Last Friday my son's jr. high had a fund raiser at the local B&N the other night. I came with list in hand. There were several romances I wanted to pick up along with a couple of fantasies and a mystery.
I was doomed to disappointment.
This is a big store, fairly new that serves an area of about 300K people. Its always busy and well-laid out. I like shopping there. However, the romance section was dismal, unless all you wanted to buy was Nora Roberts. I don't have anything against Nora but the shelves were full of nothing but her, as well as the other big time NYT-listers. The variety was so weak, I didn't find any of the authors I was looking for. The shelves were filled with multiple copies the big authors' books. Not even a full catalog of their works. I felt like I was in the book section of a grocery store. I've seen better variety at Wal-Mart. The fantasy section where I tend to spend more of my time of late, was filled with variety. Lots and lots of different authors shared space with the big names. The mystery aisle was the same. And the children and teens' sections boasted a cornucopia of books.
Next time I'm down there I'm going to ask the manager about the meager offerings in romance. I'd love to know the reason. Why is the biggest selling genre given the least presence? I could start on a rant about the fact it is a genre written by and for women, but I won't. Maybe this Barnes and Noble fancies itself a high-toned and above the smut of romance. However, considering the number of books they carry which are based on MMORPG video games, I don't think that's it either. Most romance readers I know are voracious and they are looking for variety. They are constantly in the search of new authors, eager to hear a new voice. Anyway, it made me happy for Amazon.
Currently Reading: Midnight's Daughter (Dorina Basarab, Dhampir, Book 1)