My local library is a little bitty thing, stocking less than 8,000 books. Thankfully, it’s part of a bigger network, so I can go on-line and choose whatever book I want from their selection and it’ll be delivered to my local branch.
But I digress. A few days ago, I stood browsing the shelves in my little local library while my kids selected some books for themselves, and I saw something that made me pause and grin.
Let me offer a smidgeon of background first. In the far corner, the shelves are attached directly to the wall, molded perfectly to the ninety degree angle of said corner. On one side of this corner, general fiction and romance paperbacks are shelves, alphabetically, by the author’s last name. On the other side of the corner are the sci-fi and mysteries. I’m attracted the the sci-fi/mystery shelves, constantly on the look-out for new and exciting stuff. I usually ignore the general fiction and romance because I assume there will be nothing there worth my time and attention. I’m not saying that it’s all garbage, just that it doesn’t appeal to me in the least. In fact, I’d usually rather read technical manuals than bury my nose in a romance. I don’t mean to offend anyone, that’s just me.
I have no clue why my eyes strayed from all that delicious sci-fi, but I found myself browsing the romance shelves. One cover caught my attention, so I (gasp) picked it up. I flipped it over, read the back, and grimaced in distaste, quickly re-shelving it before anyone saw me with a tacky romance novel in my hand. As I shelved the book, I happened to glance down at the bottom shelf. And a name caught my attention: Susan May Warren.
I stared at the name for several seconds before I realized that, not only did I recognize the name, I’d met the author in Dallas last September at the ACFW Conference. She’s a Christian, a funny lady, and a romance writer. My brain fought with me for several seconds as I tried to figure out how Ms. Warren’s book had ended up with all the other trashy romances, but I couldn’t help but grin. Her book was face out, drawing attention away from the other stuff. The cover didn’t have a scantily clad female or a bare-chested Hercules or a melting ice cream cone with a juicy cherry on top. It had a cheery coffee mug atop a stack of books or papers or something. It looked innocuous. It looked completely out of place. It stuck out like a hot pink flower in a sea of sand.
Truth be told, I can’t remember the title of the book. I just felt an overwhelming sense of satisfaction and joy that a Christian book, a lovely jewel, sat amongst all the almost-porn and bodice-rippers. Way to go, Susan! It’s one thing to know that my local library carries Christian fiction. But it’s downright cool to see one sitting on the shelf, drawing attention away from the unreadable stuff. (FYI: I went on-line and found the book. It’s called Happily Ever After.)
I probably should have checked the book out and given the romance genre a shot, but since I didn’t, it’s ready for someone else to grab. Maybe Ms. Warren will impact someone else’s life with her morality-filled words. I pray it will be so.