Sunday, April 2, 2017

As Graham Norton urges viewers, "Don't bother calling. We're sorry already."

Readers of Henry Bemis Books' Facebook page strove mightily, but fell half a percent of setting a new record for giving us negative feedback:

Still, after a year of compiling negative feedback every month, we now know readers dislike Women's History Month- which ended March 31- with 18.9% in Hides, Hide Alls and Unlikes, almost as much as they loathed Gay Pride Month, when they blew out the roof last June with 19.4% thumbs down.

December 2016- now reduced to third place- was the usual combination of dislikes of post about books by and about African-Americans, women, Jews and gays, with a dollop of unclassifiables, and a new slug of #MAGA enthusiasms for the presidential transition.

People click Hide All and just Hide for a variety of reasons; some click everything, thinking it's a check-off-I've-read-it-option. Some people are like Sam the Eagle on the Muppet Show:

What did people dislike in March? Here's the list:

A post about the library at Grey Gardens, the restored home of some of Jackie Kennedy's poor relations, made famous by a film of the same name. Birthday bios of the poet A.E. Housman, the religious scholar John Boswell, and the King of the One-Liner, Henny Youngman.

An article on Ikea's iconic Billy bookcases. Five posts about Women's History Month and books by women authors. Quotations by Joe Orton, Keith Woodhouse, Terry Pratchett, Kanye West and  Mark Twain.

Shared events lists from the Bucks on the Bookshelf and Rare Book Cafe internet programs. A celebration of Henry Bemis Books' Facebook page reaching 600 likes. A French bookstore where the employees held books up in front of them where their heads would otherwise be.

There was a story on how young kids prefer reading dead tree books to e-books, and a story on why book dust jackets don't carry author photos the way they used to.

My weekly live video, "The Week With Henry Bemis Books starts in.... a minute or two," for March 6 got a Hide All.

And for the 31st of March, a listing of a biography of the Wedgwood family, titled, "The house that made Hyacinth Bucket's life gracious," got three- count 'em- three Hides.

Feeling cheeky for April Fool's Day, I posted a birthday bio for Samuel Delany, the LGBT science fiction pioneer, for his 75th. It got a Hide within the hour.

For National Poetry Month, I put together a list of thirty poets to feature over April. For no particular reason, I put them in alphabetical order.

Maya Angelou was yesterday. W.H. Auden was today's poet. He got a Hide, too.

Gay, y'know.

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