Woman: Where would I find paperback nonfiction?
This is a bit of a strange question, because normally people don't specify hardcover or paperback when it comes to nonfiction.
Me: Nonfiction is in a few different places, depending on the subject. Do you have a title, or a call number? Or the topics you're looking for?
Woman: I want to read about kings and queens from a certain time period. You know, how they lived, what they did.
Me: That would be on the third floor--
Woman: But the stories aren't necessarily what really happened. It's real kings and queens but in made up stories.
Me: Ah, so you're looking for historical fiction.
Woman: Oh is that it?
Me: What have you read that you like? An author you like?
Woman: I can never remember...
Me: No problem. Give me a few seconds...
Usually in this genre, people read by author. I gathered the top names, and we went to the shelves.
Working backwards in alphabetical order, we stopped first at Alison Weir. We pulled a few books and looked them over, but she seemed hesitant.
Me: If this doesn't work for you, it's not a problem. Have you read much Philipa Gregory?
Now this is a clue. Philipa Gregory is the top name in historical fiction featuring royalty. If the customer doesn't know her, something is off.
We walk over to dear Philipa, but I'm losing the customer. She's starting to mutter to herself. Never a good sign!
Me: Here's a paperback of a popular Philipa Gregory book.
Woman: The books are usually much smaller than this. And in the title there's, you know, duke or rogue, or maybe a rake... (A bell goes off in my head.) ...and there'll be a man on the cover, you know... (She gestures as if she's ripping a shirt open.)
Me: I know exactly what you're looking for.
We laugh and easily find some books. She walks out with any of the gazillion titles of historical romance novels, covers graced with dukes, rogues, rakes, scoundrels, pirates, and "highlanders," their bare chests gleaming, their lusty conquests dressed in long gowns, off the shoulder, with plenty of cleavage.
To think I almost sent her to the third floor for history!
|All the men are barechested, all the|
women in gowns.
|Sometimes the encounter has advanced|
a bit further.
|These books come in many flavours,|
but the readership is almost entirely female.