Monday, March 06, 2006

SB Day: Non-Stop Trashy Action

It’s Smart Bitches Day once again, so allow me to commence with the smart bitchery.

I had one of those customers the other day, one of the memorable ones that live on in store lore long after they leave our actual space. She entertained us with her comments about Soduko (“It’s timed now? Are they trying to give me a heart attack?”), our music (“You need mojitos, for this song.”) and her own reading material. She didn’t take anything too seriously and we appreciate that in a customer (since it is so often the opposite). As she came up to buy her books, the boss made some comment on one of the romances and the woman laughed, “It’s just non-stop, trashy action and I love it.”

After she left we continued to giggle. “Non-stop, trashy action? Sounds like it should be on an Urban Outfitters shirt done in that iron-on 70s font,” the Boss said.

Personally I thought it should be the slogan for our store, and told her so. “[Our Store]: Non-stop, trashy action.”

It would bring in more customers if nothing else.

The whole event got me to thinking about the nature of romances and what constitutes “non-stop, trashy action.” It’s not a derogatory definition, but a synonym for fast-paced fun. A good romance—one that’s not trying to impart some greater lesson or historical context—has the same escapism of a good girl’s night; it’s not about long philosophical discussions or solving life’s moral ambiguities, but wine and brownies and giggling over the fact that Brawnie Paper Towel guy is real and works as the wine steward at the local Whole Paycheck (Whole Foods for those uninitiated in the land of yuppie grocery shopping). Like a good romance, a good girl’s night makes you forget for the moment that you’ve got a whole store to rearrange, employees who want more hours or less or a pay raise, and an inventory systems that a monkey wouldn’t bother running.

While you many not always be able to get together with your friends, a new romance is as close as your nearest bookstore, library, or grocer.

Non-stop, trashy action?

Bring. It. On.

The book that my customer was referencing was part of Tara Janzen’s Crazy series, and having read them, the descriptor fit. Janzen’s Steele Street men are James Bonds without martini, but just as quick on the draw and the quip. Well, if James Bond had gotten in touch with his inner grease monkey. As with Bond there are moments where you have to suspend your disbelief and hold that eye-roll at the momentary cheesiness because the payoff is a fast-paced, love’em up spy tale of romantic proportions. If they were movies you would probably refuse to take your boyfriend because he’s spend too much time picking apart the anatomy of the action sequence (how many of us have had to sit through the male groan followed by a “Like that could happen”? Makes me want to smack them every time), but your girlfriends?

Bring on the popcorn and hot tamales, chicas, and let’s have us a movie night.

So stock up on those romance novels, says I, and chuck that valium because next time you are feeling down and your best girl is in the next city/county/state/country, pick up a Janzen instead.

A customer recommended shot of non-stop, trashy action is just what the doctor called for.


lady t said...

Sometimes,you just need some brain candy(not the Kids in the Hall movie kind)-that's why I love authors like Sophie Kinsella,Laurell K Hamilton,Maryjanice Davidson and Marian Keyes,to name a few!

Oh,and I highly recommend Bitten and Smitten by Michelle Rowan-it's about a girl who has the worst blind date ever when the guy turns her into a vampire. Things get even better when she's on the run from Van Helsing wannabes and has to get help from a sucidal,yet gorgeous master vampire.

Bitten and Smitten is funny,sweet and sassy-Rowan also has another book coming out this summer called Angel With Attitude that looks great,too.

Nicole said...

As soon as I heard "non-stop, trashy action," I knew it was the Crazy series!
So true of the series (at least the first two that I've read).

Oh, did you hear about the Crusie/Mayer commercial?

Bookseller Chick said...

Oh, Lady T, thanks for the recommends, I will definitely check Smitten and Bitten out. I have the ARC around here somewhere.

Nicole, I haven't heard about the commercial. I'm intrigued. I'm a quarter into the book right now and still getting to know the characters, but Crusie and Mayer segue into one another pretty seamlessly.

Eileen said...

I never understood why we can be so snobby about books. This a nation that makes The Biggest Loser and American Idol hit TV shows. Would we want non stop Nova? I read a wide range of things- it depends on mood, time, what else is going on in my life etc. etc.