The Clean Reader App

The Clean Reader App

Good morning Rebels and welcome back to my life.

Gotta tell you about a little app I found out about recently that’s frankly horrifying to me as an author.

It’s called the Clean Reader app, and if you’ve never heard of it, it’s basically a little app you can install on a mobile device and then read ebooks THROUGH.

In other words it will take ebook files and open them up, as opposed to reading them in the Kindle app or iBooks app or whatever.

But it doesn’t just let you read the book. It blanks out all offensive material in the book at varying levels of severity.

At the basic level it just removes all the most serious curse words like the eff bombs and the ess stains.

But at a higher level it restricts words like “penis” and “vagina,” which, yes, I just said on this channel because THEY ARE NOT SWEAR WORDS.

They are parts of the human body. There is nothing wrong with them. They are not offensive, unless you are of the hardcore right-wing mindset that says any reference to sex and the human body is completely unacceptable.

This app blocks words like “breast” and “Jesus Christ” but allows words like “gore,” “intestines,” “blood,” and “slit your throat.”

Because our fictional characters can carve each other up with butcher knives but GOD FORBID we take the Lord’s name in vain.

Let me tell you something—when I write a book, those are MY words. I choose each one carefully. I agonize over them. That is MY book.

Proponents of Clean Reader say readers have the right to read books as they want. They say that they can’t be forced to look at words they find offensive. They say “freedom of speech does not mean enforced listening.”

Who’s forcing them to listen? If you don’t want to read Non Zombie because I use the eff word inside it, THEN DON’T BUY MY FUCKING BOOK.

The mentality behind changing the words of the author to suit the reader is the same mentality that censored Huckleberry Finn and re-published it with every instance of the “n-word” replaced with the word “slave.”

Because a word that some black people have appropriated and made their own is SOOO much more offensive than a word that inextricably denotes them as chattel to be owned by white people and nothing else.

This is the same mentality that allows some people to read the science reports on climate change and say, “Well, I choose to ignore that part of this report that clearly shows climate change is happening and instead focus on this other part.”

An author’s words are an AUTHOR’S words. You don’t have to read them if you don’t want to. But if you’re so desperate for a book that suits your own tiny little delicate sensibilities, then write your own goddamn book.

You have the right to read, or not to read, the words of any author you choose. And you have the right to find offensive certain words that an author may use.

You even have the right to read a book and interpret it however you’d like. That is your right as a reader.

But don’t you dare take my book, change the words inside it, and say, “Ah, I like this author. His books are good, and they conform with my sensibilities.”

Your sensibilities can go to hell. If my books make you uncomfortable, that’s because I want them to.

I chose those words specifically to make people like YOU uncomfortable while bringing great joy to the readers I actually want to attract.

Now, FORTUNATELY, the Clean Reader app has a single saving grace. And that is the fact that it can only give you books it is licensed to sell.

That means if you’re an author and you happen to disagree with me, you can elect to put your books in the Clean Reader store, but if you think the app is as moronic as I do, you don’t have to worry about it.

Unless, of course, you’re an author who writes for a traditional publisher. Who has put your book in the Clean Reader store without your approval. Which has already happened to many, many authors, and they can’t do anything about it.

Sorry, guys, but that’s why you don’t give away your rights. I actually wrote a book about that. You should check it out.

Today’s video was a little ranty, Rebels. Do you think I’m overreacting? Are you a Clean Reader supporter? Or do you think I’m right about this? Let me know in the comments.

As always, thank you for watching, and I will see you tomorrow. Maybe. Byyye.

Garrett Robinson

Over 100,000 readers have read and loved Garrett's books, like the fantasy hits Nightblade and Midrealm. He's also a film festival favorite with movies like Unsaid, and a tech guru who posts lots of helpful how-tos for writers and filmmakers over at



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