Last week I was walking past a used bookstore that had a number of books displayed on a shelf outside the store. One of the books – The Library by Sarah Stewart – caught my eye. I spent over 10 minutes thumbing through this children’s book (illustrated by David Small) and ultimately bought it. It’s now sitting on my coffee table where I can look at – and smile at – the cover featuring a young girl with her nose in a book dragging a wagon filled with books behind her.
First published in 1995 (and currently targeted for children ages 5-9), it tells the tale of Elizabeth Brown who entered the world, “skinny, nearsighted, and shy.” Elizabeth didn’t like to play with dolls or do the other things little girls usually did. Instead, she loved to read; clearly a girl after my own heart. In fact, Elizabeth does a lot of the things that I did as a young girl including reading in bed with a flashlight under the covers and starting her own lending library.
Each day Elizabeth walks into town in search of only one thing:
“She didn’t want potato chips,
She didn’t want new clothes.
She went straight to the bookstore,
“May I have one of those?””
Reading the tale of Elizabeth Brown, and looking at David Small’s delightful illustrations, has me longing for romance heroines who read. In a post here about heroines and hobbies over two years ago I mentioned that some of Jayne Ann Krentz’s heroines love to read. But lately I haven’t come across many romances in which the heroines love to read.
One that comes to mind is Helen Brenna’s 2011 release, Redemption at Mirabelle. In my B review at AAR I noted that one of the highlights of the book for me is the heroine’s conversion to being a romance reader. When the heroine Marin first arrived at Mirabelle Island to recover from a series of personal setbacks, her sister gave her a romance novel and suggested that she read it. Marin was scornful at first but was quickly enthralled by the romance. For the rest of the book, in addition to finding a wonderful hero, she spent a lot of time reading romances. This was fun for me and I’d love to read some more romances featuring readers – either heroines or heroes.
Do you have any good suggestions? And even better, can you think of any contemporary romances in which the heroine reads e-books on a tablet or e-book reader, or listens to audiobooks?