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March 18th, 2009


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07:59 pm - The New Book Ban?
What the hell?

It’s hard to believe, but true: under a law Congress passed last year aimed at regulating hazards in children’s products, the federal government has now advised that children’s books published before 1985 should not be considered safe and may in many cases be unlawful to sell or distribute.

Has anyone heard anything else about this?

ETA: here is lot more information, courtesy of a link from rabidsamfan.
Current Mood: enragedenraged
Tags: , , ,

(14 lit candles | Light a candle)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:mosinging1986
Date:March 19th, 2009 03:06 am (UTC)

Please to be seeing icon.

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Saw the title but hadn't learned what it was all about until now. Unbelievably ridiculous.
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:March 19th, 2009 03:58 am (UTC)

Re: Please to be seeing icon.

(Link)
This particular law, it is stupid. To some nth degree.

(Your icon, otoh, is awesome.)
[User Picture]
From:kerravonsen
Date:March 19th, 2009 04:14 am (UTC)

Re: Please to be seeing icon.

(Link)
Your icon is of the awesome also.
[User Picture]
From:feliciakw
Date:March 19th, 2009 03:36 am (UTC)
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You scared me. For a minute there I thought this was saying that the content of the books was being banned.

A) The law, as apparently written, is overkill.

B) The law, as apparently written, is stupid.

C) Publishing houses would do well to get on the ball and start re-printing with modern inks the original illustrations and editions of these books.

D) If anyone seriously thinks that this is going to put a stop to all sales and trades of these books, they are sadly mistaken. 'Nough said. An entire nation of houses filled with pre-1985 print books are not going to turn them over for destruction so easily.

E) Thank God for the Library of Congress, where these books will be preserved in spite of the Congress that passed this law.

F) Can we say Fahrenheit 451?
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:March 19th, 2009 03:57 am (UTC)
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What you said. Especially F).

It's not nearly as bad as CONTENT being banned, but it's still pretty awful to someone like me who grew up buying old books in used bookstores. Grrrr.
[User Picture]
From:kalquessa
Date:March 19th, 2009 05:18 pm (UTC)
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D) It's the sale, not to possession, of these books that is to be penalized, if I'm not mistaken. It won't affect what people can continue to own, and it won't affect large companies that can afford to lead-test all the stuff they make. What it will affect is entities that deal in second-hand items (used bookstores, libraries, consignment children's stores) and small specialty companies that are too small to afford the lead testing. This is my understanding, anyway, I haven't read anything new on this in several weeks.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:March 19th, 2009 05:06 pm (UTC)
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What, the law is? Not many people in the general public even seem to know about it, so if it's a distraction I'm not sure it's working. :)

But, frankly, I'm much more willing to make a stink about this than try to change anyone's mind on how they spend their money. Washington won't listen to a nobody like me about economics (and they shouldn't, either *g*), but by golly I know what a law like this will do, and we shouldn't have to put up with it in this country.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:March 19th, 2009 08:57 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, that makes sense. I'm not sure I'd think of it as true smoke-and-mirrors, since as you point out the law itself seems like it was originally good-intentioned, just REALLY not thought through; and a lot of people don't seem to know about it, it's not being used as a smoke screen by the government (yet).

But I certainly agree that it's not cool how more of the important stuff isn't being handled, while we're having to stand up for something that shouldn't have become such a problem in the first place.
[User Picture]
From:mistraltoes
Date:March 19th, 2009 02:39 pm (UTC)
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I can't tell you how horrified I am. This is invasive government on nightmarish levels. Also, I think it may put my nieces out of business--they have spent the last several years prepping a curriculum library for homeschoolers. Many of their books are pre-1985. I just... have no words.
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:March 19th, 2009 05:04 pm (UTC)
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Yeah. I just...I don't get it. I'm not even sure what I can do to register my disapproval; I should probably look up how to contact my representatives.
[User Picture]
From:kalquessa
Date:March 19th, 2009 05:13 pm (UTC)
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It's just...a mess. The last I heard from Mr. Bill, their response to libraries and used bookstores was "Oh, well, it says that books are included, but we just won't enforce that part of it when it becomes law." Which, um...doesn't really inspire a lot of confidence.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:March 19th, 2009 06:52 pm (UTC)
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This feels to me an awful lot like Law of Unintended Consequences. I think we all agree that in general keeping lead out of the systems of young kids is a Good Thing, and that was the intent of the law. Turns out old ink contains lead, and so the law as written applies to old books as well as cheap toys from China.

The end result will be an exemption for books in the statute, which we should hasten along by contacting our congresspeople, but it's not much to get excited over. There's no Conspiracy. The CPSC is already backpedaling.
- Hatthief
[User Picture]
From:kalquessa
Date:March 19th, 2009 06:59 pm (UTC)
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That's pretty much exactly what it is, yes. Keeping kids from ingesting lead = good, obviously. As usual, when one lets a large group of political types determine how this is going to be accomplished, it results in a lot of *headdesk*
[User Picture]
From:scionofgrace
Date:March 20th, 2009 12:30 am (UTC)
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I would LOVE to try to explain that to my parents. Both of them saved books from their own childhoods that we read - probably have all sorts of toxic things in the ink and glue. Not that we care.

Maybe this is a publisher ploy...

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