parent my children. That's my job. Taking things off the shelves because there's an angry crowd outside screaming that something is wrong -- is just wrong.
I am an adult. I have the ability to decide that for myself.
Thank you, Amazon, for believing that I have that ability. Thank you, for not deciding for me.
And for the law enforcement officials out there investigating this guy, because I'm sure there are some -- thank you too. Thank you so very very much. Because I don't support this book, I don't support this writer. I do support freedom of speech (even when it's hard -- and believe me, it is hard in this case) and I support Amazon's commitment not to censor the world from me -- even when there are thousands of people out there telling them it's for my own good.