If ever there was a reliable indicator of the changing nature of what it means to a man in modern society, it’s the celebration of Father’s Day, and specifically what our consumer society thinks all those dads out there are interested in.
This was driven home to me as I was perusing a number of chain bookstores while visiting family in my old hometown yesterday. With Fathers Day approaching, every bookstore had the obligatory “Gifts for Dad” display with a selection of books.
And since these books were chosen with men in mind, it’s reasonable to assume one could draw a few conclusions about American men by the subject matter of the chosen books, right? So what is the essense of the modern American male as defined by some of the largest chain bookstores in the nation? Well, we’re apparently all alcoholic golfers who love mixed martial arts. No, seriously. Virtually every book I saw was about golf, booze or brawling. Not a single book on hunting, fishing or doing meaningful outdoorsy stuff with your children.
Honestly, whoever does the “man” book market research for the nation’s two or three largest bookstore chains needs to be fired – immediately – and replaced with a new market research team headed by a truly well-rounded man. Someone like, oh, I don’t know…me. Give me a week or so to rework those paens to stupidity I saw this weekend and I’ll bet there’ll be a lot of happy dads this year.
So help me out here. What books would you like to see on the Dad’s Day endcap of Chad’s “Ye Olde Book and Bullet” book store this year?