I'm not much a Christian. I tried, honest. I tried the whole "turn the other cheek" gig. Ended up badly depressed and then embraced what I call "moral behaviour". There are some things I cannot abide (blame it on me being an INFJ - and I'm more the "crusader" type than the cute fluffy "healer" type).
One of them is to get laughed at.
We all know traditional book sellers are in the shits. Borders, laden with debt (They are also owned by private equity, which makes them even more vulnerable and cash-strapped than other book chains... different post for another day) has suspended payments to some publishers, according to Publishers Weekly NOT the response of a healthy business.
Then I made the acquaintance (if you can call it that in the days of social media) of the Romance buyer of that same book publisher on Twitter.
She was looking for bloggers for that same book chain's Romance blog (in other words, an unpaid gig for romance authors to fill their social media site with free-for-the-publisher content - and they seem so desperate that some of what I've read there is shockingly bad. I'd link that nonsense, but I don't want to give them more traffic). And as bubbly and fun the romance community is overall, she informed me that they do "mainstream only".
Which begs two questions. How are gay/queer people NOT mainstream? (And NO amount of smileys and bubbly personality can soften that question). Queers are everywhere. I've even encountered the head of the GLBTQ group of a CONSERVATIVE LAW FIRM in London. The lawyer put it on his CV that their press lady sent me. There's a financial services lawyer, and he's introduced as "X.... chairman of Y's GLTBQ group".
Law firms can do it. Borders can't?
I've spent some pleasant times (and hundreds of pounds) in Borders stores in the UK. I sheltered there in the Chicago weather on my last day in the States. Now I'm being told - smiling, polite - that what I write, what thousands of people care very passionately about, is not "mainstream" enough for their blog.
Well, seems Borders hasn't learnt the lesson of the "long tail" yet. I'll look forward for it to go down in flames, and ideally screaming loudly all the way down.
So that was the last bag of books I bought from there. I'll be buying my books online from The Book Depository from now on (hint: free worldwide delivery). And buy my "want now" books from Foyles in London. I have never been laughed at either by TBD or Foyles.
If I was holding any Borders shares, I'd sell now.