What Is a Clean Read?

Hey ladies! I’m clean!

Ask ten different people and you’re likely to get ten different answers. Even the word “clean” itself, as an adjective, has multiple meanings. Of course it’s the opposite of dirty (which is also a multi-faceted word), but it can also mean precise, chaste or virtuous, and even complete or thorough. If you’re perusing a dating site, clean could mean anything from having good hygiene to simply being disease free. That in itself could encompass a wide range of people.

In some circles, clean can even have  negative connotations. Someone who is described as clean-cut often is thought of as dull or boring. C’mon ladies, who would you rather date: Clark Kent or Bruce Wayne? Without knowing their alter egos, I’m pretty sure most would pick the brooding playboy.

A new website called Clean Indie Reads wants to illustrate to the world the variety of “clean reads” available. There’s nothing dull or boring about this growing list of fascinating books. Founder of the site, author Lia London says,

The goal of this site is to connect writers from across the genre spectrum with readers who want to discover something great. Specifically, it is to find independent authors who are writing books that would generally be deemed “clean”. By this, we mean there are no sexually explicit scenes, no graphically violent descriptions, and no streams of profanity. Many readers would be willing to take a chance on indie authors if they knew they weren’t going to have to scour their retina after the read.

She goes on to explain,

Does that mean everything on this site is squeaky-clean Disney Princess pure? Well, no. But any books that contain scenes, language or subject matter that might be rated PG-13 will include a disclaimer and explain what that content might be. If you don’t see anything listed to that effect, you can be sure it’s G or PG.

Clean certainly means different things to different people, but this site has something for everyone. There are books you can read with your kids, books you can feel comfortable letting your kids read on their own, and books adults can enjoy too! Some of my books are even listed on there so it must be great, right? Here’s just a few of the other authors and books you can find: Elise Stokes, Michelle Isenhoff, Timothy Davis, Annette Mackey, Gloria Repp, and K.M. Weiland. You can find the full list here.

What are your feelings about what makes a “clean” read? What makes you uncomfortable when reading yourself or what your kids read? Is it sex, violence, language, or some combination of everything? I’d love to hear what you think!


About Alan Tucker

Writer, Dad, Graphic Designer, Soccer Coach … not necessarily in that order!

Posted on June 2, 2013, in Books/Writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. sharonledwith

    You know I’ve been seeing Clean reads crop up more and more on the social media and blogs. Thanks for clearing (yes, pun intended) the term up for me, Alan! Cheers and keep smiling!

  2. Great blog Alan! I am thrilled Lia has created the site and wish all of the authors the best. It’s nice to have compatriots in the “Clean Read” world as well as an outlet for readers to find such a wide variety of books.

  3. Excellent definition. I like to be able to leave a book lying around without worrying if my grandchilden pick it up and start reading. i know when I choose a book from Clean Indie Reads they will be clean in content as well as well written.

  4. Thanks for the comments! As a parent, it’s nice to know that a book you get for your child is something you feel is an appropriate read for their ability and maturity level. Having sites like this make it a little easier to get good books into our kids’ hands.

  5. Sounds wonderful Alan! Thanks for the info! There certainly is a barrage of indecent reads more readily available than there are clean… at least until now. Wonderful!

  6. It’s been a “thing” in music for sometime, but that industry differs in that the music is only “cleaned” up from a “dirtier” version, and it’s done with little artistic skill… sounds dubbed in in most cases. LOL But THIS is a great idea. You are in fabulous company Alan!

  7. sharonledwith

    Hey, Alan! You’ve been nominated for the Liebster Blog Award: http://sharonledwith.blogspot.ca/2013/06/liebster-blog-award.html

  8. I realise I’m going out on a limb here, but the idea of a ‘clean’ read smacks so much of censorship and self-righteousness that I really dislike and distrust it. What’s wrong with just a ‘good’ read?

    • On the contrary, it really has nothing to do with censorship. No one here is suggesting pieces should be taken out of books, or that one book is better than another because of its content.

      Have you ever eaten something that had a surprisingly sour or bitter taste? It can be shocking to your taste buds and many people consider that an unpleasant sensation. The idea of making a list of “clean reads” is merely an exercise in forewarning. Giving people an idea of the type of content to expect within a book, much like the movie rating system does in the U.S.

      To me, suggesting something is “good” is a much more subjective label. The two of us can disagree on whether something is good, but it’s hard to argue a fact like a book has no cursing in it, for instance.

  9. I’ve often wished that books had a rating system the way that movies do.

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