I’m not really a literary snob, I promise. I read PRATCHETT and the Potter books, for Christ’s sake. But it gets to me, going into WH Smith’s in Liverpool St.
For a start, the entirety of the non-genre Fiction section is basically chick lit. Which is fine, in moderation. I don’t care if you want to read a book with a sketch of a scatty-looking woman on the front, you’re not hurting me and I feel a bit like "Well, I bought the Bridget Jones books so I’ve contributed to the genre’s success..". The point is, put it in a genre! Crime and horror and fantasy are segregated, why isn’t chick-lit? I suppose the very title chick-lit is somewhat demeaning. But there’s got to be a heading out there for it! Mind you, if Smith’s took it out, the Fiction bit would start to look perilously thin, with only the Flashman books and erotic blog novelisations to prop up the Dan Browns.
Then you’ve got Classics, which are on the end of a shelf block. All the classics! In one tiny section. Basically a bit of Tolstoy, a lot of Dickens and Austen and one or two things by anyone else who comes to mind. This is not a broad range, Smithy! Your Children’s section runs to a whole shelving unit plus the end of the unit plus another block of Dr Who colouring books on another unit! Your Biography section dwarfs your Classics section by a factor of 3! And… and…
God, I can hardly bear to say it. The Classics section is exactly as big as the section headed Tragic Life Stories.