Thursday, May 15, 2003

After a lengthy sabbatical I'm going to be dipping my toes back in the reviewing waters. I had wicked case of burn out towards the end of 2002 and desperately needed some time off. I had been reviewing steadily for The Romance Reader, and the sister site - The Mystery Reader, since 1999 with only the occasional short breaks in between. After over 160 reviews - some glowing, some dismal - I needed a rest.

While my time away has been enjoyable, I do miss the exposure to new authors and books that reviewing tends to bring. TRR's editor has sent me some real gems over the years - most notably books by Kathleen Eschenburg, Susan Wiggs, and Susan Grant. I probably would have gotten around to Eschenburg and Wiggs on my own - but it's doubtful I would have stumbled into Grant's territory since she writes paranormal romance - a sub genre that I do not actively seek out on my own.

I've long admired the concept of TRR mainly because print review publications tend to largely ignore romance - even though it is the highest selling genre of fiction. Whether this is due to the fact that romance is mainly still published in mass market paperback form, or pure snobbiness is hard to say. I say it's a little bit of both - althouth it still amazes me the depth of disdain romance seems to induce in the literary community - including librarians.

I've long stood by my enjoyment of popular fiction - be it romance or mystery - mainly because I enjoy it so darn much. I do take life seriously, I do work hard - but honestly my idea of unwinding does not involve reading a book about miserable people, living miserable lives, and treating everyone who enters their world miserably.

But I'm just a mild-mannered librarian - what do I know?

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