So few books!

Read any good books lately?
buffalo gal
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Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:44 pm

So few books!

Post by buffalo gal » Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:26 pm

I was at Borders last night and was looking in the theology section for books about living as an atheist. I also purused the science section. I was shocked at how few books there were - maybe 3/4 of a shelf - dedicated to atheism. There was a whole alcove dedicated to (mostly) Christianity, Judaism and New Age stuff. And the atheists get 3/4ths of a shelf? I wondered if perhaps that is because most atheists would be reading non-fiction books on history, science and psychology as opposed to religion?

Also - there was not a single book written by a woman in the section. I ended up buying "godless" by Dan Barker and I'm about 1/3rd through it. It's very gripping!

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Jeff D
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Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2009 5:24 pm

Re: So few books!

Post by Jeff D » Sun Jan 24, 2010 10:26 am

Three-fourths of a shelf is about average for what one finds at Borders book stores, and Barnes & Noble is about the same. These days, "Atheism" is a subsection (with a label on the front edge of the shelf) in "Religion" at Borders stores.

But don't forget that as recently as 10 years ago, one might have found no books at all on atheism in a big chain bookstore.

As for books on atheism or non-belief by women, yes, it's disappointing that there are not more . . . yet. But there have been very good books by female atheists: Aayan Hirsi Ali, Jennifer Michael Hecht, and (more recently) Ophelia Benson (co-author with Jeremy Stangroom of Why God Hates Women). Philosopher Louise Anthony is the editor of the excellent anthology Philosophers Without Gods, but of the 20 philosopher/writers whose essays appear in the book, only three are women.

If it's any consolation, some of the best atheist bloggers (Greta Christina, Amanda Marcotte, and the above-mentioned Ophelia Benson [butterfliesandwheels.com] are women.
Jeff D