Imagine a world where every facet of life is somehow bound to the capture, breeding, and training of fantastic animals for employment in combat sports. Imagine this world was so compelling that it spawned over 50 unique video game titles, 5 television series, 19 movies, and a massively popular trading card game. Now, imagine that the various books and guides discussing this fantasy world were not shelved in the grown-up section of your local library as they should be, but rather the children’s section.
You would likely call such a scenario “unjust hell,” and you would be correct.
The world I speak of is that of Pokémon. The unjust hell I speak of is my life. Today, I take a stand: it is time for the library to move the Pokémon books to the grown-up section.
To be clear, it is not that Pokémon books are inappropriate for children. Like Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, there is a lot of stuff in them that is intended for adults. I am simply sick and tired of being shamed by the library children’s room staff for spending time near the Pokémon books and trying to talk Pokémon with other library guests while unaccompanied by a child. No adult should suffer the indignity of being asked to leave the Pokémon section of the library for whispering (a.k.a. using proper library voice) to the child they are kneeling alongside that they too are here for the Pokémon books. If anything, it is unusual that children appreciate so rich a creative universe as that of Pokémon’s.
Adult Pokémon trainers like myself would no longer be forced to discuss Pokémon with children were the Pokémon books shelved in the grown-up sections of the library as they should be. The manga and collected Pokémon Adventure volumes should be shelved in FICTION, and the Pokédexes and guide books should be shelved in the 500 class of the Dewey Decimal system with the rest of the animal books (the Bulbasaur books would go in the Plants section, though). Even if they wanted to be lazy dicks about it they could just shelf all the Pokémon books in the 700 class with all the Doonesbury and Bloom County books. Because even though that would be a slap in the face to Satoshi Tajiri’s magnum opus, it is at least a step in the right direction – a step away from the children’s room.
I understand that the library will likely not take these suggestions into consideration until my account is in good standing, which it will not be until I return their overdue DVD copy of the film Species. I have the case, but I cannot find the disc and am looking for it. Until then, you can find me in the children’s room, sitting proudly in a small chair painted to look like a cactus. I’ll be the grown-up reading a Pokémon book.