Friday, June 29, 2012

50 Shades ...

     The 50 Shades of Grey phenomenon continues, though I'm now only reserving it for patrons once or twice a week instead of several times a day.  What surprises me is not that people like the books or want to read them, but rather that people are still asking for the books and saying that they don't really know what it's about.  They tell me "everyone is reading it" or "my friend said I should read it" the wildest was yesterday when a woman came to the desk and wanted to reserve 50 Shades Darker, she commented that she thought 50 Shades of Grey was "disgusting" (her word, not mine), but she was going to read the second one in hopes that it got better.  I wonder if, perhaps, they're embarrassed and concerned about being judged, that stinks. Read what you want, to heck with what anyone else thinks.
     There was a great post about the 50 Shades controversy at the RA for All blog.  You can read it here.  I look at it this way, I'm a librarian.  My job is to supply the library with the materials the community needs and wants.  When selecting materials I try to make rational judgments based on book reviews, best seller lists, patron requests and my own training and experience.  I try not to make judgments about what people do or do not choose to read, watch, or listen to based on my personal opinions.  Afterall, not everyone is keen on the things I like either.
     Meanwhile, a tempest started brewing when one of the librarians suggested creating a bibliography of readalikes.  Another librarian suggested that it was one thing to have erotica on the shelves and another thing entirely to promote it.  Ultimately, a compromise was reached and a bookmark with a list of suggested authors (as opposed to specific titles and book cover images) was agreed upon.  Peace is wonderful.