Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Linkage Of Love

It's a day of linking love over here at the Bat Cave. First, a thanks to AztecLady for sending me the link for Reading Into The Future, a Newsweek article written by a Southfield, Michigan librarian who finds that her job now entails career counseling.

I found myself nodding my head a lot while reading - especially the part about teaching people to use the computer. How to use a mouse, how to sign up for e-mail, how to apply for jobs online. Yes, these people do exist. Believe me. Also it was nice to see an article about librarians in my home state doing good - where the economy took a long walk off a short pier years before our current national economic problems.

In the Hell Has Frozen Over department - there's Recession Fuels Readers' Escapist Urges, a well-done, even-handed article on the romance industry from none other than the New York Times. And they don't say the words "sex" or "bodice rippers" once. Not. Even. Once.

I didn't see the Four Horsemen standing at my front door this morning. Maybe they were hiding in the bushes?

Anyway, our own Jane from Dear Author is quoted and library circulation for romance novels is up. A lot of this can be filed under Well Duh! if you're a romance fan. But still, it was nice to see an article without any sneering for a change. How novel!


jmc said...

I find it *very* ironic that one of the related articles linked to at the bottom of that NYT article is another NYT article from 2004 that describes the slow withering of Harlequin.

Wendy said...

Heh - that is some supreme irony right there.

I'm waiting for the day when eReaders come down in price. In my mind Harlequin is posed to benefit the most from an explosion of the ebook market. Who wants to go into Borders and buy The Billionaire's Virgin Secretary, when you can download it from the comfort of your own home?

Here at work, our holds lists have jumped for romances within the last 6 months - but I don't know if that's the economy or the fact that the person buying the fiction *cough, me, cough* actually knows and respects the genre. Probably a little of both.

Lil Sis said...

Yeah - I told you about the LA Times article last week but I think they did say "bodice rippers" - so sorry. :)

Jill D. said...

Wendy, You totally crack me up! I love that your "voice" comes through, so loud and clear in your posts. Keep them coming :)

CindyS said...

Funny how money works. Suddenly there's no sneering when they realize romance is managing to make money while banks are going belly up.

I figured Harlequin would be recession proof for the price alone. If you are a reader, you're a reader. You'll just find cheaper ways of getting what you need.


Wendy said...

Lil Sis: Yeah, I'm feeling kind of snotty towards the LA Times at the moment. Little Miss Crabby Pants will be making a scheduled appearance on the matter sometime today. Still need to scare up that article.

Jill: Rosie seems to think I have a "voice" too. I think of it like a cocktail. One part cliche, one part sarcasm. Heh.

Cindy: Yeah, it's like "Holy shit somebody is making money in publishing?!" Once the economy improves, I'm sure we'll be back to the status quo of romance being smutty bodice-rippers.

And yeah, I've been thinking a lot about Harlequin's pricing. If maybe that's one of the reasons they're doing so well. Heck, you want a historical romance? HHs sell for $5.99. 2 bucks cheaper than a lot of historical romances sold at other houses.

JamiSings said...

I can top the teaching people how to use a mouse story. Last week I taught a woman how to rewind VHS tapes!

Jo said...

I noticed the 2004 piece about Harlequin too.

Have you seen MSNBC's piece on it?
They do mention bodices, 'steamy stimulus' and 'tall tales of lusty love' though.

Wendy said...

OMG Jami - I about fell out of my chair when I read your comment! Thanks for my laugh for the day!

Jo: Well, in the universe of media coverage about the romance industry, it wasn't too awful. I could have done without all the double entendres, but I've seen and read worse in my day.

JamiSings said...

You're welcome, Wendy. The best part - I had to write down what each button likely looked like so she'd know which one was rewind.