Many a romance novel cover is worth a laugh, or even a cringe. But are they truly in need of "vandalizing"?
|Teens socializing at a branch of the TPL|
A library inviting readers to vandalize books? What alternate universe are we in, here? Intent on raising its coolness factor, the TPL completely ignored the sexism behind the assumption that romance novels deserve to be vandalized.
After Toronto-based Harlequin author Vicki Essex penned an open letter of protest to the TPL, the library modified its plan. Now, party attendees can be productive rather than destructive, designing their own "bad" romance novel covers rather than defacing the covers of others'. Ironic, isn't it, that Toronto is the home base of Harlequin Enterprises?
Yet urging teens to deface actual books (or even photocopies thereof) does not sound like it is quite in keeping with the spirit, if not the letter, of the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights.
If there was one person I thought I could count on not to diss the romance genre, it would be a librarian. So disappointing to discover that librarians, too, can have sexist feet of clay...
*As reported Wednesday on the Jezebel blog, here
TPL: Toronto Public Library
Anti-Valentine's Day Candy Hearts: Imagesbuddy.com