questionsdo you feel like books such as the twilight…

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To me, those books are in two different classes.

Twilight may not be "classic literature" but it's a reasonable story and I think it's fine for older kids to read. If it gets kids (or adults) into reading, that's great. There is great value in reading for enjoyment, particularly if it can increase someone's confidence and help them to be more willing to tackle more difficult books. And, if it doesn't do that, at least they enjoyed a story.

That said, 50 Shades of Grey and similar books are, in my mind, a little different. The subject matter is definitely more adult, from what I understand, bordering on pornographic (I haven't read the book but I have read fairly detailed reviews.). I do not believe in censoring books, especially for adults, but I would caution anyone to make sure they know what they're picking up before they start reading. And I would encourage adults to talk with their kids if they are interested in books of this type.

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13 and under? Not applicable...subject matter is above their comprehension. Older than that, I would probably approve the Twilight series, but isn't 50 Shades kind of soft core porn?

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I don't believe that the Twilight series is any more detremental than the Harry Potter series (barring the fan-written pre-release of Harry Potter 4 that is basically soft-core porn). In short, no, I don't think Twilight is a problem from about 11 and up (though I'll grant that some "youth" are younger than others).

I haven't read 50 Shades of Grey, so I cannot speak about it from actual knowledge. However, based on what I've heard, including comments from my gf, 50 Shades is probably best served to "older youth."

Personally, I think that most Americans are more offended by sexuality than by violence. While I'm not claiming that sexuality should be broadcast for all ages, in the long run, violence is likely much more harmful than sexuality. The real issue is that almost ALL media portray sexuality, violence and the rest of reality extremely unrealisticly. (Have you ever tried to jump a bicycle over a flaming cauldron of gasoline? I have. It isn't as easy or fun as it looks.)

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ANY reading is positive. (almost)

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To quote the Wikipedia entry:
"Fifty Shades of Grey is a 2011 erotic novel by British author E. L. James. Set largely in Seattle, it is the first instalment in a trilogy that traces the deepening relationship between a college graduate, Anastasia Steele, and a young business magnate, Christian Grey. It is notable for its explicitly erotic scenes featuring elements of sexual practices involving bondage/discipline, dominance/submission, sadism/masochism (BDSM)."

That said, the reader needs to be 18+ for Grey (if not older!). As for Twilight, it's for teens/young adults and has some questionable morals, role models, etc.

A good book and/or series should enlighten and be a spark to learn more
(Harry Potter led me to read fairy tales, Arthurian legend, Medieval literature, Greek and Roman myths, and more books in the same vein.)

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@gt0163c: Here's Gilbert Gottfried reading 50 Shades. I think that might help you see some of the more.... adult themes in a smooth voice that's easy to listen to.

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I forgot to mention, the video, VERY NSFW

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twilight is about a child molester and his victim. A 100+ yr old and a teenage highschool girl. GROSS.
50 shades is not intended for younger audiences.

totally pointless question.

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@kamikazeken: I don't find it pointless, we discuss this a lot in my book club. Both series are pretty poorly written as far as literary works go. I have seen all ages from 12-adult reading 50 Shades, which sort of makes me want to stab out my eyes. I read both series so that I could get an understanding of them and they are pretty terrible. Harry Potter is a much better series in pretty much all aspects when compared to Twilight. Anne Rice's Sleeping Beauty series is much better porn, if that is what you are looking for. I would like to see our youth reading more Hemingway, Poe, Tolstoy, Tolkien, Carroll, Dickens, Bronte, Alcott, Stoker, Shelley, etc. That's just my opinion and pretty much the opinion of my bookclub (female ages 19-63).

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pretty poorly written. You sound like a book snob. Oh, yeah.... anybody who takes things so seriously they have a book club is automatically a book snob. How well was YOUR last best seller written? who gives a rat's a$$ what other people are reading?

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@kamikazeken: Wow, you are way to worked up over a question and opinion. Many people who love to read are in book clubs and if a book snob is the worst thing I am ever called, I am doing pretty good!

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I like reading The twilight series very much. I don't think it is classic literature, it is just a novel.

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Twilight glorifies an abusive relationship. Edward stalks Bella before they're even dating. Breaking into her house to watch her sleep, even. This is treated as romantic and appealing. There's also the fact that he's about a century older than her, he's so possessive that he was willing to take the engine out of her car to keep her from seeing her friends, and she is such a wimpy wimp than when he broke up with her, she turned suicidal. I flat out told my daughter that she couldn't read that garbage. The writing is horrible, the characters two dimensional, and the author constantly compares herself to other, better authors in an attempt to validate herself.

In short, if ever there was a justified reason to burn books, the Twilight series is it.

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50 Shades of Grey is definitely not for "youth." Twilight is. These 2 series are meant for totally different audiences. What's more, the first is within the realm of possibility, the second is fantasy. (I just finished the first of the Grey series last week and haven't decided if I will continue. LOTS about it bother me, but I hate not knowing the end of a story, so I don't know yet. I won't pay for the other books, though.)

Speaking of series meant for youth, like Twilight, I think the more they read, the better.

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I'm pretty torn on this one. On one hand, yay for reading. On the other hand, if that's all you're reading, then it gets into the unfortunate category. I most certainly wouldn't encourage 50 Shades to a younger audience, though. I think the key is expose young folk to a wide variety of book styles, see what they gravitate towards, find out why they like certain things and then go "well okay, you might also like this as well". Once you go "well you shouldn't read that", that's exactly what they'll pick up.

I think books like these are necessary, because without "bad" books, how would we be able to compare good books to them? How can you have lessons of how not to write without concrete examples? (Some people learn by example, is all I'm saying!)

I have read and currently read a wide variety of books. Some of it is probably considered pretty trashy or cheesy, but I tend to inhale books because I love reading.

And that's my booksnob moment for the morning. :)

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(Also important in this discussion: I've not read 50 Shades, mostly because it doesn't sound enjoyable to me. I will get to it eventually.)

Perhaps a better way to phrase this question would have been "do these books help or hurt" period, since as it was pointed out, 50 Shades was never meant for a younger audience at all if I recall correctly.

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If these two books are what we have to go with, our kids are in trouble. Neither of these would be considered Literature. Twilight is heavy fantasy for teen girls, Gray is erotic reading for middle-aged women. These would hurt minds looking for guidance.
I think Harry Potter is better for teens, as would The Hunger Games. There are a lot more age appropriate works for teens, and those would be better to encourage reading and for growing minds.

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You definitely need basic morals in a book. It doesn't matter how interesting or beneficial reading is, if the book itself ends up giving twisted morals or a lack thereof, then there is a problem. I think for anyone, this is something to consider when choosing a book.

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@jaaayzhu: I don't know about that, sometimes I think the lack of morals, or differently presented morals are important in that they cause us to think a bit harder and examine why we feel as we do about things.

Your point is pretty interesting though.

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@robertleemartin512: I read all that "good" literature as a kid. As an adult I read a lot lighter stuff. I'm currently in the middle of American Gods by Neil Gaiman, taking a break at the end of Clarissa Clare's Mortal Instruments Series before starting on her Infernal Devices series. Those are "young adult" books and I enjoyed them very much. As a kid I lived in books. As an adult I must live in the world. I can't sink myself into a book the way I could as a kid, I read in the nooks and crannies of time I steal from a very busy life. As to the original question, I think far too few kids read for pleasure these days, so for kids to be reading is great. I think that parents need to monitor what their kids read and be aware of their kids' maturity level and make sure they are able to handle what they read. But seriously, Steinbeck's The Red Pony, Salten's Bambi, Sewell's Black Beauty and Shute's On the Beach wounded me as a kid more than I can see the listed books hurting anyone.

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The reason I put youth is because I do see young adults reading 50 Shades. I personally can not judge, I was sneaking Stephen King at age 10 and he can get pretty graphic. Let me be honest, I liked Twilight for a second, its probably my never ending love for werewolves/vampires but when you start looking at it, it is pretty much garbage and it is sad that this is what the kids are reading. Females read it for the love and "romance", but rarely will you see a male with them. Now we all need our candy fiction, a lot of adult women read romances, personally I like Dean Koontz. However, I balance my candy fiction with my classic or "real" literature. I feel like our youth are not balancing their candy fiction with literature that will intellectually stimulate them. I am not sure if I actually made a point in this statement, but let me make it clear that I am not judging anyone, I am just stating my thoughts. Some of my closest friends read and loved 50 Shades, but I think no less of them.

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@jaaayzhu: I agree, it is not beneficial for me to read a book on why I should be in the KKK. Or why Hitler was correct when he killed innocent people. If I am reading something that gives me a false idea and emphasizes bad morals and judgment, I think that it has an impact of some kind.

PS: Robert isn't some kind of weirdo who stalks female book clubs, this is his wife :)

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@robertleemartin512: "PS: Robert isn't some kind of weirdo who stalks female book clubs, this is his wife :)"

I'm glad to read this... I must admit I was becoming concerned.