I’ve been book pimping lately. One of my friends doesn’t read romance novels, but she likes historical fiction, so I’ve given her Forever Amber, Elizabeth Chadwick’s books, Diana Gabaldon, and Sharon Kay Penman’s historical fiction and mysteries. I’m trying to edge her toward romance surreptitiously. A second friend used to read romance, but now tends more toward literary fiction and thrillers, in part because her husband makes fun of romances. Grrr. J.D. Robb and Suzanne Brockmann for her, along with The Time Traveler’s Wife. A third likes mysteries with a romance component, and some romances (Amanda Quick, Judith McNaught and Christina Dodd to name a few that she likes). I’ve given her Roberta Gellis (for the romance and the mystery), P.B. Ryan, Victoria Thompson, and Carla Kelly. We’ll see how that goes. The irritating thing about this is that when we were in college, we all read romances. It irks me to have to “sneak” romance back into their reading. Did they forget that they liked it? Or did they outgrow it because romance novels aren’t suitable reading material for a teacher, an engineer and a GIS coordinator? *snort* Romances were what kept me sane while I was in law school. Without J.D. Robb, I would have exploded from stress in Con Law or CrimPro.Related to my book pimping is my own book purchasing. I’ve visited the library twice lately and gone crazy in the For Sale Room downstairs. Since hardbacks are $0.50 and paperbacks are $0.25, I can afford to splurge. I found 3 or 4 old Ruth Wind titles; a couple of hardbacks on Rosario’s wish list (rosario.blogspot.com); a hardback copy of M.M. Kaye’s The Far Pavilions (my pb is falling apart); a trade pb copy of Outlander — maybe I’ll actually get past page 15 this time!; and a bunch of older categories. I always leave the library feeling righteous when I’ve bought a bunch of books. I’m helping my local library buy more books and I’ve gotten *bargains*, which are always appreciated by my budget. Plus, I’ve added to my already-large TBR pile. Some day soon, I’ll get rid of the mattress and box spring, and just stack books up in the spare room, throwing a comforter over the stacks to make it seem like there is still a bed in there.Also semi-related to the book pimping and resulting directly from the library-buying binges, I’ve gone crazy on the categories lately, which is kind of strange, because I’m not a particular fan of category romances, although I recognize that writing a good one in that tight format is an art in and of itself. I have a couple of authors that I like (Robyn Donald and Susan Napier), but otherwise I’m not really interested, mostly because I don’t care to read about The Cowboy Prince’s Virgin Mistress’s Secret Baby. The categories that I bought at the library were published between 1988 and 1998 for the most part. I think of that stretch as sort of a golden era in categories: lots of business men, musicians, doctors and professors, fewer princes and billionaires; heroines with interesting jobs like concert pianist, special ed teacher, marine archaeologist, etc.; and it seems like there are fewer virgins, too, which is always a plus in my book.