An Over Due Rant on Your Turn Friday

Barbara Vey -- September 24th, 2009

I am way over due for a rant.  I think rants are good for the soul because they are like a cleansing. 

Yesterday, while wasting time, I wandered into a Barnes and Noble.  I don’t know why.  Nothing good ever seems to come of it, but I had some time to kill before an appointmet and it was the nearest place. 

I went inside and checked out the displays to see who was getting all the attention this week and I happened upon a table called "Recommendations for Book Clubs."  Most of the books I’ve never even heard of and no surprise, there wasn’t a romance to be found.

I asked why romance wasn’t represented and was told that the books were recommended by the staff from the books that they read.  When I asked if they had a romance reader on staff, they looked at me like they had a mouthful of lemons.  No, not one of their staff reads romance.  NOT A ONE!!  They get their books entirely from corporate and don’t do any ordering.  The staff person admitted that romance was their number one seller and they did move the rack a few rows closer to the front of the store.

When I pressed her about recommending romance as a bookclub selection, she felt it was unethical of them to do so without reading it first.  So, I suggested that one of the staff bite the bullet and read one, but she told me she was too busy to talk to me anymore.

Needless to say, I won’t be heading back to that particular store anytime soon.

Now it’s your turn to let everyone know what you’ve been reading (and it’s ok to mention romance…it’s really not a bad word).

Bottom Line:
  B&N, get the lemons out of your mouths and try some nice, sweet juicy peaches with a touch of romance.

59 thoughts on “An Over Due Rant on Your Turn Friday

  1. Jess Granger

    Well, I’ve got to agree that Ohio has been pretty nice so far. The BN here had a great contact person for their romances, (though the romance section is in the back corner, but that might be a wise move since it is right by the entrance to the kids section). They had my book on the recommended reads table, and the cover screams, “This book is a romance.” That was a nice surprise, so I don’t think there was too much romance snobbery going on here.

  2. Romancing The Library

    @Susan in AZ, Wanted to come back earlier to add to this: The bookgroups we have are quite open to trying new books, or different books, so suggesting the author and titles wasn’t a hardship on either side. Will give them a lot to talk about, because as we all know, it’s not about sex or a sex scene, romance novels do have so much more to them to discuss. It’d just be nice, as Barbara found, that more bookstores realised that and would suggest titles to readers. *insert eye-roll here* (have one romance bookgroup from our library and have begun a romance bookcircle at the library this last month!)

  3. Curious male...

    This is kind of off topic. I don’t know much about the romance genre per se…but I realize it is a very substantial market. I know there are annual book awards for romance in the same vein as the science fiction and fantasy genres. My question is this…has a man ever won an award for writing a romance(genre)book? Just curious(if a man should ever make the attempt)…

  4. Ashley Ladd

    To answer the Curious Male’s comment: Yes, men do write romance and have even been president of RWA. This makes me mad and I’d love to hear B&N Corporate’s take on this. I used to go to my local B&N a lot to write and I’d always buy things from their cafe and almost always also buy books. Then they covered up their plugs and removed their chairs, so I stopped. They obviously didn’t want my business. Now I write at home a lot more, save money, and I don’t mind a bit that they’re not getting my pay check. After reading this, I really don’t mind.

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