Friday, 16 August 2013

Deep Feelings of Unease, deeply snobbish, deeply forgetful of own youth?

Waterstones - different in every town.  Have peeked into windows and displays of Waterstones in Redhill, Altrincham, and Peterborough in last fortnight.

Redhill -inviting display of new books recently published,  and reviewed in last week's Sunday Times Culture magazine.

Altrincham - display of books on The Plantagenets to entice those who are gripped by "The White Queen".

Peterborough - nothing enticing in the window, so went into shop to see if History section has anything similar to Altrincham.

While trying to locate the history section, happened upon the most scary thing - a whole three bookcases, each floor to ceiling, each about a metre and a half wide, absolutely STUFFED with comic books.  Described as "Graphic Novels".  Took a peek, ghastly. All violence and mayhem.   Is this the future of reading (other than e-reading?)

Am I being snobbish?

Have I forgotten my youthful reading of a comic a week, and the occasional paper-covered short comic novel?   My choice was usually a girls' school story, replete with bullying hockey sticks, and midnight feasts in the dorm, plus the obligatory "bad" teacher (who always had black hair!)

Am I over-reacting?  Or am I right to feel that there is too much space devoted to this garish genre, space which just about equates to the whole amount devoted to traditional children's stories elsewhere in the shop.

And anyway, wouldn't the target readers be reading these things on their tablets?