Thursday, June 11, 2009

Little Miss Crabby Pants Is Rendered Speechless

I've read a lot of WTF-ery on the Internet in my time, but today's happy jaunt through my Google Reader just about had me falling out of my chair. Over at the All About Romance blog, Lynn posted about her latest encounter with The Book Police. What was Lynn doing that was so offensive? Was she burning copies of Catcher In The Rye in the library parking lot? Was she demanding that the public library remove a book off their shelves because "please, won't someone think of the children?!?!?!" Or how about checking out a stack of library books and returning them grossly overdue?

Nope. None of those things.

Lynn's crime?

Reading a romance novel in public.

I'm not shitting you. Lynn was asked (and this was the third time in five years!) to stop reading a romance novel in public because others found it "offensive."

Seriously.

Now, I have some non-romance readers who actually read this blog (amazing, I know). So I'm going to post the book cover in question. Admittedly? Yeah, anyone with two brain cells to rub together is going to know that this is a romance novel. But do you think it's offensive?

Please take a few moments to pick yourself up off the floor, control your laughter, take some deep calming breathes, or do a shot of tequila because you are now weeping at the thought of the number of idiots currently walking around on our planet.

Seriously, words fail. I'm not sure what Lynn did. Myself? I probably would have told the "offended" party to go fuck themselves sideways - but I've discovered that the older I get the less tolerant I am of morons that evolution hasn't gotten around to weeding out yet.

My advice to Lynn? Well, she has some options. She could move, which isn't very reasonable but I'm thinking I'd want to get the hell out of Stepford if I were her. She could also start throwing rocks (I'm rather fond of this one). Or she could be a total bitch on wheels and start reading books like this in public.

32 comments:

Katiebabs a.k.a KB said...

I was going to post about this tomorrow. This really pissed me off. Stupid asshats. A family owned gym? I go to the YMCA and you have to be over 16 to use the equipment. hello, by 16 a romance cover should not disgust you.

Barbara said...

Get the heck out of here!!!!!!!

Leah Braemel said...

I had to pick my jaw up off the floor when I read her post too. I'm like you, I would have told them to eff off too. And then tomorrow I'd have brought in a couple friends and we'd discuss polyamorous relationships and anal sex, LOL. (Which actually as a conversation I had at Starbucks the other day - good thing they didn't kick me out.)

I'd be protesting, alerting the media, whatever. Even if she was reading an erotic romance, they have no right to tell someone what they can read like that. And in a gym where people are probably wearing a lot less than the lady in that cover ... arrrgh, blood pressure's back up again.

Kwana said...

This makes me crazy!! The hate of romance and stupidity of others like they are so smart and smug. What mess and violence are they reading or watching? Grrr!

Kathrin said...

WFT big time!

I would simply carry around two books. My current read and one with the latter covers that you showed. If people consider the first offensive, just wait and see what they'll do when you unpack the other book. I'm sure they'll stop complaining about book #1.

Otherwise, I don't have a single soft spot for the book police! I read what I want because we live in free countries...

Duh! Now I'm really mad... Poor Lynn!

Sandy said...

I have to admit that there are some romance novels which I'm a little, uh, self-conscious about reading in public. I usually remedy this with a big, fat sticky note on the cover, but that cover is SO INCREDIBLY TAME!

LOL, I like Kathrin's idea of carrying around a second book to whip out if someone complains. :-)

Honestly, this is just freaking ridiculous.

LoriK said...

WTF? indeed. That cover isn't offensive. I suspect that the problem is not actually the cover. It's that the book is clearly a romance and the complainer is one of those ignorant people who thinks all romances are "chick porn".

If this happened to me I'd drop my gym membership and demand a refund of any unused fees. Then I would tell every single person I know and as many total strangers as I could get to listen to me that the people who run that gym are total asshats.

Liza said...

I would have asked for a full refund and if they didn't give it to me, I would take it to the media. We live in a free country and no one has the right to tell you what you can or can not do as long as you are not breaking the law. There was NOTHING wrong with that cover and all the morons that have a problem with romance covers need to go out and get a life(and maybe laid while they are at it).

Tracy said...

I would have just told them no. And if that didn't do it - fuck yourself sideways! (I love that Wendy!)

Who the hell are they to say what she reads? Pisses me off. So if I grab a fitness magazine with a half naked lady on it that's ok? I think now.

A Library Girl said...

Lol, there are way "worse" romance covers than the one on what she was reading, as you demonstrate. I think they're being a tad too sensitive - there are billboards that are steamier than that, for goodness sake.

lustyreader said...

they think that cover is socially unacceptable? their BEHAVIOR in speaking to Lynn that way is socially unacceptable! our civilization and society ONLY FUNCTION with the assumption that we treat each other civilly. sounds to me like that person has a whole heck of a lot more problems that just romance novel covers...

azteclady said...

Well, wow.

Perhaps the answer is, "Stop reproducing, I find people like you offensive"

dear lord.

Samanthadelayed said...

Wha??? I like that cover. I have been wanting to get that book and now I want it even more!

Kristie (J) said...

While I would still be livid to put away a more racy cover - with the cover of TMOLIM - I would be raising a huge stink - or at least Krisite would - and demand an explanation on how is it so offensive when you can see more exposure by young people on any city street. And I would have refused until I got an explanation that satisfied me.

Lynn Spencer said...

Rendered speechless just about covers it. I figure I'll just keep taking Lord Ian to the gym until I finish reading the book. I like your book suggestions, though!

Nikki said...

Just unfuckingbelievable.

Lil Sis said...

Dang - I wish my students dressed like that! That cover is so tame - my students (well, former as I no longer teach in public school) wore less to school!

I agree with other posts - I would quit the gym, demand the refund and I'd still go to the press. People working out are wearing less than that cover.

Don't they know that Harlequin is the only publisher making money?!!? Ok, now I need to go read that other blog to get the whole story. Sigh - people are stupid - I guess I forget sometimes.

Wendy said...

I'm simmered down to only a slow boil now - but I think the big reason for my outrage was that it was THIS particular title that was singled out. I mean, it's really flippin' tame. Yeah, you can tell it's a "romance" novel - but it's not like you have naked people cavorting around on the cover.

I suspect LoriK is probably right. It's not the cover - it's the fact that the book is so obviously a "romance" - and romance has the dirty, dirty love cooties.

Sigh.

I hate stupid people.

Katiebabs a.k.a KB said...

I posted about this and gave you linkage http://kbgbabbles.blogspot.com/2009/06/dont-read-your-smutty-books-here.html

People can be such asshats

Big Sis said...

Sorry that was me up there (anonymous). I forgt my name....

Anonymous said...

heh heh heh. You KNOW what I'd say. She should make brown book covers from a paper sack and write "Dirty, dirty, book" on the front.
They were probably offended that someone was showing off her READING ability (rather than mindlessly staring at the TV playing the Tyra show).

orannia said...

Considering what some people walk out of the house wearing, and yet they aren't hauled before the courts on indecent exposure charges, I'm at a loss to explain why a book cover (which I'm sure is legally within guidelines) is an 'issue'. And it's not even that racy...or big. Do these people have better than 20/20 vision.

And this begs the question...how was the person holding the book. You don't read a book holding it out at arms' length rotating it slowly for all to see...so how did they even see it? *gobsmacked*

Taja said...

Little Miss Crabby Pants, I'm speechless, too!

WTF?

Especially because this cover = tame.

Lauren Dane said...

This sort of thing happens a lot if the notes I get from readers are any indication.

Admittedly, I'm of the "bring it" mentality in these situations. I did have a lady at the doctor's office tell me she was shocked a woman who looked as respectable as I did would read such trash.

I got to then laugh and laugh some more and tell her that not only did I read it, the book I was holding was a book I wrote (I was sketching out some plotting for the next book and checking timelines)

To be honest, I doubt this would happen to men with anything nearing this frequency. For some reason, people feel far more free to comment on and "correct" women than they do men.

Maybe I'm just too busy when I'm out and about, but getting up in someone's face about the cover of a book they're reading is pretty close to the bottom of my to do list most days.

Lauren Dane said...

BTW, if there were book covers that looked like brown paper wrappers that said "Dirty, Dirty Book" I would buy many and give them as gifts.

Jennifer Ashley/ Allyson James / Ashley Gardner said...

I'm sorry I didn't see this sooner! (Just read your post and Lynn's). I am torn between WFT and laughing my *ss off!! Good gracious!

I am so sorry someone sniped at you, Lynn, about this book cover. Who woulda thought? This is probably one of the tamest book covers I've ever had, and yes, I'm guessing the "offense" is that it's a romance novel.

The brown wrapper with "dirty" on it is a terrific idea. Can I have one?

Tracy said...

Sign me up for the brown bag covers that say Dirty, Dirty Book. I want a gross!

Wendy said...

Leave it to my Big Sis to start a sensation. We must now all have brown paper book covers with the words "dirty dirty book" on the front.

Hey, anyone of you guys a crafty sort? Cuz, if y'all are waiting on me you'll be waiting a long time. Crafty thy name is NOT Wendy.

Jennifer: I think that's what shocked me so much. That it was your latest book - which has one of the tamest covers I've seen in a long time. I remember when I first saw it I thought "Wow, Dorchester did a nice job with this one." Who would have thought it would cause such a ruckus?

Writer and Cat said...

If it works for a Bible, surely it could be converted to say DIRTY DIRTY BOOK:

http://www.edupatterns.com/free_bible_cover_pattern.htm

azteclady said...

Hmmm...

How about we substitute brown paper for brown paper-look-alike fabric, and instead of scribbling "dirty, dirty book" on it with marker, there's some nifty embroidery?








*plotting*

sybil said...

was it the gym or a person

The most insane thing is the cover I mean good lord THAT cover? I sooo would have taken something worse the next day.

If it was a person I would have smiled and said no thank you but you can. If it was the gym I would have told them no and since they aren't paying me to use the gym my choice of reading material isn't for them to decide unless they are going to start paying for it - then go from there.

Of course I am slightly bitchy, shocking I know.

Kate Diamond said...

I need to pick up my copy of "Spankable Asses" and start reading it in public. Pronto.