How to get Your Bookstore to Setup a Men's Section


Menstuff® has put together a program to encourage bookstores to develop a separate men's section. Also, see Books for a comprehensive list of over 3,000 books on 100 men's issues.

It is generally felt that men hesitate to spend time in front of the psychology section in a bookstore looking for a book. It tells the world they need help. However, that same concern doesn't exist in bookstores that offer their male readers a "Men's Issues" or "Men's Journey" section. Take this letter to your local bookstore and encourage them to start such a section. Include a copy of our "condensed book list". Tell them we'll promote them, free-of-charge, on our web site and link them up if they have a web site. (See "bookstores".) Then support them by telling friends to shop there! Let's all assist each other in our process of learning, growing and feeling human once again.

Copy this letter and the short book list, and take it to each of your local bookstores that don't have a men's book section.

Dear Bookstore Owner:

Do you have a separate Men's Issues book section? If so, we've included a list of books that may be appropriate for this section. We'd also like to list your location on the World Wide Web. If you don't have a separate section, the answers to these three major myths might convince you to set up one.

Myth # 1: "Men don't buy self-help books!"

1. Many aren't aware self-help books exist for men.
2. Those that are often can't find them buried amoung hundreds of books in various sections.
3. Many men's Issues books are shelved in the psychology, recovery or self-help sections and many men are uncomfortable being seen standing in front of these sections. We've been trained to solve our own problems, not ask for help.
4. When browsing these sections, men are usually confronted by more books that are seen as attacking or putting them down than books that present positive, healthy alternatives.

Myth # 2: "Except for the women's studies section, the whole rest of the bookstore is men's issues."

That's like saying cook books are part of Women's Studies. Men's Issues looks at the areas of positive change in masculinity, fathering, relationships, health, sex roles, consciousness raising, aggression, spirituality and many other important areas of life. Our desire is to reduce men's isolation and offer them access to the hundreds of books that are available. When exposed, books provide information to aid in making the positive changes that are needed as men in our culture and the world.

Myth # 3: "There aern't many men's books available."

In fact, we at The National Men's Resource Center currently have listings of over 2,000 books, broken down by 96 men's issues, which are housed in the "Browsers' Bookmobile" which travels around the country visiting communities too small to have their own library or bookstore. There are many more men's books but these are just the ones authors and publishers have provided. (Find this complete list at: www.menstuff.org under "books" and check "book reviews" for new men's books.)

"If we wanted to start a men's issues section, what should we include?"

1. Start off your men's section with at least 30 titles. (See short book list.)

2. Don't include books that are directed towards women and/or put men down. Offer books that take a positive approach.

3. Place "Best Seller" men's books in the men's section. When someone asks for it by name, direct them to the men's section. This will: (1) Introduce them to the fact that you have a men's section, and (2) will increase immediate book sales since men tend to buy several books at one time when they are so easy to find.

4. See the attached list of books to get started. Some of the books listed may be out-of-print but still remain important works that may be found in libraries or used bookstores. (The Changing Men's Collection at Michigan State University is an excellent archive on Men's Issues). Take the books from the attached list that you believe your current and new "men" book buyers will purchase.

5. Let your customers know about our website (www.menstuff.org) Each month we review new books covering over 100 different men's issues, and list over 2000 men's books. We would be happy to supply you with business cards showing the website and a holder to put in the men's section. Let us know how many you would like.

Thank-you for taking the time to read this. I trust you see the virtues of adding such a section in your bookstore. If so, please let us know so we can list you on our web page.

Yours in continued growth,

Gordon Clay
Executive Director
The National Men's Resource Center
menstuff@aol.com

Include a copy of the Short Book List.

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