I had the great fortune, after dropping my wife off at Adelaide airport, to spend 3 hours scouring Adelaide for the rarest of elixirs – Infiniti Treadmill Lube. Consequently I have become very familiar with most of Adelaide's greater metropolitan area.
But you were here for the gender commentary no?
Yes, well in my travels I happened to prevail upon a “Book Boys” discount store, sitting in the shell of an old Angus & Robertson. Now I have picked up some real gems in these stores before, so aside from the usual allure of a brick and mortar store, my fingers started twitching at the possibility of a bargain.
Imagine my surprise upon entering the store and being confronted with two discount tables labelled “Male Fiction” and “Female Fiction”, the later comprised of 90% romance books.
Thankfully the “male” table featured some female authors, but I was astounded that the store would fall prey to blatant gender stereotyping.
I posted a message on their Facebook page, reading thus:
Now they were very responsive, when I managed to work out how face book pages work :).
The Book Boys Hi Sean, Our reasons for the male/female author split is merely an organisational one! We often experiment different ways to display our $4.99 novels and this is the latest. We did not intend to imply that women and men must have different tastes in books (as I know personally this is simply not true!) and I apologise for the offense. Thank you for the feedback, it will be passed along. – Ashlyn
So thanks Ashlyn and The Book Boys for your timely response.
So my readers what’s helpful for you going into a discount book store? I am used to rummaging through second hand stores for a bargain. Do you think the male/ female split, though sexist will work for customers and should that be the only consideration if it does? Do stores have a responsibility to educate or inform the consumer?
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