Mature content sold at bookstores with deceivingly innocent covers

Mature content sold at bookstores with deceivingly innocent covers

Local bookstore chain, Popular, removes lewd comic book from shelves after concern raised by parents. Are our children being exposed to mature and inappropriate content?

Typically, as consumers, we trust that bookstores, libraries, and the likes are places that are safe for children. As much as mature content exists, there are measures and certain precautions taken to ensure that young children are not exposed to such material.

On Thursday (Oct 13), Popular went under fire for carrying a book that has been deemed inappropriate for young children. This happened after Facebook user, Mylilbookworm, created a post to warn parents about the content within the book.

While the book chain said that they had shrink-wrapped the book and placed it in the ‘Local Interest’ section. Additionally, Popular said that there was a sticker indicating that the book was not suitable for young readers.

However, despite all of these measures, children have still managed to get their hands on copies.


Image Credit: Facebook User Mylilbookworm

The book, that goes by the title, ‘Bro, Don’t Like That La, Bro #2: My Bad Bromance’, was pulled off the shelves by Popular as soon as they were alerted of the issue. The book started off as a series of online comics by Malaysian blogger, Ernest Ng.

As mentioned, the book was shrink-wrapped and came with something of a warning label. However, the cover is misleading as visually it looks like it could be directed towards kids.

An innocent-enough-looking cover


Image Credit: Facebook User Mylilbookworm

Samantha Bek, mother of 3, expressed this concern when we asked her what she felt about the book.

She says, “It’s a bit tricky because the cover is made to look like a kid’s comic book…we parents have to be careful too, when buying books for our kids. I choose the books for my P2 girl. But if for example, someone in school shows it to her, I can’t control that.”

Sadly, this is the case - as much as we control and monitor the content that our children get their hands on, there is also a point where we lose this control. We, unfortunately, do not have a say in what her friends or older children might be showing her when she goes to school.


Image Credit: Facebook User Mylilbookworm

The content of the book included mentions of rape along with lewd illustrations - something that we certainly do not want our young children to get their hands on.


Head over to the next page to find out how you can prevent such content from falling into the hands of your kids!

Is the bookstore to blame?

Minoli Almeida, a mother of 2 says, “As parents, we can’t control everything our kids are exposed to - especially at times of the day when they are not physically with us. All we can do is make sure they are safe and teach them to have a good sense of what is right and wrong. Similarly, I don’t blame Popular bookstore for carrying the book. It just needs to be labelled clearly and displayed in the right place in the bookstore - NOT where the other kids' books are.”


Image Credit: Facebook User Mylilbookworm

It is true that bookstores should be allowed to carry adult content, so long as it is labelled clearly and kept away from our children. Also, should the cover look appealing to children, perhaps an additional sleeve could be added to further protect children.

How can you protect your kids?

#1. Talk to them: Sometimes being aware of what is happening in your child’s life is the best way to protect from things like this. Keeping an open and honest relationship with your child means that if an older child were to show them something like this book, they are likely to come home and talk to you about it.

#2. Explain things to them: Should your child come home and tell you that a friend of theirs had shown them something like the book in question, you can then explain that the content in the books are not suited to or made for children. Having a ‘grown up’ conversation with your child could mean they’re less likely to let curiosity get the better of them.

#3. Screen their books: Filtering the content your child gets their hands on is one of the best ways to protect them. Go to the library with your child and scan through the pages of the books they wish to borrow. This way you’ll have better knowledge of the content your child is consuming.


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Written by

Sonia Pasupathy

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