Lately I’ve been less than impressed about how the book industry generally shoehorns readers into stereotype groups, believing that your age, your sex, and your income level will pretty much dictate the kinds of books you read. What utter twaddle!
Okay, I know there are plenty of people out there who will point to research evidence that shows there are patterns between who we are and what we buy. But does this really have to drill down to an assumption that they could virtually select our next book purchase for us?
As an avid book reader I find it amusing – not to mention extremely condescending – that there are experts who believe they can pigeon-hole me into a box from which I’m unlikely ever to emerge to experiment with other books outside my comfort zone.
I’ll keep on confounding their theories – and I’ll bet there are lots of you who feel likewise.
Let’s look at this at its rawest form. If you are a middle-aged housewife they are telling you that your days are spent reading romance novels by the truckload. Generally your tastes are fixed, although when you want to push the boundaries you’re unlikely to stray beyond the more erotic of the genre.
Yeah, if you want to scream about that one, go right ahead! It’s an insult not just to the intelligence of the individual but also to the collective of your gender.
By the way, for the record there’s nothing wrong with being a regular and avid reader of romance. The same is true for those of us who prefer action and adventure; or sci-fi; or vampires; or historic fiction; or any of the other sixty or so general book classifications. In my time I’ve covered most of them – and I know I’m not alone in dipping in and out of specific genres.
So, the reason for this blog is to let the bean-counters know that we readers are a free-spirited bunch. We are not here to be taken for granted. We enjoy diversity and like to be challenged by authors fighting for our support and loyalty.
How else, for example, would you explain the contradiction that my favourite book is Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice while at the same time I can’t wait for the next episode of Jack Reacher (the creation of Lee Child) seriously beating up on the bad guys?
Do you have extreme contradictions in your reading habits?
Have you switched back and forth between period romance and modern day mayhem?Do you have a reading comfort zone or do you like to push against these so-called limitations?
As ever, I’d love to hear your views. Your voice will help move the debate away from where it’s currently stuck in the dark ages. Please use the Leave A Reply box below and share your thoughts on the topic.