So… I’m in the midst of reading the Twilight series (which is one of the best love stories I’ve ever read, probably because I see so much of myself in it), and after I finished book #3 Eclipse, I decided to run to Walmart and pick up the final book of the series. Now, I chose Wallie World because I wanted to get a particular brand of taquitos, which my Kroger does not carry, so getting the book for a few dollars less would be a bonus.
Now, generally, I go to the Walmart near my job (and my last place of residence) because I know it well and because there are lots of other places around it in case I need to run any more errands. But not too long ag0, my friends asked why I go to Midtown West rather than just go to the one on the Southside, which after a certain point, I just feel is too far–probably just for the mere fact that it goes outside the perimeter. Eek! haha They’re actually about the same distance/or at least the same time to get to. Anywho, so I said, since I’m always the one preaching about shopping in your own area and supporting businesses in black areas, I decided to go to the other Walmart, rather than MY Walmart.
After being sorely disappointed in finding NO taquitos, I drag myself to the book area, to find that there was a full formal setting for a ROW of Twilight books, and half of it had been replaced by MICHAEL JACKSON TRIBUTE BOOKS!!! WHAT??!?!?! I wish I had taken a picture. These three Michael Jackson books had their own setting, and Walmart decided it needed extra space I guess. NOTE TO WALMART: MJ’S TWO WEEKS ARE UP! Only late scragglers are buying those books now, so either you were late getting on the gravy train, or you ordered way too many in the first place.
So since the 1st and 4th books were totally missing, I decided to ask an employee if they had any stocked away. Surely, if the books were selling to the point they sold out, they wouldn’t just not order anymore and completely replace them with MJ books that they already had. Well, evidently, that’s exactly what happened. The associate said, “Huh? Black people don’t read Twilight! But I’m sure once we sell these MJ books, we’ll order more Twilight.” As I stood there peering down at my skin color and looking back at him to study his face and decide if he was being serious, he asked me if I really was into the books like that. UH YEAH! So I informed him that I have several friends reading the book, and that I was disappointed. We then had a conversation about what the books were actually about, since he turned his nose up and dismissed them as books about vampires biting people.
Of course, I just went on to the Kroger next door and found both my taquitos and my book. But it left me wondering, what do black people read? Are we really so limited in the books that we read that purchasing managers in black neighborhoods would leave the fact that they sold out of a book as a fluke and that noone would miss a book because they’d be ecstatic about an overflow of books that were clearly created as a ploy to make money from a man’s death? I have some friends who read black romance novels only, some who read black literature as a whole, others who like nonfiction books, others who don’t read for fun at all, and others, like me, who just like good books, even if we have particular preferences. What do YOU like to read?