FAQ II | Page 49 | Newberry


More questions we hear all the time at the Book Fair. And a bit more venting.

Where do you have comic books/graphic novels? If we thought they were collectible, they’re in the collectors’ section. Otherwise we actually sort them by subject, as if they were any kind of book. Superman will be found in Science Fiction, Bugs Bunny in Children, Road to Perdition in Mystery, etc.

How can you say this terrible book is Literature?  I don’t. I just PUT it in the Literature section because that’s where I thought people would LOOK for it. And you found it, didn’t you? So I was right.

Venting aside, lamebrain, how do you decide what goes in Literature and what goes in Fiction?  Don’t call me names in my own blog. Well, as I say, it’s more about where I think customers will look. Literature contains only prose works or collections which have prose, poetry, and drama. (Poetry and Drama have sections of their own.) Just about any author of fiction before 1850 gets in. Anybody who won the Pulitzer or Nobel for Literature gets in, whether I have faith in their reputations or not, as well as people who won a Pulitzer for Poetry or Drama and later wrote a novel. After that it’s just a matter of my trying to read your mind: what will YOU look for in Literature? Some people complain that we may be bestowing a laurel on the brows of the unworthy, hut remain calm. As I keep saying, the Library is upstairs. We’re just a Book Fair.

Why are these big paperbacks in with Hardback Fiction?   I’ve explained this before, child. Listen carefully. We separate paperbacks from hardbacks in Literature, Fiction, and Mystery because so many people have a preference for the one format over the other, AND because it makes shelving more efficient if you don’t mingle the standard hardcover with the standard paperback (what is that, quarto and 16mo? I never can remember.) Trade paperbacks (those are the big ones) fit better with the hardcovers.  If we had known, 25 years ago, that the trade paperback would become so popular, we’d have called it Big Fiction and Little Fiction,. And even then, those of you who collect Big Little Books would complain.

Hey, where DO you keep your Big Little Books?  I knew you’d ask.  The hardcover ones are primarily in Collectibles and the paperback ones are in Children. Now, THAT’S splitting up hardcover and paperback.

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