Monday, September 8, 2014

Favorite Sub-Genres And The Shelving Of Books

   I was looking for my copy of my movie version of The Hunger Games and for a while, I was getting pretty pissed because I just couldn't find the movie, and I needed to find the movie because, for the millionth time, I was rereading the trilogy, and I just wanted to watch the movies. Of course, I found the movie; like all things lost, there it was, sitting in front of my face. As my Nanny used to say, "If it had been a snake, it'd'of bit me."
   As many times as I've read the book, you would think that I would be tired of The Hunger Games by now. But I'm not. I don't really get tired of books. I can get tired of movies in a heartbeat, but to me, it just seems like there is always something to consider, something that you missed or didn't understand or think about before in a book. There's also the fact that I love to read. I love to read so much that reading is not a past time or a hobby or an activity. Reading is something that I must do; I'd go crazy in a world with no books; I'd have to be institutionalized. I have friends and family who don't read, and to me that like saying, "I don't like to eat. I don't like to drink. You know what, forget breathing, because I don't like to do that either." I have this urge - that I don't act on because it would be crazy rude - to sit there and question them and study them and find out what they do, if they don't read. Because I guess if I had to choose between something like reading or eating, my survival instincts would kick in, and I would choose to eat, but something would be missing from me; I would feel the loss and would feel lost. Reading has always been something I turned to, whatever the reason, sad, happy, mad, whatever, I need a book to read in those quiet minutes of not-doing-anything. If I had to choose between something non-essential, say between reading and writing, I would never write another word.
    But I digress -  I was looking for The Hunger Games movie, because I was rereading the trilogy on my Kindle. I don't know why I love this book so much; I just do. And I'm not alone, because thousands love this book. But I do know that this book fits into a genre (or is a sub-genre or something? I don't know) of apocalypse and dystopian societies, usually caused by a previous apocalyptic event. Pure awesomeness. I've been reading them since I was a teenager, and my dad put The Stand, by Stephen King, into my hands, which was weird, because my dad is not a big reader and did a lot to discourage the practice. I get my love of reading from my mom, but when my dad gave me that book, it was like he just shot his cause in the back. I've read Stephen King ever since, and I love a good Holy-crap-the-world-is-ending story, and the offshoot, the dystopian society - like The Hunger Games. 
   If I ran a bookstore, which is something I would love to do, bus alas, am sadly lacking business skills or a partner with said skills, this would be it's own section. You walk into Barnes and Nobles, and you have fantasy/science fiction (lumped together, bah!) and you have the Young Adult section (or Juniors, or whatever they are calling it) that you have to search through for books like these, but I would have just a section for these books, so you could walk in, see what's new, and get what you wanted without having to wade through all that stuff that you don't want to read.
   I'd also have a section for urban fantasy. Say what you want about Stephanie Meyers (and I've taken cracks at her vampires myself, even though I own the books and love them), you can't deny that she got thousands of people to read and love her story. I have a lot of respect for people like that, because she got a lot of non-readers to read, and I'm just like, "Welcome to my world. Do you see why I read now?" But I loved the urban fantasy stories long before Twilight appeared in a dream to Stephanie Meyers. I was reading L.J. Smith's Nightworld series when I was like, thirteen, fourteen, maybe. Christopher Pike had a series called The Last Vampire that I really loved as well, and more recently, I was reading Patricia Brigg's Mercy Thompson and her Alpha and Omega, and Carrie Vaughn's Kitty Norville series long before I picked up Stephanie Meyers, so that's an old, old love of mine. People where all the sudden talking about werewolves and vampires, and I was sitting here like, "Well, duh."
    And urban fantasy is yet another section that I would have in my never-to-be bookstore. Why are all these good genres lumped into fantasy/scifi. And why is fantasy/scifi always lumped together? Questions I'll never understand the answer to. Reading Juliet Marieller and I love Ann Aguire, but as authors, they have little in common, and their stories have little in common. Juliet Marieller's Sevenwaters Trilogy contains the fey, and starts off with a retelling of an old fairytale, with seven brothers who are turned to swans and a sister who must save them all. It has an evil sorceress stepmother and great journeys, chalk full of druids and old religions. Ann Aguirre's Sirantha Jax series is about faster-that-light speed traveling, the downfall of corrupted governments, genetically altered humans, aliens even, but they are both stored in the same shelves under the same lumped together section! How does that make sense?
   Well, in the scheme of things, these shelving issues are not even real problems. The shelving of books doesn't even register on the 'real problem' scale - nor should it - but this is all stuff that came to my mind while I was looking for my missing Hunger Games movie, and this is why I never sleep. My brain won't shut-the-hell-up.

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