Book Assault is a Very Serious Charge / part 1

Let’s call her Anna Smackers.

Anna is the mother of two little girls around eight and ten years old.

Anna is a fervent critic of the book Go the Fuck to Sleep, so much so that I’ve had to listen to her complaints about it on multiple occasions.  She has nothing else to do but complain apparently.

She isn’t alone in her condemnation of the book and of the message she finds in its picture book illustrations juxtaposed with alternating sweet lyrical rhymes and frustrated and profanity laced cries to go to sleep.

Karen Spear Zacharias wrote in a CNN.com article, “Still, there’s no denying the reason “Go the F*** to Sleep” should be kept out of reach of children is because of its violent language and because of the way it demeans children.”

You’re absolutely right, it should be kept out of reach of children—because it isn’t a fucking children’s book.  What, because it includes short, rhyming lines and illustrations it should be considered a kid’s book?  I’m pretty sure the Kama Sutra has illustrations as well, but I don’t hear any parental outrage over that.  What about The Giant Book of Dirty Limericks?  That has short, rhyming lines, lyrical almost and descriptive; that sounds pretty similar to the set up of a kid’s book.  Yet, I don’t have customers coming and complaining about our sex books or dirty limericks.

Let’s ballpark it here, I’m going to call it about four- to six-hundred sex books in the store, and at least two dozen of those are Letters to Penthouse.  Now some are innocent enough in terms of sex books, they’ll talk about making love and romance, spicing  up your marriage or relationship, trapping  women into having sex with you, that kind of thing.

see that? it won an award

The rest (by rest I mean the majority) will graphically describe and depict a number of sexual techniques in rousing titles such as Tickle His Pickle; the Hands On Guide to Penis Pleasing, and Ride Em Cowgirl; Sex Position Secrets for Better Bucking

Clever shit.

But I’m not getting lectures about these.

I’m not getting lectures from stay at home moms about selling Last Tango in Paris, and not simply selling it, but it’s marked down and for a month was on a display visible immediately upon entering the DVD department.

You know what’s sitting on the same display?  Lolita.  That was actually on a display for a while with a sign over the table that read, “Mother’s Day Gifts for Every Interest.”  Not one complaint about that.

These last two examples, of those movies’ placement on displays, I bring up because that’s what this mom was complaining about, or the particular issue she was wasting so much of my time with.  The book was offensive, she absolutely made that clear.  She thought it disgusting and vile, but it was our placement of the book on the Customer Service desk.

actual bookselling technique; this kid is going to love it

This customer complained that we were, “cramming this book down [her] children’s throats” by displaying them at the Customer Service desk.  She felt “assaulted” by our flaunting of this title.  Apparently our having a stack of these books on the desk is tantamount to us handing one to every child as they walk through the door, and then slapping their parents in the face with a second copy.

That’s what we’re doing, isn’t it?

What we’re doing couldn’t possibly be putting a stack of bestselling books that we sell a dozen copies a day of within easy reach?  This isn’t the evil bookstore promoting the degradation of our society for the sake of money.  I know you want to think it is.  I know you want to vilify the company.  But that’s not what’s going on.

This is laziness.  This is convenience.  I don’t feel like walking the two hundred feet round-trip that it would be to the humor section three times an hour. I’m not trying to promote the seed of Satan here, I’m just trying to save time.

gaaah! evil book!

This book brings evil a whole new level though, apparently, in that it has the power to suck in children who get to close to it. Anna didn’t want this book on counter, facing the kid’s department!  just feet from summer reading tables!  at perfect eye level with her children!

What monsters we are!  Evil, innocence stealing, bookselling monsters!

Just by looking at it, children have been known to disappear.  Beware!  This book is like the basilisk set loose from the Chamber of Secrets, except instead of petrifying mudbloods it steals children’s souls.

I have no other explanation than evil powers, since Anna was very upset with the fact that the book faced the summer reading books and kid’s department.  She asked that we display it instead facing the “other filthy books promoting child abuse.”

Unfortunately we haven’t received all the product for that display, so it hasn’t been set up yet.  I promise though Anna, as soon as it is I’ll move this book over.

..I’m not done with this yet…

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About mattS

Couch potato, burrito aficionado, whiskey sour drinker, handyman, writer of interesting things.

Posted on July 11, 2011, in Rant, So You Want To Work In A Bookstore and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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