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#loveyourshelfie: Mills & Boon books and how to find them


Fletcher, L and McAlister, J and Temple, KR and Williams, K, #loveyourshelfie: Mills & Boon books and how to find them, Memoires du livre/Studies in Book Culture, 11, (1) pp. 1-33. ISSN 1920-602X (2019) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright 2020 Groupe de recherches et d’études sur le livre au Québe. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

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DOI: doi:10.7202/1066945ar


"Mills & Boon" has become shorthand for "trashy" entertainment, yet little is known about how the books are treated materially in their circulation. This article reports on a project that followed the material lives and afterlives of 50 Australian-authored novels published by Harlequin Mills & Boon between 1996 and 2016. We analyze visual and textual data about these books collected via social media to explore uses and values attached to category romance. First, we show that the books’ ongoing circulation is due both to their publishers’ practices, and to the behaviours of genre insiders. Second, we note that most participants demonstrated "genre competence" and genre-based sociality, confirming the highly networked nature of the romance "genre world." Third, we find that category romance is routinely shelved apart from other books, explicitly marking them as distinctive. Finally, we argue that "shelfies" of romance collections undercut notions of trash by reframing them as treasure.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Popular romance fiction, shelfies, Harlequin, Mills & Boon, social media
Research Division:Language, Communication and Culture
Research Group:Literary studies
Research Field:Popular and genre literature
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Communication
Objective Field:Literature
UTAS Author:Fletcher, L (Professor Lisa Fletcher)
UTAS Author:McAlister, J (Dr Jodi McAlister)
UTAS Author:Temple, KR (Mr Kurt Temple)
UTAS Author:Williams, K (Dr Kathleen Williams)
ID Code:137707
Year Published:2019
Deposited By:Office of the School of Humanities
Deposited On:2020-02-27
Last Modified:2020-03-23
Downloads:30 View Download Statistics

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