Summer of Romance




The aesthetics of shelfies

As someone who is impartial to the calmness of a colour-coordinated bookshelf, receiving our #loveyourshelfies has been a delight! Some may malign the trend as OCD gone overboard, but Apartment Therapy published a defence in 2012.

Here are the reasons they gave:


  1. It can be practical


Mills & Boon titles obviously lend themselves to being organised by colour if grouped together by line or edition. Looking for a 1996 title? Some of our most organised book hunters may know what colour to look for.



  1. Admit it: it looks good


Proof in the below!



  1. Books are things, too


This is what we’re really interested in mapping in this project. Where does the ‘thing’ of the book end up? What edition? In what context? How did you stumble across it?



Are you organising your books by colour? Let us know!


Summer reading

A friend messaged me today to say that they hadn’t spotted any of our Summer of Romance Mills & Boon titles in the holiday houses they’d stayed in. While there was a few Mills & Boon titles here and there, what they did notice was the staggering number of copies of The Client. Two copies in one holiday house alone!


For those of you heading away over Summer (or bunkering down during a Northern Hemisphere winter), popping into new bookshops, op shops or holiday homes is a great way to get involved in our project.

If you don’t find one of our titles where you expected to, snap a shelfie and share it with us anyway! We’ll label it #no50books.


Where do books travel?

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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