New Clean Reader App Removes “Offensive Language” From Your Books

Most books I read have some cussing. Not pages and pages of it, but some. Well (if you don’t like characters cussing) you no longer have to read those words. You know the ones I’m talking about. There’s a new app called Clean Reader that essentially barricades you from cuss words in your books. And it’s easy to use. All you do is download the app and set your settings based on how much or how little you want the language to be changed. Oh, the app isn’t only for cussing. It covers A LOT of different words and phrases and is constantly adding more.

But you have to purchase the books through the app. So you can’t read on your Kindle, Nook, and I’m not sure what the app is like on iPhones and iPads.

I understand that some people don’t like “offensive language” in their reading, but I’m not a fan of this. How many rounds of edits and rewrites did it take for the book to reach its final state? Plenty. And all along the way the language could have been changed but wasn’t. I just don’t think an author’s work should be changed (drastically, in some cases) without his or her permission to cater to some reader. If you really don’t like the language THEN DON’T READ THE BOOK. How hard is that?

Anyway, what do you think of an app that essentially censors books? I hope it fails miserably.

You can read more about the app here. It is available in the App Store and Google Play. I won’t be linking to it.

On this day in 2014 I published What’s That one Series of Books you Won’t Forget?.


18 thoughts on “New Clean Reader App Removes “Offensive Language” From Your Books

  1. I find that absolutely bizarre. I’m all for people shying away from profanity if they so wish, and I’m very pro choice, but I believe that the choice with this lays in the not picking it up in the first place, or just putting it down if it gets offensive to you. In my opinion this is akin to changing all the races in a book to ones that you are more comfortable reading about, or clicking a button that changes the setting to your local pub so that you are not in danger of leaving your comfort zone. The only thing you should be allowed to alter on a published book that has been finalised, is change the font size, so that you can read the swear words properly 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good move not linking it. I find it rather silly, as well. I haven’t read about this app nor had I heard of it until reading your post today – but it seems either the publisher or author would need to approve the use of this. I mean, it’s changing the words, right? Maybe just taking them out altogether?
    They are just words. That’s how I see it. It seems, especially during this insanely, over-the-top PC era we live in today, that people are subconsciously seeking things to be offended over.
    Come on, people. Embrace the unknown. We’re all different. Embrace that too! SAVE THE WORDS! 🙂
    Thanks for sharing, John.


  3. I absolutely agree with you…if people have a problem with reading bad language, then forget the book altogether ! Its stupid to get an app to change a writer’s words. Theyre taking out the purpose and meaning the writer has intended. So yeah, it should be approved by the authors first.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is essentially what music artists do when they release albums with some of their words bleeped or changed. But that’s always done with the consent of the artist and the company that produces them. I’m not a fan of tons of profanity in writing, but as many have mentioned above, I simply skip over those words, or avoid purchasing books with too much profanity. Writing is hard work, and there are PLENTY of other books to read in this world if you don’t like one with a bit of swearing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You know, I hadn’t really thought of the comparison between music and books on this. But you’re right, it’s different when they know what’s happening. The only thing I will say is that it’s Lind of difficult to know if a book is going to have bad language or not. I guess if the author tends to use it then it’d be easier to know.


  5. Have you ever read Aereopagitica by Milton? His main argument is against all censorship of literature. He argues that we need to have the freedom to read from all genres, from all writers, from all styles, and learn about all different ideas because then we can make educated decisions about what we do and don’t like. Maybe this is a stretch, but I feel like books with curses or profane language should be just as accessible. If you don’t like them, don’t read them…seems simple to me.

    I’m especially against this because the author doesn’t have a say. Phantomwriter made a good point above about musicians choosing to put out clean versions. With books, though, it’s straight-up censorship!

    This would be like the Catholic church removing the genitalia of works of art in the 16th century…alright, I’m exaggerating…but it’s more or less the same thing.


    • I have not read it. And I mostly agree with his argument. Mostly because I have an issue with some erotic books that people publish on Amazon or Smashwords that I don’t think have any place in the book marketplace. The ones I’m referring to typically revolve around incest with titles like “Waiting to Ride my Stepbrother” or something very similar and a lot more specific. If I’m not mistaken, I think all the major eBook retailers have forced books like that to change the title (and sometimes some content in the book) to meet their quality standards. And it was a big fuss, but I agree. Besides those very particular types of books, I don’t think books should be censored at all.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I agree. I hope it fails miserably. Who in the name would censor offensive language in books?!?! Crazy people.


  7. I think that’s a terrible idea. It’s unnecessary censorship. I agree with you, if the language isn’t for you, don’t read the book. In most cases, authors use specific language intentionally (or they should anyway), so to edit the story like that is like changing their work and their message.


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