I went to B.A.M. (Books-A-Million) today, against my better judgement.  It is where Borders used to be and it is thoroughly depressing.  I liked Borders.  (More on that can be found here.)  It was a place where I could find books on just about anything and be happily amused for hours.  

My son wanted to go to B.A.M. today when we were in the area, so I reluctantly agreed.  After all, there are still books there.   Since the store opened, however, I have noticed that the Religion section has grown exponentially.  I didn't think much about it at first but now I can't help but notice the sheer volume and prominence of Christian goods. There are some token books on religions other than Christianity, but the Christian section is gigantic. There are Bibles of every flavor, Bible covers, devotionals, and a variety of Christian gifts.  It looks like a whole Christian bookstore in the middle of a store that also carries Christian literature.

I have also noticed that there are Christian-themed books cleverly interspersed throughout the store.  The wall that used to have neat science and nature books and kits for kids now has a generous assortment of children's Christian literature, everything from a book from a child who says he met Jesus when he died to a Bible for toddlers. The toddler Bible has a convenient handle so Junior can carry it everywhere.

I tried an experiment.  I found the Science/Nature section, which took up less space than the Laminated Maps section did in Borders.  I looked carefully at the selection.  There were the usual Idiot's Guide to Astronomy, The Smithsonian's Universe, etc, and, seemingly strategically placed, were books that were more Christian apologetics than books about science. I think some of them may legitimately belong there but it seemed suspicious to me.  They weren't there in the science section at Borders.  

The experience generated a discussion with my son, during which I told him that some Christians try to cleverly market their religion just like toy manufacturers try to sell their goods.  He has spontaneously told me that he resents being marketed to so I used that concept to explain evangelical Christianity. I want him to understand that people will be duplicitous in order to convert others to their beliefs.  

I think the store should present itself for what it is - a Christian bookstore that also sells other books. I wonder if I am being paranoid or overly critical.  I feel a bit put off by this.  Has anybody else experienced this type of thing or have any other thoughts about it?  Before anyone says anything, I know I don't have to go to the store. What bothers me is that many, many others will go there and will not think twice about it at all.  And bam! - there's a huge Christian bookstore in a main shopping center in New Hampshire's capitol.  It looks like a creeping Christian state to me.

 

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BAM is evil. 

There is literally nothing good about that store. Find a Barnes and Noble if you can. 

I love Barnes & Noble but the nearest one is 22 miles away.  If I really want to go to a book store, though, I think it is worth the trip.  Your reply prompted me to search the internet about B.A.M., and within seconds I found this:

http://www.ex-christian.net/topic/8183-is-it-books-a-million-or-chr...

I was in my local Barnes and Noble last week. There was a guy seated reading “God is not Great” with the biggest grin on his face. He caught me grinning and we traded a look of mutual understanding. There is half floor dedicated to Science and “non-religious” books. There is another bookshop a few streets away with only a tiny science section and a disproportionate religion section. Someone keeps placing “The God Delusion” between the books on those shelves, just for the hell of it.

I once asked the sales girl with the huge crucifix around her neck if she had the God delusion :-).

I once asked the sales girl with the huge crucifix around her neck if she had the God delusion :-).

oh man....that's clever....

Diane,

thanks for the heads up. I'm sure a BAM will open soon around here. Here

is a interesting list of religious companies.

http://www.businessinsider.com/17-big-companies-that-are-intensely-...

I once asked the sales girl with the huge crucifix around her neck if she had the God delusion

Trolololol.

I did a similar thing and ended up getting into a huge argument about evolution with the poor guy.

Thanks for the heads up.

Great , another group of intolerant , bigoted , hateful , ignoramuses fostering exacerbation of their ignorance . I guess they hide the fact that they are promoters and devotees of the dominant cult , in order that their little shop not be frequented exclusively by little old cat ladies , schizoaffective hoarders and bible study freaks .

Don't insult the schizoaffective!

Sorry.

:-)

I happened to have a unique email address I used when signing up for Borders emails. Not long after they went out of business, I started getting all kinds of spam and crap to that email address. I concluded that whoever bought the customer database was less interested in product quality than in amassing eyeballs.

The Barnes and Noble in my area has a huge wall called "Christianity" right across from a long row of "Christian Inspiration." Followed by several cases of "New Age," and one and one-half bookcases called "Philosophy" on which there are two shelves of atheist books mixed with christian apologetics. Two years ago there was only one shelf, so I consider this quite an improvement! I mean, I am in Northrin Kintuckuh, so what do I want? 

They also have a whole case of sociology, two on science, one on math, another on cultural studies, 3/4 of a case on African American Studies, four on history, and one and a half shelves on Native American Studies. The Woman's Studies and LGBT shelves get mixed in together and the LGBT shelves are full of cheap fiction and various iterations of coming out stories and erotica...which I find to be a little lacking in gender theory, activism and history. We've got our dessert but where are the meat and potatoes? 

I've also noticed a lot of christian books make there way next to or on top of "sin"-related books at the books sales put up by the local library. I don't think the books are migrating there on their own steam. ;-)

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