10 October, 2012

What's the Deal With... The Library Spine Label for Fantasy, Unicorns?!

An internet rant is a beautiful thing, I mean, why even be online, with all the anonymity that brings, and even attempt to contain all that angst. It's why we have comments on everything from blogs to Youtube to news stories. People need to complain! We have things on our chest and we've got to get them off...and our significant others are just plain tired of hearing the same thing over and over again. 

In light of this, I decided to institute a new feature on the blog where I can bring up whatever's on my mind, be it terrible book covers, titles, ideas, bloggers (okay, probably just one blogger), you name it and have some fun with it. 


A unicorn? Really? On EVERY single fantasy book in the entire library? Do librarians really think that everyone who reads fantasy is an eight year old girl?

At least the science fiction spine label is often a cutsie little rocket ship, or planets (or mystery with it's detective dude).

Come on! Where's the humanity? Fantasy book covers are already embarrassing enough, but why can't we even be safe with just the spine pointed outward?

I get the reason for these handy spine labels, it makes it so easy to spot the good books, especially in a library without a section devoted solely to science fiction and fantasy.

But honestly, I'll take no label to one like this, without a doubt. Please, let's start a petition to change this important thing that I'm temporarily passionate about!


Woodge said...

Gods, that is pathetic.

Anonymous said...

My library doesn't make such distinctions. If it's fantasy or sci-fi, they stick a sci-fi label on it, complete with little spaceship. Or they don't label it at all.

Maybe they use unicorns because they're afraid that if they used dragons, people would complain about the false advertising of dinosaurs.

Memory said...

My current library labels childrens' wizard books with a little pointed hat, but they leave the adult books and any non-wizard childrens' fantasies alone.

My last library had little castles on the fantasies and rocket ships on the SF novels.

James said...

We had the same stickers for Fantasy at both of the libraries I frequented in Florida (not related, they were in different counties). SF wasn't near as bad. I believe one of the branches used the cutesy rocket and the other used an atom. Mystery was by far the best though, represented by a skull on black background.

Stefan (Far Beyond Reality) said...

YEAH! You tell em Bryce. More rants please!

Seriously though - when I was growing up, my little small town library used a little flying saucer sticker to denote both SF and fantasy. It looked utterly ridiculous, but it's how I cut my teeth in SF. Once I accidentally picked a Jack Vance novel and had my mind blown to bits, I realized I liked this SF thing and consequently hunted down every damn book that had that flying saucer sticker. I didn't know any of them, I was 12 or 13 and it was pre-internet so I just read them all as I saw them. I'm still grateful to those silly stickers.

(But unicorns... yeah. I agree.)

Unknown said...

Our library doesn't even acknowledge fantasy as something separate from science fiction - both get lumped together with a cartoon atom.

Anonymous said...

Our library uses dragons for fantasy, but I would happily sign any petition to remove that unicorn.

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