Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Romance novels

So, there are a HUGE amount romance novels floating around this FOB. All with labels on them that say something like "Donated by the Springfield Library in support of our troops" or some nonsense. Now - I'm all about equal opportunity Army, and having female soldiers do any job they want. But - let's be honest, there is still a 850 to 1 ratio of males to females on these FOBs. (I made that number up, but it's about right). And maybe there are some guys who really like to read romance novels. But really - the preponderance of romance novels and "book 3 of a 6 book series" is really ridiculous. Plus there are lots of just BAD books - the ones that have been sitting on those library paperback racks since they were published in 1976 and no one has checked out.

So, really, can we start sending some good books? Maybe some best-sellers? Stuff that soldiers would want to read? And don't just send one - send like five or ten copies of a book - especially if its like Black Hawk Down or We Were Soldiers. And if you're going to send a book in a series, send the whole stupid series, you know? That way, someone can actually READ the series. There are these huge book graveyards all over the place, and it breaks my heart. For the soldiers and for the books.

So here's a link, in case anyone should think they want to help out the soldiers over here:

Books for Soldiers

Please note - these are NOT things I need. I have plenty of books. In my usual way, I actually have more books over here than I will be able to read before I come home. But if you can grab a snail mail address for a unit, buy em off amazon (or wherever) and have em shipped.


Mom said...

In defense of libraries, most of the books you see for sale have been donated to them. No honorable librarian will throw away anything, let alone books.

If you want to buy some of those books to send try the USPS flat rate Priority mail. They offer boxes in two sizes and shapes and you can cram as much as you want into a box that you pick up at the Post Office and then pay only $8.95 for priority shipping. That may not mean as much to those of you on the East coast but it sure helps me get packages of goodies to the APO much faster.

Mom said...

I just read about the Navy General Library Program which provides access to download audio books and video. The Navy's digital library collection can be viewed at http://navy.lib.overdrive.com, but registered users must checkout and download audiobooks and video though https://wwwa.nko.navy.mil.

Abster said...

Hey John,
I think you are underestimating the joy of reading romance novels.
I adore the smuttiest ones possible. I'm partial to VC Andrews (think incest) and Christine Feehan (think shape shifting vampires). So, watch out for those.
Do you like Lemony Snicket? I can send you my collection!
Abby :O)

Iraqi Bootleg said...

To mom: I understand that the libraries are also getting donated books. Its just that you walk into a MWR building and see bookshelves worth of books, then look through them to realize that they aren't even books you would pick up at the 25 cent bargain sale. Maybe a couple decent books that people have purchased here and then left when they went home. And most soldiers don't have access to the internet in any reliable way over here. I'm one of the lucky ones.

to Abby - I certainly don't discount the possibility that soldiers read the romance novels for the smutty parts. However, (and maybe you won't agree with me on this, but I do think that in general there are some differences between men and women), men don't really respond well to written smut. They are much more visually stimulated (why are there no female versions of Maxim?), and since the visual smut is almost completely verboten here (only lads magazines are allowed), that might be their only recourse. But I don't think I can imagine a soldier who would not be embarrassed to be carrying around a copy of "Love on the Prairie" in his cargo pocket. Black Hawk Down, on the other hand...