What Happened to Books?

For the last few weeks, I’ve been volunteering my time at one of my local libraries, and most of the time I’m in charge of re-shelving books. Although I don’t really have time to sit down and peruse the books I’m re-shelving, I can usually get a good idea of what they’re about by looking at the titles and covers. And after looking at those, I’m forced to ask what the heck happened to books!? Most of the modern fiction seems little better than drivel, and most of it is aimed at women. Why are authors assuming that all that women want to read is drivel that is a direct insult to their intelligence? Why aren’t they writing books that are more gender-neutral, books that challenge the imagination and force one to think, books that don’t necessarily throw a romance into the middle of the action? Sure, some of the old literature isn’t perfect (case in point: 98% of the cast of Victor Hugo’s novels are dead by the end of the story), but at least it told engaging stories! At least it wasn’t patronizing!

Something else I wanted to bring up: I mentioned it would be nice to see a few books that didn’t necessarily throw a romance into the middle of the story, but if there must be some mush involved somehow, would it kill authors to show marriage and family in a happy light? So many stories seem to feature women who are disillusioned with their husbands and children and leave both to be with the handsome stranger and live happily ever after (and strangers are never that handsome in real life), and frankly I’m sick of how women are often portrayed in modern literature. They’re either wishy-washy mush machines or flaming feminazis, and I, for one, don’t want to be associated with either camp.

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