Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Love is in the Ear

Webmistress Judie, who is also keeper of the audio book collection, forwarded me an interesting email this morning. It seems that Recorded Books has teamed up with Harlequin and is offering new series titles each quarter. Currently available are titles from the Harlequin Romance, Presents, Historical and Silhouette lines. Series titles typically don't circulate well in our library, but we do very well with stand alones, and have some in both print and audio.
So, now it's "True Confessions of a Real Librarian" time. (And no, that is not the title of an upcoming Harlequin Desire release.) I rarely listen to audio books. I use them only to get through long drives and tedious projects. It requires a really good reader to hold my interest, and even then I will often go to the print version once the long drive or tedious project is done. And here's a deeper, darker secret: my least-favorite-listens are romances. You're shocked, I know. But let's face it, a badly written love scene can be skimmed over in print, but it's hard to start fast forwarding through a CD or MP3 while hurtling along a highway or wielding a paintbrush. There are some very good writers who don't write great love scenes, and having a nicely paced romantic suspense novel degenerate to purple prose can ruin the whole experience. At best, it's an eye roll. At worst, it's screamingly funny.
Never fear, we will still be getting some romance titles as audio books, but the budget doesn't run to many, and so the Harlequin series package will not be appearing.
This still leaves me with the burning question, patrons and readers: Is romance via earbud good or bad?

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