I am 76 pages into the The Vinyl Princess by Yvonne Prinz and I’m realizing that I’m not old school enough to fully appreciate it. I didn’t know what an LP was, and I feel nothing compelling me to buy records, I am one of the downloaders who she hates, preferring to get a single song off of iTunes to listening to an album in order.
One thing I dislike about the book is her snobbiness toward the customers. She judges what everyone listens to, and what they ask for help looking for. This is something that unfortunately reminds me of some of my experiences in libraries. I can’t stand when library staff looks down on a genre, or scoffs at what patrons have been looking for.
I think the library is a place where people should feel comfortable reading what they enjoy, and that instead of hiding our “guilty pleasure” reads library staff should proudly display their harlequin, science fiction or kids book that they feel is below something library staff SHOULD read. Because I for one am proud to be familiar with what a lot of people read, and I think showing that our tastes are not ONLY fancy classical literature makes people more comfortable approaching us.
That being said, there is nothing wrong with having a passion for rare or old school books or music. If you are a music fanatic, particularly if you prefer vinyl I imagine you’d appreciate Prinz’s novel.
One thing I did really enjoy in the Vinyl Princess was her discussion of how divorce and single parents results in a role reversal. Allie helps her mother pick out an outfit for a date, and tries to be supportive while actually worrying the way she imagines her mother should be helping her pick out an outfit and encourage her while worrying her heart would get broken. The page or two describing this role reversal was by far my favourite part of what I have read in the book.
I also enjoyed her mocking of how a man comments he has a son her age.
“Have you noticed that no one says that to old people? You’re eighty? Why I have an uncle that age!” I thought that was hilarious and true.