It is a shame. Really, it is. In a way, I feel completely let down by the bookstores of today. Do you want to know why? I am disappointed with the itty-bitty amount of good Christian reads that large chain stores such as B&B and Borders allow on their shelves; it’s almost a crime.
Oh, don’t get me wrong: they associate themselves with some Christian books and publishers. If they didn’t they would lose a very large audience and of course they don’t want to do that. But they’ll try to get by with putting as few real and printed books as possible on their actual shelves and the rest they leave to E-sales.
I am ashamed. I knew it was bad before, but what can a person do, right?
I went into a Border’s store today and went to the “Religious” section hoping to find a good Christian Fantasy read (because, as many of you know, I enjoy reading fantasy above any other genre). In my personal opinion, a better name for that section would have been The “any-type-of-remotely-religious-looking-book-that-we-can-manage-to-fit-onto-a-single-shelf-and-not-be-called-bias” section.
I am totally serious here.
There were books on every religion from Budism to Wiccan stuffed on a single shelf and that was what they called the “Religious” section. Now, I admit that Christian books dominated that poor and lonely shelf, but more than half of these books were sappy western romances (and I apologize to those of my readers who enjoy western romances; I’m just not very fond of them). The good Thriller and Fantasy reads I could find, I already had and had no desire to re-purchase.
There was one new book I discovered: “Raven’s Ladder”, third (I think) in a YA series by Jeff Overstreet. That was it. And as much as I hate starting a series in the middle or near the end, I bought the book. Why? Because it was worth it. Not only does it look like a very good and intriguing read, but the Bookstores need to see that readers want these books, and we want the stores to sell them – not just on the internet, but IN THEIR STORES! I mean, let me see a show of hands: how many of you out there prefer going and sifting through the shelves and pages of a physical bookstore over clicking a link on the internet?
*waves hand frantically in the air, jumping up and down and shouting “me, me, me!!!”)
Christian fantasy writers, publishers, and readers really need to stand up. We need to. They’re not going to get the message otherwise. We want more than just a single shelf dedicated to every type of religion the world can throw their way with Christian stuff mixed in there somewhere. If they can dedicate an entire huge section to vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and demons and call it YA, they can give us the good, wholesome, Christian Fantasy we want to read!!!!
If you agree with me on this, let’s make sure that others get the picture. All I ask is that you post about this subject on your own blog, or else link to this page. Let’s get the message out there; we want the “good books” back!!!