As a relative newbie to the genre of romance, I thank the universe daily for the website Smart Bitches, Trashy Books (SB-TB). Co-founded by Sarah Wendell in 2005, the site is a vibrant community hub for veteran and novice romance readers alike. As an organization, they strive to:
- Connect romance fans to the books they want to read — and even more books after that.
- Connect romance fans to each other — no romance fan should be lonely!
- Most importantly, we welcome everyone with a high level of irreverent, silly, and smart discussions about all the topics romance fans enjoy.
From my experience, SB-TB achieves these goals and then some. Of particular note is their blog, which functions as a crowdsourced RA platform where readers can post queries about obscure books and series they’re trying to locate. Users are exceptionally helpful with their feedback. For example, a recent post entitled “looking for a Harlequin about a librarian hero and a mute veteran” received 23 enthusiastic responses. SB-TB also posts regular book reviews that highlight new releases, and produces a fun podcast where Sarah Wendell chats with authors, librarians and readers about all things romance.
As a librarian, I use SB-TB as a wonderful tool to keep me up-to-date on the romance genre. If you haven’t checked out the website yet, please do! They’ll welcome you with open arms.
I first stumbled across SB-TB while listening to an excellent episode of the NPR podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour called “The Romance Novel Special.” To my delight Sarah Wendell was among the guests, and her enthusiasm for the romance genre was infectious. If you listen to the episode, her encyclopedic knowledge of romance titles will astound you. She truly is a readers’ advisory ninja!
Chloe Humphreys is a newly minted librarian working at Vancouver Public Library.