Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Maybe the Math Thing?

I read...a lot. From September to June, it's textbooks as I attempt to work with college students. During vacations and the remainder of the summer break, I read for fun...a lot. since class ended a week ago, I have read four books and will finish yet another before the week is out; today, though, I began to feel like some kind of anomaly. I don't think publishers realize that I want to read, and the non-bookstore outlets certainly don't believe I'm at all interested. This is how I know:
We were wandering through a general-type big box store today looking for saline and other travel necessities, and my sweetie decided she needed a book for the trip. We proceeded to the book area, and I was amazed to find that there were not more than fifteen or so of the more than a hundred titles that were not obviously aimed at women! From hardbound to paperback, the vast majority of books was aimed at satisfying a female's need for solving relationship issues. Shelf after shelf was lined with Jody Picoult/Nicholas Sparks-type novels, and the only ones I could find potentially aimed at other readers were either biographies or Clive Cussler cookie-cutter novels (if you've read one, you've read most all of them).
It made me think that publishers as well as media outlets figure that guys don't read or that they simply don't sell enough books to guys because of the limited selection: it's a chicken-or-egg kind of question.
Or maybe, men have proven too cheap to actually buy books, preferring the library to bookstores. News that major booksellers are going under might be the result of such a thing, and I know that my local B&N has added toys and a Starbucks and all sorts of non-book items just to stay relevant. Whatever the reason for this kind of expansion, I'm all for it; otherwise, if B&N goes the way of Borders, I will have fewer literary choices (E-readers notwithstanding...I still like to turn pages, and it is said that one reads 25% slower online).
So...maybe it's not that guys don't read...perhaps there's something else at work here. Maybe the rest of them are off solving intricate math problems because that's what guys are supposed to be good at, leaving reading and the other side of the brain to women.
Or maybe it's just me. I've got two more weeks before the semester starts up and it's back to textbooks.


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