Thursday, December 29, 2005


Books I can do without

There is a myth that librarians love books. We like the idea of books. The individual books themselves can make you want to vomit blood.

The “librarian” portion of my brain wants to not judge people for their reading habits. Freedom to Read, no disapproving stare or snicker. And it’s good that people read, no matter what it is. Right?

But privately ...

Romance novels: Evidence, like you needed it, that feminism hasn’t gotten anyone as far as you think. I don’t understand why people are embarrassed about renting porn, buying birth control or enema bulbs but they have no problem checking out a copy of “The Heave-ening” or “Nature’s Laborer” from the local library.

What’s more embarrassing is the tacit admission: I hate my husband. We’ve had Lucy and Ricky sleeping arrangements since the Reagan administration. I’m so ludicrously out-of-touch with actual human relationships that a whole novel about a sweaty hunk who loves children, cooks, cleans, thinks size 22 jeans are sexy and is kind to animals DOESN’T seem like science-fiction to me.

Here’s a public service announcement for you romance novel readers: The guy on the cover is gay and even if he wasn’t he wouldn’t have sex with ANYTHING with more than 5% body fat. Sorry.

New Age: This is a hard category to pin down so let’s just call it “books that have the word ‘spirit’ in the title somewhere.” We also would accept books on reincarnation, crystals, natural healing, anything involving “energy” not in the 500s (librarian joke, sistas) or psychics.

New age books are read by people who are searching for proof that their lives have a higher meaning or purpose apart from their daily routine.

It doesn’t.

The minds of new age patrons are so open that their brains slid out and rolled under the couch of a Unitarian church basement in 1981.

If you ever wondered what kind of person believes that angels speak to some gelled-haired idiot on daytime TV carrying messages from dead relatives …

… people who want to read the aforementioned idiot go on for 200 or more pages about it. That’s who.

I'm starting to get that way about the Christian book lovers, who will not touch a book (or touch a book that's touched a book) that has profanity in it, or nudity, or normal human behavior.

"Is this a Christian author? Is this a Christian book? I won't read it if it's not a Christian book!"

I swear, I SWEAR, I swear one day I will snap and send them home with Nicholson Baker's Fermata or Vox and see if they come out of it alive and changed.

Maybe I'll just change all the stickers on the bindings and pretend like Tech screwed up with the processing.
what a welcome addition to the library blog world.

where have you been? leaving me out here to be the only editorialist. we must blaze trails.

happy new year.

I think you're a little tough on romance addicts, don't you think? I haven't read a romance since I was 16, but that doesn't mean that women aren't entitled to a little fantasy, even if they do wear a size 22. If they're not getting what they want out of their relationships, that's very sad but doesn't warrant the kind of arrogant scoffing you've given here. Either you're gay and don't "get it" or you're straight and look right past romance reading women like everyone else does. A little compassion will undoubtedly get you further in life, especially when there are much larger and more threatening targets out there. Your bravery is evidenced by the victim you choose; looks like you're missing a gonad or two.

Jokes that don't make fun of anyone aren't funny.
I confess, I read romance novels. I blame it all on my library co-worker who two years ago gave me one very bad one then one very good one to read for comparison. After making it through high school and college without ever picking one up, she suckered me in with A Country Flirtation

But I get the joke, too many women are expecting Fabio. I have a fixation on the Mr. Darcy type, but it doesn't make me love my husband any less. I just love historical fluff (regency) that focuses on getting around or dealing with society's rules.

And someday I'm going to make my husband a spencer coat to go with his kilt. drool.
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