Saturday, March 6, 2010

At Least There is Nora!!!!

Hey all,

Today's blog is about something that anyone who knows me at all will understand how very important it is. In fact, I think it's one of the most important things on the planet. This is something we really take for granted over in the states. At least I do. So when I discovered the truth of it here, it kinda threw me for a loop. Curious yet?

Well, I've finally found something about Singapore I dislike. And considering how important this certain thing is, I'm not sure I can live here any more. *grin* more teasing. Here's the skinny.

So, I'm on one of my rambles. Remember when I told you there were a gazillion and one malls over here? You could visit a mall, one a day, and I think you'd be old and gray by the time you'd seen them all. But you have to start somewhere...right? So I'm wandering around, I think it was near Chinatown and I head into this big mall.

I hit the escalator and do the circle of the floor checking out what types of stores they have and making notes for future excursions. Well, after the 8th escalator ride--these suckers are bloody tall--I came upon my very first bookstore. Now we've seen book stands before. These are just piles of books set out in the middle of the mall for sale, but this was an ACTUAL BOOKSTORE.

I was so excited. I'd been wanting to see what one looks like. You know, do they have English books or just ones in Chinese? What type of selection do they stock? Are the prices comparable?

So in a scooted and gazed around in delight. It wasn't a big one. I know they have Borders here, but this was more of a Waldenbook size mall store. As you walk in, you first see their selection of kids books. A big display with books tailored to the rugrat set. And you'll remember me saying the Asian people have a slight obsession with bodily functions? The kids books reflect it. There was a whole row of books entitled, Everyone Poops, All About Scabs, Breasts and even one called The Gas we Pass--The Story of Farts.

Now, for those of you with littles, these ARE available in the states as well, but I have to tell you, the bookstore isn't the only place I've seen these little beauties. They must be BIG sellers! LOL

Anyway, I go rambling around and I'm of course looking for the romance books. I've found my print books in a few stores and I was curious is Singapore could handle the heat. *smile* So I looked.

And looked.

And looked.

I was just about ready to give up when I saw it. And I'd almost missed it because it shared a sign with Science Fiction! So here it is, a Sinaporean's answer to the needs of Romance readers.

A single stand of books about eight feet long. But wait... Half of those are sci-fi books! Only two of those sections have romance books on it.

I was devastated.

How can a romance reader have her nourishment in a country where romance is so neglected? I stared in disbelief at the paltry offering. A few of my favorite authors were there. Sherrilyn Kenyon was one and to my utter relief, La Nora was there with several of her series. But I still wanted to weep. Where were all the other wonderful authors? No Harlequins? And forget about small press. That thought was a joke.

I took the above picture to prove I wasn't fibbing, then continued to look around. The store was filled to the gills with books. What other type could be considered more important that my favorite genre????

It didn't take me long to find out. Young adult had a decent following. Two full length rows for the younger set, but then I turned a corner and the truth was revealed.


Row after row after row of illustrated Manga books. In English, Mandarin, Malay and half a dozen other languages as well. As I gazed in shock, I realized a good third of the store was given over to these comic books.

Now I love a good Manga comic. Have even done some work with them myself, but a third of the store? Seriously?

Totally a cultural thing. It has to be.

So I trudged back and patted Nora Robert's Black Hills book in commiseration and thanked God for the internet and online book stores!!!

So next time you take a jaunt to your neighborhood Borders, Waldenbooks, Barnes and Noble or Books a Million, give the book buyer a great big hug from me. Tell them thank you for knowing that we romance readers are a loyal lot and we won't forget the fact you cared enough to have the books we want to read at our fingertips!!!

Stay tuned for tomorrow's blog with a brand new promo just for you. And then on Monday, you'll have the answer to the lack of romance reading material--The National Library!!!!

Hugs to all,

CJ England
Follow Your Dreams


Unknown said...

Wow! Adrian and Mike would be in heaven but I agree with you, I need my Romance and Sci-Fi!

Phylis said...

It kinda makes sense in an odd kinda way. They really took those "comics" to the next level. Now I'm sad because my local Walden books closed. All I have is a Hastings. *sigh* Of course I can't buy anything right now anyway. "pout" Enjoy your trip CJ!

Desirée Lee said...

You need to talk with the buyer at that store and set up a signing!

Carpe Noctem,

Author Desirée Lee
Putting the Romance Back in Necromancy

Unknown said...

Great plan Desiree!

Shawna said...

Thinks that's bad? When I was in Northern Ireland the two bookstores had NO - zero, zilch, nada - romances other than a few Irish lit books with a vague romantic theme! And the local ASDA (the UK's Wal-Mart) carried a mish-mash and inconsistent mix of Mills & Boone titles - published as Harlequin here in the States. Fortunately Amazon UK carries 85% of the romance titles available here at home but OMG the shipping! But between e-books and braving Amazon's shipping fees I managed to find relaxation from my textbooks! I thought my books were outrageous at my universities but one class in NI took the prizee with eight!

I didn't clue in to how books at the University of Ulster until AFTER I bought my books; students photocopy books, especially books that only have a few chapters' reading. Buy an iTouch and get the Kindle app for it and the apps for other formats and pat yourself on the back for having 100 books in your pocket! ;-D

CJ England said...


LOL I know what you mean. My boys eyes would have lit up like fire, but me, I just wept. LOL


CJ England said...


I went to another bookstore yesterday in a different mall. This time there was only one skinny romance section.

I may go into withdrawals.


CJ England said...


I've thought about it, but there are laws against certain types of books in Singapore and I'm not sure how hard they police them.

They have some weird laws over here. That's a blog all in itself.



CJ England said...


It would be interesting to set up and see what people here said. My Eyes of Fire book has a Manga look to it, so maybe it would fly.


CJ England said...


Geesh. I had no idea. When we went to NI, we didn't have time to do that type of searching. That just sucks!