We’re one week into the Summer of Romance and so far we’ve received shelfies of our titles in bedside reading piles, in libraries, on personal bookshelves, in bookshops and in a recycling shop.

Mills and Boons turn up everywhere: in holiday houses, on train seats, on the towels of those lying besides us at the beach (except in Tasmania, but I digress).  We encounter Mills & Boon all the time, whether or not we’re active readers.

When I sit next to someone on a plane or on public transport, I always steal a peek at what they’re reading, be it on a Kindle or in paperback form. I’m now lucky enough to have a job where my colleagues’ offices are lined with books—my book voyeur takes over every time I sit in a meeting. I take notice of the titles and authors, but also pay attention to how the books are categorised. Do they colour coordinate? Arrange by genre, then alphabetize? Are they like me and have a completely impenetrable system yet know where each book belongs?

One of the things that really excites me about this project (they are many!), is tracking such a well-known type of book, which all of us would have a memory of coming across, whether or not we’ve even read a romance novel. While the uninitiated may only see a Mills & Boon on a seat next to them, the avid collector may have a complex system that the untrained eye couldn’t make sense of. In this project we’re interested in all ways of finding those fifty books.

So where will you find a title?

– Kathleen

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