Have you read a romance lately? Apparently, lots of people have. According to an article in the Chicago Tribune dated April 7, 2009, sales of Harlequin Romances are way up, despite these difficult financial times. Not only are there subcategories to cover lots of different interests, but the stories are formulatic, with the heroine in an uncertain situation where she must learn to trust. And always there is a happy ending. This certainly does sound appealing after reading the news headlines. Although I haven’t read much romance lately, there was a time when I did- back in graduate school, after a long week of classes, my own treat was going to the browsing library to pick out a romance to get lost in for a few hours. Again, comfort in unsettling times. Now I find myself in a study group with fellow librarians reading romances, and I’m again discovering how enjoyable they can be. Much to my surprise, I even found myself staying up reading way past my bedtime, when normally I fall asleep rather quickly while reading in bed. (In case you’re wondering, that particular book was Slightly Married by Mary Balogh.) I’m also discovering that there’s some very good romance writing out there, with great character development and background settings. Don’t know where to start? The web site All About Romance features a page Favorite Books by Favorite Authors, where romance readers have voted on their favorites. (If you’re already a romance reader, you can vote for your favorites at Favorite Books by Favorite Authors Ballot.) And of course, you can always ask the staff at the Reader’s Services Desk for recommendations.
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