Comedy: the runt of the genre litter

I think there should be a movement in literature. Humour needs recognition. Movies, television, theatre, music, they all have a legitimate genre section. So why not literature? I went to my local branch of Waterstones to find something to tickle my funny bone. It’s not easy. Where is The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy? In the Sci-Fi section. Terry Pratchett? – Fantasy. P. G. Wodehouse? – general fiction. Dave Wong? – horror.

And the TV and Film version of the above? They are in the comedy section. And nobody frowns upon it. So why not books?

And it’s fine if you know the author you are looking for. But if you want to discover a new comedy writer you can’t do it. You can’t browse and leaf through the comedy on offer because they’ve all been dispersed randomly throughout the shop.

With television and film comedy is put with comedy regardless of the genre. You don’t need to hunt through the horror section to find Shaun of the Dead, or trawl through Sci-Fi to find Red Dwarf. They are all bundled together. “You want something funny to watch? Here it is,” say the nice people in DVD shops. But books? “We’re too proud to have a comedy genre. This is literature darling.”

There is a “humour” section in most book shops but sadly this is full with novelty books and joke collections. I want to go into a store, in the mood for a funny novel, and to be able to browse through authors I’ve never heard of. There are enough of us to warrant it.

Or am I just being a pedant? What do you think?

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