Romance Novels and Longevity

Today as I was leaving the grocery store I saw a woman standing outside a car reading a Danielle Steele novel. It was an older paperback novel and one that she may have picked up at a yard sale or thrift store, or maybe have scrounged from her to-be-read pile. As I walked past her, it occurred to me. Romance novels have a long life, far longer than we may think.
I’ve been a book collector my whole life and some of the ones I love are under my bed or in the various bookcases in my house. I have Joanna Lindsay books that feature Fabio on the cover, Jude Deveraux series that I’ll never part with and Linda Howard series that I spent many a month trying to complete back when I had to call, travel across the state and order books by mail. Believe me, those books are Keepers.
But I find myself collecting obscure books as well. I’m pretty well known by my friends as the one who loves romance books from the turn of the century (the twentieth century). I gingerly turn the pages in these books and wonder at the lives of the writers who toiled away when they had to write long hand or struggle with those newfangled things called typewriters. Yet, here I am, reading the book that was originally published in 1898 and loving the journey the hero and heroine are on.
As a writer, I’ve had a goal of writing a story that someone will want to read. I also want to write stories that someone may find in a second hand store or at a yard sale, buy it because the title or cover catches their eye and they find themselves enjoying the hero and heroine’s journey. What more could an author wish for?

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