I am a browser of book stores. There is a Barnes and Noble about a fifteen minute walk from my house and I try to stop in every week to check the stacks.
In my particular BN, the recent fiction is along the front right wall as you walk in: the heading at the top screams RECENT FICTION, and then there are subheadings on the shelves below- historical, Other worlds, etc. There used to be a sub heading “Women’s Fiction”. And one day there wasn’t a subheading that said women’s fiction…
I used to like the WF section. More than likely, the books that I chose were from that section. They tended to be fiction set in the present, and the protagonists tended to be women who were over forty, and they weren’t too sad or depressing or heavy. There was probably not a big twist or reveal. They tended to be written by female authors, so I felt a sense of simpatico. They were books I wanted to get lost in for a few hours.
Now that section is no more.
And I am a little saddened.
Of course I wonder why they would get rid of that sub,sub genre. Was it that they were termed women’s fiction? Is that not “in” to say that?
Is it because we shouldn’t think that there are books that only women would be interested in? Are we excluding books from male viewership? Personally, I know my Husband looks forward to nothing better than picking up a book about two women who have been best friends forever and then something bad happens and they have to persevere… (that’s sarcasm for those who don’t know my husband)
What’s wrong with labeling something women’s fiction?
Are we embarrassed to be women who like those books? Cause I’m not. Sign me up for a story about a recent empty nester, or a woman who has faced a health scare, or anything of that sort…I like these books and I’m not ashamed to admit it.
What do you think about sub labeling fiction?
Do you have a problem if a section is labeled “Women’s”?
How do you like to browse at book stores? Do you wander or do you have a favorite section?