Nov. 2nd, 2011

constance: (*reads*)
I'm an omnivorous reader. I have no real literary prejudices. I take what appeals to me as it comes, for what it is, without regard to genre. I remember one of my fellow booksellers, way back in my Barnes & Noble days, remarking that my must-read list was the weirdest one she'd ever seen, and I guess that's true, if what's weird to you is that there's no real pattern to the things that strike me as interesting. They just do, and I second-guess a lot of my choices, but never question my appetite for books.

Including a latent appetite for supercheap series romance novels. I'm not talking about those thick, lushly-described epic romances, though I've read some fine ones. No, I'm talking about, like, Harlequin Lechery #4209, 200 pages of high-gear, no-nonsense softcore boy-meets-girl, folks; you're sucked in and spit back out in less time than it takes to go to the movies, and free to go about your day.

I mean, don't get me wrong, I've read some terrible ones. (Also some good ones, though, truly!) But those everlasting series of badly-art-directed covers just thrill me, and it's all due to my grandmother, who read them voraciously up until the day her eyesight got too bad to make out the words on the page. She read a couple of them every day, and I started reading them at her house at about twelve, without a book of my own and desperate for something/anything to read, and from the beginning, I was hooked. (The first one I ever read featured a hero who insisted on calling the heroine guava-nose; who could possibly resist that?) She bought them by the bushel at garage sales and used bookstores, traded them at the library, culled through and saved the ones she liked, and whenever I came to visit she had a box ready for me, and I'd take them home and read them all and do a bunch of shopping/trading/reading/culling of my own, just to have something to bring back to her.

It's something I still love about my relationship with my grandmother, that compulsive book-trafficking, and now when I hit a stash of series romances, I'm inexorably drawn to them, even though the appeal's dimmed somewhat now that I have no one to share them with. I find myself having to resist the urge to stockpile them. I mean, what are the odds that I'll happen across some shy, bookish preteen to share them with? Pretty slim, I'm sorry to say.

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constance

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