I was at work today, busy minding my own business and getting work done, when I happened to walk by the Twilight table (an entire pine table devoted to the plethora of Twilight related merchandise; I think this table wins the award for longest display in the history of the company). As I walked passed the table I caught of glimpse of something awful.
Now, let me preface this by saying that I actually have read the entire Twilight saga and did enjoy the books. They’re no Pulitzer Prize-winning novels, but for what they are they aren’t bad. Compared to some things teens are reading these days, they’re actually pretty good. That said, they have gone way overboard with the merchandise tie-ins. I mean, do we really need Twilight rubber stamp kits or a Bella and Edward perpetual calendar? Are the door hangers really necessary? Or the Twilight jewelry box? (I will admit, I kind of like the mini trunk.) For the most part I’ve become immune to the ridiculousness of the merchandise on this table. However, today something new caught my attention.
They are now marketing copies of Romeo and Juliet, Pride and Prejudice and Wuthering Heights with Twilight-themed covers. The cover of Wuthering Heights even mentions that it’s Bella and Edward’s favorite book. My initial reaction to this discovery was indignation. How dare they use these classics to make more money from Twilight fans? Is nothing sacred? Have they no shame?
But then one of my co-workers pointed out that perhaps this is a good thing. And the more I think I about it, the more I realize maybe he’s right. Twilight Teens will buy nearly anything that has anything to do with these books. I’m sure many of them have already read Wuthering Heights just because it’s mentioned several times in the series. So why not market the books to these teens specifically? It’s introducing three great classics to an audience who may never have bothered to read them in the first place. Pride & Prejudice is my favorite book ever, and if this means more girls will discover it, then what’s wrong with that?
So, while I still think the Twilight merchandise is getting WAY out of hand, I can’t begrudge them this marketing ploy. If it gets teenage girls to read classic literature, so be it.
And you want to know what’s really bad? Once I took time to look through the books, I realized I really liked the format of the book. And the covers actually look kind of cool. Which sadly means I’ll probably end up buying them before too long. Even though I already own copies of all three. Don’t judge me.