Monday, September 12, 2011

Girls' Books, Boys' Books, Every Kind of Books' Books

Ol' McDonald had a... library, E-I-E-I-O!!!

I can't remember where I read it, but evidently in the late 1800's, there was a huge divide between girls' books and boys' books. This got me to thinking:  What are girls' books and what are guys' books? In this instance, it's determined as shallow as the cover... Explore with me below!

Girls' Books: The Overwhelming Genre?

I honestly can't blame editors, or writers, or anybody for this phenomena. It's a plain fact (Well, my opinion as a guy reader.) that a lot of books are aimed to market for girls. Why? Could it possibly be because girls read more? I think that notion is a bit prejudice. Could it be because they have a longer attention span and therefore can actually finish a book and tell their best friend that "You HAVE to read this!"? Is it a clever ploy for girlfriends to make their boyfriends read, too?!? I find that there's no scientific evidence that stacks that girls read more. However, I do believe that marketing teams market books to girls more often. Let's take a glimpse at the best-seller list currently and decide.

#1 The Help

Does this look like some burly guy is gonna read it? Carrying around a book with chickadees on it? I don't think so. I, myself, took off the slipcover when I read it, and it didn't even leave my room! My final judgement: it's definitely marketed to the female persuasion.

#2 1105 Yakima Street

No. Just no.

#3 Kill Me If You Can

Now this is what I'm talking about! It looks like a fire, I'm guessing??? Bold font. That's what I'm talking about! The whole kissing thing is enough to drive me away though. Sorry.

#4 In My Time by Dick Cheney --- This one doesn't count. It's a biography... not the same thing.

#5 The Hunger Games

 Yes. Yes. Yes. No kissing on it. A hint of a plot. No frilly fonts. This is it! Everybody should read this book. (I finally got my older brother to start reading this. Fingers crossed!)

 Boys' Books:  ???

In a world where Twilight dominates the best seller lists, and romantic hullaballoo is slipped between pages and called a plot point, it's hard to say that any boy will read any book out there, even if somebody bribes them with money. Why? And here's where I present the big list (well, five things) of things on the cover of books that make guys not want to read it.

1.) Kissing.

2.) A Bare-Chested Man.

3.) A Girl in a Ball Gown.

4.) Anything pertaining to purses, high heels, shopping, lipstick, pillow fights, ...

5.) The Color Pink.

And there you have it. Keep in mind that this is my own personal opinion (as a boy, which is what we're going for here). Because I was curious, I took the liberty of googling "Boy Books" to see what popped up. I found THIS website, which shows a list of books boys will like (or something like that. I just scrolled down to the list.)
Dubbed "The Full List of Books for Boys," it contains titles like Ripley's Believe It or Not! and the Guiness Book of World Records, along with Huckleberry Finn and Lord of the Rings. It would have the Hunger Games on it, but the article was published in 2007, so... yeah. The point is that Ripley's Believe it or not! should not be on a must-list for anyone! Where is the humanity!? I also find it kind of odd that it only consisted of 167 titles. I'm certain that there are at least one billion books (and more!) that have been published... Maybe it's a faulty source, but is it odd? I think so.

The Fix!

I'm glad to see that some people have realized this problem and are addressing it, though. One such book that comes to mind is Paper Towns by John Green. (You'll be seeing that it's on my "upcoming-read" list to your right.)

But they have marketed to both boys and girls. Great idea? It's a novel idea! I just don't think they've done a phenomenal job at it, necessarily. The one on the left is "for boys." The one on the right is "for girls."

I don't know what makes those advertisers think boys will read it because the girl is dirty and unhappy. Because boys go out a roll around in the dirt? Nah-ah. The "girl" cover looks like it would appeal to girls, I suppose. I think the paper back version of the book is more intriguing for guys.

Doesn't it seem like a good read? No girls, no kissing, no pink. What is this about? I need to read it!
(This example is taken from a blog post published by That Hapa Chick. Check out her blog here!

And this is not to be stereotypical. Personally, I enjoy and rave at the designs on every book, but I am more pulled in by books that aren't so, well, girly. Do you get me? Well, anyway, let me know if you have the same opinion about this point. Either leave a comment or vote on the poll. :)

'Til next time!

*Note: This is not to be stereotypical to neither boy nor girl. I fully understand that I'm reading Confessions of a Shopaholic right now, which is contradictory to this post. There are exceptions and avid readers like me that like almost any story thrown between the covers of a book. So don't hate me! And thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. This is SO TRUE. Oh and for the record I thought the same exact thing when I saw that Debbie Macomber cover. Its scary.... O.O There should definitely be more guy centric books out there! Some good books that guys or girls would like are: Black Rabbit Summer, Hatchet, All Unquiet Things, Across the Universe, and Hoot. Oh and thanks for the shout out! :D


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