Thursday, December 9, 2010

Do It Yourself Censorship

I buy used books a lot. Mostly because I don't need my books to be in pristine condition. I'm a reader, not a collector. But also because I'm something of a binge book buyer and I don't exactly bathe in money.

At a used book sale, you can flip through the books to decide if the condition meets your requirements. Unless it's missing pages, I'm usually content. When ordering used books online, most need to have faith that the store is representing the condition accurately. I've never much considered it, as I have never been burned before now.

I ordered a ton of used books a few weeks ago. They were all in good to excellent condition. Except one. Now, I'm not complaining. I've had a good run, and the store I frequent is usually very, very good at weeding out the unsellable. The condition of this book was just beyond description, but was so funny in a scary, pathetic way that I couldn't even be annoyed.

Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon is paranormal romance. I can't imagine anyone buying this book under the assumption it would be, um, wholesome. Its title is Fantasy Lover, people. It isn't exactly misleading. Apparently, someone bought this book, read the book and then felt dirty about it. What's a reader to do? Some good, old-fashioned do it yourself censorship. Someone made a valiant effort in turning Fantasy Lover into Fantasy Friend, a book clearly rated PG.

Now, what to do about those smutty phrases?

What about those sex scenes that just go on and on and on? 

Every single page has been censored. Now that this book has been completely cleansed, it's ready to be shared with the world. It shows up on my doorstep and I'm shocked. I'm appalled. I find it hilarious, because wow, the previous owner was obviously insane. Who has this kind of time, energy and motivation?

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