Do you have emergency romance novels on hand? Not romance novels starring warriors or first responders (though those are great, too) or those that contain heart-pounding action or suspense (also awesome) but those romance novels you keep on hand for when you absolutely need a romance novel. think that’s overstating it a little? Read on, and you may change your mind.
What constitutes a romance novel emergency? That can be a lot of tings. In our family, impromptu hospital visits are not out of the realm of possibility, and, so, it’s in everybody’s best interests to keep the absolute essentials on hand. Some things are obvious – lists of medications, doctor’s contact information, tracking of symptoms, etc, and items for the loved ones accompanying the patient. Bottles of water, sweaters for cold waiting rooms, chargers for electronics, and, as it turns out in our family, romance novels.
Other sorts of reading material can come along, of course, and, sometimes, it does. For me, though, it’s that promise of romance that gives me exactly the stability I need when nerves are understandably frayed already, as well as a compelling story, and, often, a whole other time and place than the one I’m living in as I read.
So, how does a person pick what romance novel they’re going to put in the role of the emergency read? In this modern age, the electronic option is easy and convenient. For most of us, our phones are constant companions, and we are only a single click away from getting a new book to read, often for no cost whatsoever.
Remember those chargers, though? If there isn’t a charger on hand, there is going to come a time when the electronic option is, well, no longer an option. This is where good old paper. whether hardcover, or paperback, can save the day. If we find ourselves in the wild, and need something to read, we can usually nip into a library, bookstore, newsstand, or even drugstore or supermarket.
What, though, if we don’t want to have to think about something as possibly stressful as picking out a new book to read, while we’re already stressed, from tumultuous circumstances? This is where planning comes in handy. picking out a book in advance, and stashing it in a go bag, for exactly this sort of circumstance, has become an essential part of such preparation.
Since our family is playing a long game in finding our next apartment, that means the vast majority (aka almost all) of our books are currently in storage. This is usually okay, because we have a decent library system, and my Kindle and Kindle app are chockablock full of romance novels I absolutely do want to read. Still, that leaves me with one more decision to make.
Do I want to read the hot new historical everybody is talking about? Revisit a favorite inspirational? Try a fun contemporary I’ve never found the time to delve into? Ooh, how about paranormal? Hey, steampunk. I haven’t read a great steampunk in…well, actually, just last week. I could do with another steampunk. Do I want to keep on with that series I started, or discover a whole new world? What about some gripping romantic suspense? Maybe some YA? Right now, my Kindle has over 400 different choices, and I don’t want to have to delve into that, when all I want is distraction and relaxation.
Back to that storage unit. The last time we went into the unit, we had a plan, of what to nab, and that was that. Buuuuut…then I saw the dump. No, no, not that kind of dump. That would be gross. I mean the kind of dump that bookstores use to display new paperbacks. Once upon a time, I worked in a bookstore (a couple of them, actually) and one of the perks of that was that I could take home cardboard dumps when we were done with them. Instant book storage, no cost, boom.
I grabbed one more thing, from that dump, on my way out of the unit. By Love Unveiled, by Deborah Martin, aka Sabrina Jeffries. I know this author is going to deliver a quality historical romance, and the Restoration setting is one of my absolute favorites, so the odds that I am going to like this book are pretty darned high. There’s also the fact that I flat out wanted to hold a paperback, and one without a library coating on the cover. Sometimes, I want a book that is my own, and that’s that.
What’s the big problem with having an emergency read, to set aside for a rainy or stress day? The waiting. before we started our moving journey, I had set aside some special books, for when I was feeling very, very bad, or had done something very, very good. I bet you can guess what happened. I have no idea where they are packed. That’s annoying, because I really want to read them, but, on the other hand, I am going to have one heck of a pleasant surprise when we unpack some random box. I think I need a romance novel to get me through that kind of suspense. Any suggestions?
So, dear readers, I turn it now over to you. Have you ever set a special novel aside for some future event? how does stress-reading compare to regular reading? Do you have any idea where I packed Wings of Desire, the one historical romance Penelope Williamson wrote under her Elizabeth Lambert name? Pull up a chair in the comments section, and tell us all about it. There’s room for everybody at this table.