What’s wrong with this picture?

January 31, 2007

I love strolling around Barnes & Noble. Particularly with my hubby, as book covers will spark conversations between us that we wouldn’t normally have. For instance, I looked at a book this evening called 100 Words Every High School Graduate Should Know. I was happy to see that not only were most of them useful (respiration, for instance), I also knew most of the ones I looked at.

I was surprised to see, however, that the word “feckless” was in there. Why on earth would anyone need to know “feckless,” and who ever actually uses that word? I can easily imagine an old bespectacled Irishman chastising a foolish youth for his feckless behavior. But an American high school graduate? Hah!  It is to laugh.

After ruminating on important words to know vs. not-so-important words (if there is such a thing!), I headed to the bargain section and picked up a book on the castles of England. Oh, mercy! Have you ever felt homesick for a place you never lived? I was in England nearly 7 years ago and am desperately wanting to go back. Besides, after looking at the book, I’ve added a few places to my “must see” list, like Deal Castle and St. Michael’s Mount.

Yes, a stroll through Barnes & Noble is full of pleasant surprises. But nothing surprised me more UNpleasantly than the proximity of erotica anthologies to the children’s section of the store.


Sorry, I know the picture is small. The blue box in the lower left corner contains half a shelf full of clearly labeled erotica books, while the blue box in the upper portion of the photo is a sign at the children’s section entrance that says “Welcome, Kids!” The shelves look longer in the photo than they are because of the angle — the distance between the two is probably 10-15 feet.

Frankly, I’m aghast (which is probably not one of the 100 words every high school graduate should know). I think I’m going to sleep on it and probably either write or call the manager in the morning.  Am I overreacting, or is this highly inappropriate?


  1. I shop at Borders a lot, they have a kids section right at the back and have little tables and stuff…it’s not very far from the “adult” section, but because of the way it’s set up it feels a million miles away.

    I couldn’t see the whole picture at first, so I thought your issue was that Harold was using a blue crayon or something…instead of purple…was it purple? It’s kind of hard to tell.

  2. of course it’s wrong! maybe the younger ones would not be interested to explore these adult books, but kids over ten are more curious and more aware of sex than we think sometimes. you have to complain!


  3. Usually when we go to B&N, the kids are making a beeline for the back of the store, and don’t pay much attention to what is on the shelves before that. Emily may at some point, at which time I would just explain that those books are for adult eyes only.
    Why the store chose to put the books in that particular location is anybody’s guess, might be worth an inquiry.

  4. […] 2 Comments A few days ago I blogged about how my local Barnes & Noble store had placed their erotica anthologies within clear view of the children’s section entrance and debated whether I would call the […]

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