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AfriGeneas Books~Authors~Reviews Forum

Re: Oprah's Book Club No More
In Response To: Re: Oprah's Book Club No More ()

Sorry to weigh in without knowing what's been discussed over time on this Board. But the written word is close to my heart. Although Oprah's Book Club promoted writers of all colors, I address here Black authors and the supposed "dearth" of good works available.

The perception that books worth sharing are harder to find is largely brought about by the demise of the independent Black bookseller. Many of us who make a concerted effort to spend equal dollars with the Black independents in our towns/cities early on foresaw this impending situation. Specifically, once the big chains (Barnes & Nobles, BAM, Borders, etc.) have run all the independents out of business, they will have control of who gets stocked on shelves and, consequently, who gets published and who gets read. Much shelf space is taken up with multiple copies of light weight BUPPIE romance and bubble gum, pop-psych spritual/personal development books. More serious, less formulaic literature is becoming increasingly absent from the chains.

The danger is that control of what is read greatly affects the degree of informed thought that contributes to discourse and, subsequently, action. If Oprah got people reading, I say hooray for her Book Club and sorry to see it end. (I'll admit to being a bit snobbish about the whole thing, wondering "Who is SHE to tell ME what I should read?") :-) But to give in and up to a dearth in quality work is not the answer. The writers are there. Somehow the chains (through competition from the independents?) must broaden their offerings.

J.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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