I See London, I see France, I see bookshelves with romance!

Thanks to Katie Ann, we have a fun zoom-and-seek at the Crate & Barrel website: zoom in on these bookshelves and tell me what you see?

Katie says:

This just amuses me, especially that I could recognize spines by the author-font-style alone (and of authors I’ve never even read), even if I can’t read the title.  Distinctive ones like Judith McNaught and Jude Deveraux, and ones that you can barely read unless you’ve seen them a million times on your own shelves like “The Secret Swan” by Shana Abe.

There are some fonts that are hella-overused that I can spot, but only a few cover layouts specific to authors that I can identify from across the room – or from a photo taken at some distance. Katie Ann has some sharp eyes.

Are there cover art combos or author-specific fonts you can spot across the room? Glance at your bookshelves: do you remember font and layout, or color, or what? With all the attention (or lip service, take your pick) paid to branding and author identity, I’m curious what you identify visually in or on a romance novel.Heck, take a small pic (no wider than 350 px please) and link or post it in the comments, and see what people can identify from halfway across the room. Spot the romance! Woo!

Also: judging by the few titles on those shelves (which look designed to give me a million cuts on my arms and shoulders because I am klutzy and they look sharp), that is not a true romance reader. We have WAY more books than that!! I pity the person whose romance shelves were mined for those few titles!


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  1. 1
    Gina Ardito says:

    The best part about that is, only the romance novels are displayed SPINE-out! I think I have all those books in my collection.

  2. 2
    Mireya says:

    “Also: judging by the few titles on those shelves (which look designed to give me a million cuts on my arms and shoulders because I am klutzy and they look sharp), that is not a true romance reader. We have WAY more books than that!! I pity the person whose romance shelves were mined for those few titles! “

    I was thinking the same thing LOL I live in a small apartment and I only have 3 large bookcases (I share them with my reader husband).  Suffice it to say that I had to do a LOT of creative rearranging just to be able to fit neatly our respective “keepers”.  I read romance he reads fantasy and sci-fi, so you can imagine how that goes… oh, and add to that my collection of cookbooks   =)

  3. 3
    gypsydani says:

    One of those books was Virginia Henley.  I recognize that font anywhere!  And, so true,there’s no way those teeny little shelves would be enough for a romance reader or any reader for that matter.  Those are more knick knack shelves than book shelves.  I’d have to stack my books 20 high to get any decent use out of them.

  4. 4
    Suze says:

    Yep, that’s only enough shelving for emergency, on-hand books.  Like a tidier version of the stack beside my bed.  However, those shelves wouldn’t be at all useful next to my bed.

    Definitely the library of a non-genre-reader.

  5. 5
    Kat Sheridan says:

    I spotted Julia Quinn, but not sure which one. One that has a great font (and spine) right now is Judi Fennell’s In Over Her Head (actually, al her books have a custom font). I can’t find the photo right now, but as a favor to her, I deliberately abandoned that book in a box at Shakespeare and Company bookstore in Paris last year. Even standing across the street, you could spot the large font and bright blue cover.

  6. 6
    PetiteJ says:

    That photo is great!  I never would have thought to even pay attention to the books.  But it’s undeniable what the majority of them are.  Either the room dresser/photographer is a romance fan or just liked the colors.  I’m going with the former.

    I’ve got the majority of my romance novels boxed up because we don’t have the space.  Plus, I’m not yet quite ready to show them all to my fiance.  He teases me about hanging out with my friend Nora Roberts and that we stay out too late (I’m up too late reading.)  Once we’re married I’ll unleash the multitude on him.  I’ve lured him in with my esoteric and high-falutin’ canonical English novels on the bookshelves. 

    No real concern, I’ve seen his comic books- sorry, graphic novels. 

    spam word: year85.  I wish I was born in year ‘85 instead of remembering it.

  7. 7
    Brooks*belle says:

    Cool observation!

    I’m guessing some assistant just went to a used books store and stocked up in the romance section.

  8. 8
    Francesca says:

    I think the Christina Skye is Key to Forever. Above that is Julia London The Book of Scandal. Very bottom of the same shelf might be Iris Johansen Reap the Wing. Left shelf fifth from the bottom The Tenth Measure Brenda Lesley Segal. Second shelf Why Marriage Matters Evan Wolfson. On top of that Julia Quinn The Lost Duke of Wyndham.

    That`s all I`ve been able to get so far.

  9. 9
    Julia Quinn says:

    I’m there twice!  Dancing at Midnight is on the upper right, and The Lost Duke of Wyndham is on the lower left.

    This is so cool.  My mom will be so impressed!


  10. 10
    Katie Ann says:

    I’m pretty sure the orange book above the Judith McNaught one is “Reckless” by Shannon Drake (another one I’d never recognize had the book not been sitting on my TBR shelf for a long time).  Above that is SEP’s “Heaven, Texas.” 

    What’s even weirder is that I recognized these first in a lower-resolution photo in the print catalog, and then looked it up online to be able to actually read titles.

  11. 11
    Francesca says:

    I have way too much free time!

    Very top of the left shelf Candice Hern In the Thrill of the Night.

  12. 12
    Cora says:

    I have the same shelves, though mine are full from top to bottom. They’re very practical and space-saving. I have four units.

    As for books/authors I can identify, I spotted Gaelen Foley, Jude Deveraux, Lynn Kurland, Julia London, Shana Abe, Christina Skye, Judith McNaught and Candace Hern.

  13. 13
    Melissa, in New Orleans says:

    I have this shelf in a wood version.  I bought it to try to control the TBR stack next to my bed.  If you position them right you can stack a helluva lot of paperbacks on one of those!  That reminds me…I should be reading!

  14. 14
    Silverflame says:

    Third from the bottom on the right looks like Madeline Hunter’s Secrets of Surrender. 
    The Gaelyn Foley book on top left is My Wicked Marquess. 
    Others I recognize have already been mentioned. 
    Yes, I too have too much time on my hands…

  15. 15
    silverflame says:

    Plus if this were a real romance reader, this person would have ALL of the Gaelyn Foleys, or ALL of the Julia Quinns!  No one samples all those books without getting hooked on an author or two (or seven, in my case…)

  16. 16
    Brooks*belle says:

    ITA with silverflame!

    Some author’s books are like potato chips, you can have just one.  (Says the girl who inhaled Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series in less than a week.)

    Oh and I have read all of Laura Kinsale’s offerings (eagerly awaiting Lessons In French) and am currently working through the Kleypas and the Loretta Chase repertoire.

    And don’t even get me Stah-Ted on my newest addiction to collecting Heyer’s works.  I’m ill I tell you ILL!!

  17. 17
    Brooks*belle says:

    UGH.  The above should have read; “CAN’T have just one.  CAN’T!”

    I need to go to bed.  With a good book.  Currently on Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas Yum.

  18. 18
    Brooks*belle says:

    Kleypas (PERIOD) Yum (period)

    Just another reason I haven’t written my own novel yet.  Punctuation.

  19. 19
    Juls says:

    I think the top one in the second shelf is The Torn Birds. Everything else has been mentioned I think, but there is a H.C. copy of A Heart so Wild by Lindsey without the D.J. in the section or more shots and there is a nice little selection of cookbooks.
    I just don’t like the fact that some of the books where placed spine in, weird but it is a nice little set up, especially if your low on pace.

  20. 20
    teshara says:

    I cant get it to work :(

  21. 21
  22. 22
    ashley says:

    can ALWAYS recognize Moning’s highlander series.
    also, kresley cole and deveraux

  23. 23
    JenK says:

    There is no way I could fit even a sample of my books on one of those shelves. Clearly not made for an actual reader.

    I can identify a couple of authors that I’ve never read from their fonts, which is interesting. I didn’t realize I was saving that info in my head. You would think I would have a better use for those brain cells, but apparently not. Ah well…

    You can play with my Romance book shelves. I’ve uploaded a picture to my blog:


  24. 24
    Katie Ann says:

    JenK: The first one I spotted was Outlander.  But how can you have just the one and not the six others?!  :)  And I think I recognize some Kristan Higgins ones on the bottom shelf, along with Sunshine and Beauty by Robin McKinley (can’t read the text at all, just recognize the spines).  Can we tell my husband has learned to be patient as I slowly browse used book stores?

  25. 25
    Flo says:

    I was gifted a huge white wooden bookshelf when we moved into our new house (bookshelf old, house new).  I made them carry it up to the bedroom and promptly filled it with all my delicious romance novels and erotica.  Granted no one sees it but me.  But that’s OK by me. :)

  26. 26
    JenK says:

    Katie- I loved Outlander except when I hated it. It was a roller coaster I wasn’t willing to ride again. You’re pretty good with just image detection. You got all of those correct. If my camera wasn’t so cheap you could probably read a couple of the spines. :)

  27. 27
    Silverflame says:

    Brooks*belle we need to be friends.  You are speakin’ my language.  Lisa Kleypas, Julia Quinn, Laura Kinsale, Loretta Chase—all must haves on my shelf.  And they are all good for a second or third read—and believe me I have gone there!
    Seeing as how we have that much in common, perhaps I need to start reading Heyer…
    PLUS you have the indecently handsome Richard Armitage in North and South on your profile!  *Sigh*drool….

  28. 28
    veryornery says:

    The link does not work for me, but I guessed what you were talking about and found the photo.
    I have those bookcases. We have real bookcases in the hall, in each home office, and in the living room. I bought one of these “Array” to handle my TBR pile next to my bed. The nightstand ceased be sufficient for the pile a long time ago. The books were in stacks on the floor, organized by acquisition date, not interest level. This bookcase picked them up and organized them (sci-fi, romance, non-fic, “literature”, etc.) so I can look over, pluck one off the rack, read for a while, put it back and come back to it later.
    Loved it so much I got one for the cookbooks in the kitchen.

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