Wait a minute, didn’t summer just get started? Yet here we are, making eye contact with October. I’m wearing a sweatshirt as I write this, the leaves are changing, and the glory of back to school supplies everywhere has given way to the spooky splendor of Halloween displays. What does this mean for romance reading, in general, you may ask? Let’s find out.
One could argue that reading romance in the autumn season is no different from reading romance at any other time of the year. One would be wrong. Reading is reading, that is true, but when the seasons shift, so does everything else. Okay, granted, for those who live in a climate that doesn’t see a lot of variation, this might not be as big a change from season to season, but I am in New York, and the difference is a big one.
Some of the basics go without saying. It’s swapping flip flops for fuzzy socks, tank tops for sweaters, hot beverages instead of cold. The fan goes off, the windows close, and if the heat isn’t on yet that’s why there are blankets, which are perfect for creating an ideal reading nest, on one’s furniture of choice. Granted, not all of that is specifically tailored to reading, but I am getting there.
Fall is the start of a shift from outside activities, to inside. Corn mazes, apple picking, and leaf-raking aside, this is the time of year where days get shorter, nights get longer, and the lure of a cozy reading nook can be too much to resist. This is also the time when the back to school mentality is ingrained in many of us, whether or not we are actively involved in education, on either side of the desk. Why should students be the only ones to line up with lists of needed books? I say this is prime time for romance readers to do the same thing. Bonus: we won’t have tests, we’re the ones who give out the grades, and we can still have lively discussions, in person or online. Purchasing or repurposing the right notebook and pen are optional, but do help in figuring out what books we’ve read, need, or want to re-read. Goodreads and other online resources are good, too, but getting g a new notebook means that we get to go into a bookstore, sooooo…..need I say more?
When it comes to the books themselves, I have always looked forward to the autumn releases. As an October baby, I have long had a tradition of buying a favorite author’s book for my birthday, and then tucking into that puppy ASAP. Leftover birthday cake makes a great reading snack. Just saying. Not hat a perfect fall read has to be a new book. Trips to the library, either alone, or with offspring, are ideal for roaming the stacks and loading up for a good long stretch, at absolutely no cost. Well, okay, there are late fees, but bring books back on time, and that’s all sorted.
For some readers, fall means Halloween, which means it’s paranormal and/or gothic time. Some bookstores kindly set out special displays of the spooky stuff, though not always romance-related, but paranormals are still ripe for the picking, especially this time of year. Autumn, as well, is the time when the holiday romances start bursting into bloom. Want a taste to whet the Christmas appetite? Keep eyes peeled (not in the horror movie sense, ew) for the latest releases, because now is when they start to show their colors.
Speaking of colors, is there any season as colorful as fall? Spring, shush. We’ll get to you later. There’s a crisp bite of coolness in the air, the leaves burst into colorful displays, and everywhere around us, we’re seeing harbringers of the holidays. Family gatherings, be it family of origin or family of choice, sweater weather, holidays built around food and community. A whole season built for coziness and getting close with those whom we love. Why there aren’t more autumn-themed romance novels, I will never know, but that can easily change.
Going back to school can mean meeting new friends on campus, which can easily lead to ore. It can mean talking to a little’s new teacher, only to find that they are single and quite compelling outside of the classroom. It can mean running into the ex you never quite got over, when you’re both back in town for Thanksgiving, or adding a little mystery to those long, cool nights, with a hint of magic in the air, or finding out there’s more than expected beneath that intriguing stranger’s mask. Sometimes, the monsters are real, and, in romance, ready for love.
The perfect autumnal romance is different for every reader. Amish lovers bringing in the harvest, and making a home? Got it. A new twist on the vampire legend (with or without sparkles) with a happily ever after? Got that, too. When it comes to romance in this quarter, it really is all treat, and no trick.
So, dear readers, I turn it now over to you. What’s your favorite part about romance reading at this time of year? Any autumn-set romances to recommend? pull up a chair in the comment section, and tell us all about it. There’s room for everybody at this table.