Saturday, December 6, 2008

Faith 'n Fiction Saturday - The Christian Fiction Label

My friend Amy is the host for Faith 'n Fiction Saturday. If you're interested, check it out here.

Today's question is inspired by a conversation Lilly started over at Book Blogs. What do you think about labeling books as Christian fiction? As you know, the range of spiritual content in Christian books varies tremendously. Some books barely even mention God while others use a lot of Scripture. Do you think Christian fiction books should be in a separate section of the bookstore or library? Do you think this limits who might read these books? Do you have any idea of how they could be arranged differently? And a little off topic but do you have a preference about whether or not books have a lot of spiritual content or only a little?

My Answer:
First, we will need to define Christian Fiction. A good definition would state that the book contains no profanity, no sex, and is biblically sound. Some books fall under this genre without any reference to scripture, while others have more. I'm fine with that either way.

Bookstores already have sections devoted to Christian Fiction. I think it is a good idea; even eBay responds with a long list of books available when a buyer types in Christian Fiction. It makes book selection so much easier. There should be some way to separate fiction books.

I've recently had two titles furnished to me for review that contained so much profanity that I wrote the publisher refusing to read them. She said she understood and would try in the future to point that out. From the book cover, title, and blurb, how can a reader tell what he is getting? I don't want to waste my time reading any more garbage.


kalea_kane said...

I like that bookstores and libraries have a section for Christian fiction too. You definitely know what you are getting when you go there. :) I also wish that the books would be in the other sections according to genre. Christian works of fiction and non fiction have stepped into each genre and stepped into them well, I see no reason why they can't be in both. I believe you are right with the book cover and whatnot...if there is profanity or sexual situations and it is a Christian book, I would want to know in advance.

Thanks for stopping by! :) Have a great weekend! :)

Ausjenny said...

in Australia you cant buy much Christian fiction in a regular bookstore.
In the local library its with the other novels which I dont have a problem with cos it means more people will read it. but People are looking out for these novels. they get to know some of the brands like Heartsong presents etc.
I dont want to read books with profanity or sex either. I know alot of not christians also want clean books also.

ladystorm said...

My library doesn't have a sperate section for Christian books, they are mingled together which I think is good and bad. I know when I use to go to the library with my mom that she would go form book to book reading the back trying to find a good one, so if people did that they might come up on a Christian book and take it home not really know it and that would be great, but it is hard to find them at the library so that is bad.

Marina Capano said...

Interesting post! I love it! xoxo

Amy(the Sleepy Reader) said...

Since my library doesn't section it off, I usually search by author.

Sunny said...

You are so right that reading the cover and blurb doesn't tell us if there is lots of profanity and such inside. That drives me crazy!

Anonymous said...

I liked and appreciated your opinion, but disagree in some respects. Christian fiction, if set in the real world, I don't think has to have the "see no evil hear no evil speak no evil" PG rating. I like the cross-over Christian themed books that the secular readership can pick up and enjoy, get a good dose of Christian messages and not feel like they've just been to Sunday School. But that's me, and that's why I write those kinds of novels.

Good answer and post! Mine is at:

Pam said...

I agree with you. I got a book recently that sounded fine from the cover, but had so much profanity, drugs, and s*x that I managed to read two pages before I knew it was not for me.

Amy said...

thanks for your input! I read a huge range of books and sometimes read fantastic CHristian fiction that I think many people would enjoy. (not just Christians) I sometimes wish these authors would get wider exposure.

Kim said...

I agree here! I do wonder sometimes what all of the hub-bub is about though sometimes. You don't hear the secular authors wondering why their books aren't on the Christian shelves, hmmmm? If you are a reader, truly, you will seek the kinds of books that feed your soul. I am just thrilled beyond measure that the Christian market is so strong and vibrant!!


bigguysmama said...

Didn't even think about stores online! Good point. Ugh, can't even imagine receiving books that are offensive to review. I'm thankful that up to this point, I haven't received anything from authors I don't really know. :)

Mimi B