While in Bangalore this past month, I went to the Forum mall (which in itself was depressing — yes, shopping malls are now in India…). I went to look for a business jacket, but while I was there I entered a store that had been proclaimed as one of the biggest book stores in Bangalore. It did have books, but it also housed toys, games, and useless items. It was a large store, and books made up half of its real estate.
And so, I went looking for some poetry. I found none. There was no poetry section — there wasn’t even a poetry shelf. I know because I was in such disbelief I walked through every part of the store many times.
No poetry section? Nothing at all?
And it wasn’t like the bookstore was small. Tiny bookstores in Bangalore had more poetry than this place.
There was a drama section, and since I know that some bookstores hold a few books of poetry in the drama section (why I don’t know), I looked there. Nope. In fact, the drama section was made up entirely of Shakespeare plays and a few Sophocles titles. Thanks.
(As a side note, another interesting thing about bookstores in India is oftentimes they divide their fiction into two categories: fiction and Indian author fiction. And then the fiction section is divided into its genres. So, if I am looking for a a romance novel by an Indian author, where do I look? I guess the Indian authors section. Nope. Okay romance. Nope. Okay time to ask. Oh! the featured section. I should have known.)
Is poetry in such dire straights it isn’t even worth stocking anymore?
Oh, I take that back — look! A poetry section in the children’s area. I could get The Missing Piece! I guess poetry just isn’t for adults anymore…