Now don’t get hot under the collar. This post isn’t about a nympho librarian seducing her male customer. But stick around, you never know!
Those of you who know me well know I am not just an author. I also work in a library. In fact, this week I am very excited to start a new role at my library. That’s right! I got a little promotion, and couldn’t be happier. 🙂 I get to dust off my pearls because I’m going to be a proper librarian!
My two careers are very complimentary. They’re both about books, the most awesome invention ever. They both celebrate knowledge and the written word. There are a ton of materials at my fingertips, making research a breeze. And for me to be surrounded by books all day is pretty much a dream job, even when I’m admonishing folks for their late fees. (Pay your fines, people!) Only downside I see is the dust, which often gets up my nose and makes me suffer massive sneezing fits.
Another reason I appreciate library work is because it allows me to gauge audience response to romance lit. Every day, people pass my counter and I get to see what sort of books they are reading. I see a lot of romance pass by. Yes, people are still a little shy when checking out their sexy books, but I usually do my best to reassure them. I’ll give them the old “I’ve read that one. Amazing book!” They then look at me with a grateful smile, happy to know they’re not the only ones reading this literature. If we strike up enough of a rapport, I let them in on the secret that I also write the stuff. Most of my customers have been so supportive and wish me well. It’s a good feeling. One of my elderly patrons calls me “J.K.” with a sparkle in his eye. I tell him, “From your mouth to God’s ears.”
So, what are readers checking out these days? Highlanders remain big, as do vampires and rakes and Regency rogues. I wish I had a nickel for every time Nora Roberts and Heather Graham and Janet Evanovich crossed my path at work. And every last person (and their granny – literally) has checked out 50 Shades of Something or Other. I love those patrons…I target them for my speech, the one that begins, “If you like this, you’ll LOVE this one!” I try to recommend authors who may be less well-known. Some customers are open to it; others just want that little bit of titillation, and then they return to their cozy English mysteries.
It’s fun, mixing my two worlds. One is filled with dusty papers and old tomes. The other is peopled by dashing heroes, lively heroines and the odd villain or two. Surprisingly, these worlds work well together, and thrive off each other. I’m inspired at my library. I walk into the stacks and sigh in contentment because I know I’m home there.
When was the last time you visited your library? In this day of electronic devices and Google, many assume the local library to be redundant. However, did you know today’s librarian is an expert in technology and social media? They pin images and tweet. They read voraciously and can recommend not only the hottest romance, but also books on philosophy and knitting and how to train your puppy. They can help you. And most libraries offer ebooks for free now! It’s a wonderful resource and unless you have trouble with keeping your date dues straight, it’s generally free of charge! Talk to your librarian. Use her knowledge. She’s only too happy to help you find what you need. And while you’re there, check out some romance books. The more you do, the more the library will buy them, which supports all your favorite romance authors.