Bookavore

voracious reader with a certain verbal attitude

57 notes &

SUBJECT OF RESOLUTION: The relative statuses of mainstream, literary, and genre fiction

SUBMITTED TO: The reading public and publishing industry

SUBMITTED BY: A reader

THIS READER,

ALARMED BY an increasingly vitriolic set of discussions regarding different types of fiction and how they are affirmed or not affirmed by the literary establishment and the publishing industry,

BEARING IN MIND that the terms “literary fiction,” “mainstream fiction,” and “genre fiction” are highly-charged signifiers that have little use outside sales catalogs and at this point seem to have been reappropriated as both slurs and badges of honor,

DEEPLY REGRETTING that those signifiers are necessary to write this resolution,

RECOGNIZING that mainstream and genre fiction writers have a legitimate complaint as to being ignored by certain high-profile arbiters of taste,

REAFFIRMING that literary fiction is heavily though not exclusively reliant on reviews to reach a certain saturation threshold with the reading public that translates into actual book sales,

FULLY BELIEVING that some readers read genre, literary, and mainstream fiction, sometimes in the same day, even, sometimes expecting different things from those books, sometimes expecting the same things; further believing that some readers only read one subsection of fiction; further believing that this is all pretty normal,

EMPHASIZING that people will read what they like to read and that attacking people’s personal taste in books is about as useful and appropriate as attacking their taste in food (with an obvious exception made for mocking people who hate cilantro, because they are just WEIRD),

ACKNOWLEDGING that people’s personal taste in books tends to inform which books they read, which books they review or assign for review, and which books they believe are deserving of wider critical and/or popular attention,

NOTING WITH REGRET that talking about talking about books seems to have taken the place of talking about actual books,

NOTING WITH DEEP CONCERN that there is still a difference in the ways that similar books written by men and women are regarded depending on with which gender the author identifies, and that these differences appear both inter- and intra-fiction subsections,

FULLY AWARE that conversations, no matter how vitriolic, about which books get attention in popular culture and book reviews, are necessary to fixing any injustices in those places,

1. EXPRESSES HER HOPE that more people can maybe chill out a little;

2. FURTHER RECOMMENDS that conversations about the degrees of importance with which different varieties of fiction are regarded and reviewed be expanded to include children’s fiction, graphic fiction, fiction collections, and fiction published by small presses;

3. CALLS UPON all readers to be less dismissive of books they have not read, and even to give a new type of book a try every once in awhile, perhaps aided by an expert in that field;

4. ENCOURAGES those in any sort of gatekeeper position to consult with a larger group of people when curating a review section or retail establishment.

5. PROCLAIMS that she would like to be left alone for the next hour in order to read for a bit before bed, thank you kindly.

(There, that ought to do just as much good as an actual UN resolution.)

Filed under books hells yes I pulled out the ol' model UN paperwork for this

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    I like this, a lot.
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  11. othersashas reblogged this from bookavore and added:
    This is too awesome for words. Read, read, READ.
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