The Lyrical Bay

Okay, you might be wondering what on earth that title means. Truth be told, I have no idea. I found a “Random Romance Novel Title Generator” and that’s what I got. Here’s why.

I’ve been volunteering at the library for a number of weekends now, and I seem to have found my niche in the Romance section. Yes, the passionate INFJ who is not so secretly obsessed with Jane Austen and Taylor Swift music ends up in the Romance section. Not on purpose, really. That’s where I was needed during my second visit, and I just kept going back. Come on, I’m a creature of habit.

I find the busy work of sorting and alphabetizing to be soothing. I leave the outside world behind, and all my inner machinations shut off for a little while. Hours pass like minutes there amidst the stacks, and the time I’ve spent with the likes of Nora Roberts and Janet Evanovich has turned out to be rather nostalgic.

I categorize Harlequin and Silhouette publications and I’m reminded of my Great Granny. She always had a few of those paperbacks on her bedside table in the nursing home next to her TV set and lipstick tubes.

I broke a sweat organizing Danielle Steel hardcovers on their shelves yesterday. Seriously, there were so many. I’m reminded of my Nanny Jan. She had Danielle Steel hardcovers on her bookshelf too, and she always let me pull one down to pore over when me and my family went to visit her and my Papa Don.

My eyes fall on book covers featuring busty blondes and bare-chested rogues, their titles referring to some type of passion or fire or temptation. I can’t help but laugh, and I’m reminded of the house we moved into when I was 11. It was an old place with creaky wooden floors, a musty smell hanging in the air, and a shadowy closet in the basement where the water heater rumbled away. It was deliciously creepy. When we were first looking at the place, I found a box of old romance novels in the formal living room. I started digging through it while my parents were touring other parts of the house, naughty preteen girl that I was. Curious, I flipped through the pages to find the racy love scenes that were strategically placed every few chapters or so. Then I set the book back in its original spot when I heard footsteps coming closer. I did my best to appear casual, even though my heart was racing from my scandalous endeavor.

I haven’t read a proper novel from the Romance section since high school. I guess my taste has changed, or maybe I was left jaded by the Twilight series. But the memories attached leave me with a lingering smile as I follow their threads back to my girlhood, to relatives I loved and stories I craved and places I treasured.


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