Monday, October 31, 2011

How Hard Can They Make It to Find a Scary Story?

Tip of the Day: Today is the last day to sign up for Rhonda Stapleton Helms's Plotting Workshop. It starts tomorrow. I'm signed up!

Yesterday, I was really in the mood to read a scary novel. I own a Nook reading device. In general, I'm very happy with it. It's great for travelling, it's backlit so I can read while my husband sleeps, and I love the instant gratification thing. Sort of. Because what I don't like about the Nook is the Nook store, which frankly sucks.

I searched Horror*General and Ghost Fiction, both Nook store categories. But all I could find were 99 cent self-published short stories. I didn't want a short story; I wanted a novel. There were no Halloween recommendations on the store and no way to sort by short story vs. novel. The search options are "best matches," which as far as I can tell has absolutely no meaning whatsover; "best sellers," which are all the free downloads of public domain or self-published short stories; and "price." Aha, I thought, I'll sort by price and get to novels that way. Nope. It gives you the lowest price first. After scrolling through 20 pages of short stories, I gave up.

Fortunately the Nook has a web browser. I searched "best scary novels" on Google. Google Books, by the way, is in its unique way as horrible as the Nook Store. You can't search genres of fiction from the Google Books store. Does this make sense to ANYONE? Goodreads and CNN had scary novel recommendations, but they were all books I had already read. (I love scary stories.)

Now, to B&N's credit, they have a Nook blog that is not half bad. Although it's not exactly easy to get to from the Nook store. The blog recommended a list of Halloween novels and pimped them at $2.99 each. I loved that I could download the first chapter for free as a sample. I tried two out, but they were VERY male-centric. In one, I loved the writing, but the only female characters were hookers with hearts of gold. The other belonged to the "gorgeous woman falls in love with fat, nerdy protagonist for no particular reason" genre. I can't remember what that genre is called, but I'm pretty sure it is a genre of its own now.

Finally, I found some recommendations on a message board for horror fans and downloaded THE HOUSE by Bentley Little. It's incredibly creepy and awesome. Teen librarians and teachers, do NOT recommend this one to younger teens. The disturbing images are beyond R-rated; nothing gory, just all out disturbing. So it's awesome and I stayed up too late reading it.

But instant gratification? I could have driven to the bookstore twice and bought a coffee in the time it took me to find this novel. Seriously, B&N Nook Store, you need more customer involvement and WAY better search options.

-- Kate, Miss Perfecting the Pages

1 comment:

DeenaML said...

Wow! And people say "Who needs librarians?" My colleagues could've loaded you down with 20 titles, I'm proud to say. :)