Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Note to Bookstores

I just got back from buying Amy Dacyczyn's The Complete Tightwad Gazette at my local chain bookstore. Yes, I know it's ironic that I paid full price for that particular book, however, it's for a Yankee Swap of women friends that I'm going to on Saturday. Fortunately, I asked an employee where to find the book and she led me right to it – in the Reference section. The Reference section, as you know, contains books like thesauruses and dictionaries. I could have looked a long time before I stumbled across it (which is why I usually prefer to shop online when I know exactly what I want to buy – but I’m short on time).

I looked the book up at Amazon, and the list of topics at the bottom of the page includes basically Personal Finance and Reference. Apparently, there is no homemaking category despite the fact that nearly everyone has a home and had to figure out how to run it. I personally have at least four books with I would put in the homemaking category (Home Comforts, Sink Reflections, Speed Cleaning, and A Housekeeper is Cheaper than a Divorce), and I have read many more. I think a homemaking category makes sense and would have a large market. Granted, it would overlap with personal finance and decorating, and many other topics, but it would prevent homemaking books from ending up in the Reference section!

I'm sure that the fear is that in creating such a subject grouping, feminists would boycott the whole bookstore. As I've said before, homemaking takes skill that has to be learned, and that skill is almost never acknowledged or valued. I think that creating the the section would define the work I do as worthwhile and valuable, as worth explaining and analyzing. A small step toward that goal, granted, but I'll take what I can get.

1 comment:

Debbie said...

I checked out the Tightwad Gazette years ago...yours I am sure is a more recent edition. It is a whole new perspective on living :) one that is not talked about much at all, but very worthwhile.
I have scoured libraries for "homemaking" books for years. There are very few that have been what I was looking for. I have a couple of older out-of-print books that are nice. You have mentioned a couple that I will check out. I think what I have been looking for is more along the lines of "how to make a house a home" - which is definitely a lost art these days.
I hear homemaking talked about quite a bit these days, so I think you may get your wish :)