Who underlines in a James Bond novel?

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From my business partner:

Here's a couple of items that might be worth sharing with the readers of your bookselling blog.

#1- Prejudice. I'm guilty of a certain kind of profiling. When some young women say they have books they want to sell, my first reaction is "You're too pretty to have books that are any good. You have dieting/self-help/bestsellers/cookbooks."

#2- Who underlines in a James Bond novel? Someone doing a feminist critique! Beside the underlined "he still considered amateurish behavior on the part of Vesper [Vesper is the name of a female agent]...he praised Vesper's coolness and composure...he had found some of her actions unaccountable" is the marginal note "Condescending- she no longer threatens his job." Another, more succinct marginal note says "asshole."

Gordon

Comments

Regrettably, I have the same prejudice with regards to attractive young women seeling (or buying) books. Unfortunately I’m guilty of far worse profiling crimes than just that. I used to work at a very large new book store, and got pretty good at identifying lots of different “types” by racial, age and physical appearance stereotyping.

I won’t get too specific for fear of upsetting your commenting policy - suffice to say the following sort of book buyers are pretty easily identifiable:

military history science fiction and fantasy self help true crime sports martial arts

Sometimes you guess wrong, though, and somebody you’ve tagged as illiterate buys a bunch of your favourite authors, which puts you in your place.

Cool blog, by the way.

Me again - re: point two, my favourite recent encounter with marginalia was a Toni Morrison book where every allusion to sexuality of any sort had been underlined and the word “sex” written in the margins.

I was kind of surprised by my partner’s profiling. Pretty young women have been the best literary fiction buyers since we opened.

You needn’t worry too much about my commenting policy. It is meant mostly to keep out racists, homophobes and similar.

Are your stereotypical science fiction customers overweight guys with chin beards and suspenders?

Having a used bookshop near a large university makes stereotyping harder. The guy who looks like he’s looking for Iceberg Slim maybe a classical scholar and the frowsy woman who you might expect to hit the self-help section is apt to walk up with a stack of Marxist theory.

My own favorite instance of underling I saw at the antiquarian bookshop before opening my own much humbler store.

Near as I could tell the person underlined everything but the passages he or she found significant. Well over 90% of the book had been underlined.

Hmm, depends on your definition of “attractive”, I guess - it’s true, the girls I find most attractive are more likely to be literature buyers. But less conventionally attractive. The self-help types are more obvious.

Yeah, that’s the SF buyers! And they have high pitched voices.

Its a conspiricy! Subliminal messaging im telling you!! ;)

ITIL Consultant

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Please share your feelings about Who underlines in a James Bond novel?.
Thanks,
Richard

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