Katie D the YoungLibrarian is Sharing the Shallows

Is it peculiar that my earliest memory of Katie D. on Twitter is during a live tweet out of Eurovision where she found a European embassy where she could watch it as it didn’t air on any USian TV. I remember thinking two things. 1. This librarian chick totally rocks! and 2. How is it that this hugely populated country doesn’t air Eurovision!!! (I’m Australia and just a tad obsessed with the competition). Despite this being one of my first memories of Katie D, I had been following her for a while and that is because she is one of the sun-starry gems of a librarian who also reads romance. Birds of a feather!

Katie D.


Librarian/romance author (under an alter ego that I only divulge in private/in person communications)

Can you describe yourself?

My Twitter bio says “Librarian. Writer. Knitter. Kook.” Which is all true. I’d also add in award-winning cook/baker and publishing nerd.

What is your main reading medium (books, blogs, games, news, etc) and how much time do you spend reading a week?

Books, print and ebooks, are my main reading medium. I honestly have no clue how much time I spend reading because a significant part of my job is actually reading/skimming books in order to annotate them for the library service I work for, let alone all of the leisure reading I do. I would say, minimum, 30 hours per week. Continue reading

Krystal is Sharing the Shallows

So today, for someone completely different, I have one of my former students taking the shallow plunge and answering my questions. I taught Krystal in both Information Discovery as well as Information Cultures (do I remember this correctly? I am sure she can confirm this). I really enjoyed teaching both of these classes and the whole cohort was fabfabfab. So when you have a fabfabfab cohort, you have lots of standout students, and one of those standouts is Krystal… well, what can I say but that I think she is just awesome. I am so glad she agreed to take part in my shallows.

(PS If any of my other fabfabfab students are reading and want to take part in sharing my shallows – send me an email!)

Aside: Krystal mentions Cracked and as a Mad Magazine fan I concede that though Mad was much more superior in the 60s-90s, however the poor second cousin Cracked just came into its own in the internet age and is now the one that rules. Mad – why you make me so sad ūüė¶

Krystal with her booksKrystal 


Budding librarian and marketing assistant

Can you describe yourself:

“I have been an avid reader since childhood, and I’m a big fan of deep-diving into niche or specific topics and learning about all kinds of things- the Titanic wreck, norse mythology, the dogs of the Russian space program, you name it!¬†I recently completed my first degree, studying Communications and majoring in Information and Media. This year I am undertaking Honours! My experiences in life and work are strange and varied- I went to art school, was a legal secretary, worked in an auction house, paid my dues in retail, and I’m currently working two positions in an academic library, redesigning a university website as a marketing and communications assistant, and undertaking my own research as a (fingers crossed!) future academic. Unlike my mother, whose true crime reading choices have resulted in a bookshelf in our house which I refer to as “the murder library,” my preferences are the dark and fantastical.”

What is your main reading medium (books, blogs, games, news, etc) and how much time do you spend reading a week?

I would say that I read physical books for any kind of long-form reading: fiction, non-fiction, textbooks, coffee-table books, and especially art books with lots of pictures. Any type of text where I feel that the experience is enhanced by the physical act of turning a page, I tend to prefer books. For shorter things- news, journal articles, online content, I am happy to read from a screen. I would say that I spend a significant amount of time reading, though it’s only recently that I’ve come to accept that I am still an avid reader. I don’t read novels and physical books as much as I used to, due to time commitments, and I often felt like it meant I¬†wasn’t much of a reader anymore. However, in reality the opposite could not be truer- I’ve just finished a degree that relied heavily¬†on reading and literature-searching, and have read and researched constantly for the past three years. For the past year, I have been wading my way into the world of academia in my spare time, writing my own articles and undertaking my own research. I’m even about to begin a research degree. A big part of my adult reading habits was forgiving myself for not reading all of the novels I would like to, and accepting that the amount of non-fiction reading I do still count. Nowadays I’ve come to accept short story anthology books as a convenient answer to my limits on free time.

Cracked Magazine King Kong coverWhat or who is your joyful reading (guilty or otherwise) pleasure? 

A definite guilty pleasure would have to be listicle articles online. I read them to pass time on trains, or if it’s very slow at the front desk at work. If it’s a quiet day over the summer break you can almost definitely catch me on¬†cracked.com¬†reading about ten ways that my favourite tv show was actually hellish behind the scenes. I can’t even place WHY I enjoy reading them, I just find them entertaining!

Do you have a favourite storyline or plot? And do you have one you will not read?

I’m a BIG lover of tropes in all media, and I spend a lot of time reading analyses of the tropes of my favourite fiction. I love a good storyline about found family, an unconventional group of people bonded over a shared experience and love for each other.¬†However, I am not a big fan of a trope I see in media where the main¬†character is pushed away from their group, or leaves, due to a misunderstanding or betrayal, especially if I know they’ll all be reunited for the finale anyway. I guess I’m a hyper-sensitive flower, but that type of storyline stresses me out!

Why do you/don’t you use a public library?

I definitely used the public library a lot growing up. My mum and I are both big readers, and growing up a public library was a low-cost alternative to spending money we didn’t have on books. It came especially handy for me in high school, though. My school had a large library, but it was mostly dedicated to computers rather than books. I didn’t have the internet at my house until I was almost 16, and getting research done at school meant fighting it out over the computers, or settling for a fairly small collection of books. I spent a lot of after-school time at my local library, finding and printing online materials to take home, or borrowing books to complete assignments. Even now as an adult, I don’t own a printer, so if I need something printed and I’m at home rather than at uni or work, it’s down to the public library for me to print it.

Do you RUI*. If so, what?

I’m more of a “sings loudly under the influence” than a reader.

Do you have a favourite reading spot?

At home, I like to read in my front yard. We have some seats set up, and in the afternoons on a warm day, with the breeze blowing through the trees and my dog pattering around, it’s when I feel most at peace. My dog likes when I read aloud to him- he just thinks I’m giving him attention.

Toilet reading: 

    a) Never do it

    b) Only my own books/phone/tablet/ereader

    c) Anything goes Рlibrary books, friends books, cornflake packets.

    d) I refuse to answer this question on the grounds that I may incriminate myself.

    e) Other _________

I come from a long line of toilet readers. As a careless teen I destroyed many a paperback from leaving them in the bathroom for extended periods. Let’s just say, there’s a reason you won’t find Harry Potter in my bookshelf anymore. And that reason is that they’re all completely wrecked. Order of the Phoenix doesn’t even have a cover anymore.

Romance fiction of the Happily Ever After (not the love tragedy) kind Рare you a Lover or a Hater and why?

I’m always here for a gooey happy ending. I find that it’s the most delicious type of wish-fulfillment for me.

What would you give up reading for**?

I like to think I have a measured approach to reading where I don’t read so much that it interferes with my life. I honestly don’t know if I would give up reading for any selfish reasons- reading is tied so much into who I am and what I’m doing for a living. It would be hard to be a librarian, work with computers, or do just about any of the things I do without reading! Unless we’re in a situation where you have a knife to the throat of someone I love, but I don’t think you would do that… Unless…

Can a romance/crime/super/etc hero be the driver of a hatchback?

I am here for any subversive imagery! I would accept an action protagonist riding into battle apocalyptic forces on a pushbike, out of breath, if it was amusing enough!

Danielle is Sharing the Shallows

When I first started using Twitter in 2009, I found myself meeting people all the time. As the years have passed, the amount of new people I chat with have become less and less over time. Danielle is one of the more recent people that I have met online. We both read romance, we both are librarians and we both blog. Do the similarities end there? Well, read along!




Trained librarian and lover of Shakespeare, poetry, romance novels and reading. I’m a Richard III fan girl and wannabe writer. I’ve lived in marvellous Melbourne all my life.



What is your main reading medium (books, blogs, games, news, etc) and how much time do you spend reading a week?

Books but I love news as well – long form journalism is amazing when done well. I read about 4-5 hours per week, which is not enough. I need more time. Continue reading

Fiona and Bert Burless are Sharing the Shallows – a She Reads/He Reads special edition!

Fiona and Bert Burless are my in-laws. I first met them in 1994 when I started dating my husband, John. My first impression of them was that John was in a share-house with his sister and her husband at a time when most people were moving out and away from their families. What was instantly evident was John’s¬† deep affection for them. This continues to endure and has always been extended to me, too. Fi and Bert live in wine country on a farm with their son. They are involved in their community theatre, in their community school, they regularly drive long distances and aren’t afraid of snakes (they are both amused at my careful scanning of my surroundings when we go to the farm in my active avoidance of snakes. One slithered over my legs while I was sleeping back in 1998!!!!).¬† Our sons get on really well, with my younger son for years spending a good part of most of his school holidays up at their farm – because Fi and Bert are so fabulous and welcoming to all that way!¬† And yet, despite our distance (over 2 hours away), out of all our collective 7 siblings, we see Fiona the most (which is saying a lot as I live in the same ‘burb as one of my sisters and just another ‘burb over from another and I see them a lot too).¬†Fi and Bert share with John and me a similar sense of humour,¬† we are all total sticklers for fact-checking with a very low tolerance for crackpot “science” and, not surprisingly, both of them are really big readers.

Nephew and his big black dog on his verandah reading his book while overlooking a lush, green farm.Fiona and Bert Burless

Bert Burless is a propmaker for the film bizniss. Theatre and TV and Ads included.

Fifi: I am short for my weight: I am young for my age; I enjoy being a mother…mostly; I enjoy being a wife…moistly; I stick my nose into other people’s business; I stick my business into other people’s noses; I am sometimes very passionate about the things I like; I am very passionate about sometimes disliking things. I am known as Fiona, Fi, Fifi, Fifi La Boom, Lucy, Darling and Muuuuuum! Continue reading

GrowlyCub is Sharing the Shallows

GrowlyCub is another of my Twitter reading friends whom I first met when I started tweeting in 2009. Apart from her savvy romance fiction knowledge, I found GrowlyCubs tweets about her cats, life in the US and her subsequent move to the UK, always engaging. I have really felt the difference since she has moved as the timezone differences highlight why I have fewer Twitter from the UK. We still, occasionally cross paths, and I especially enjoy her photos from her historical romps and dances around grand homes.

GrowlyCub beanie with Putney's The Rake and The ReformerGrowlyCub


Translator, currently working for a localisation quality assurance company for games in London aka I play games for a living which can be way less fun than it sounds lol

Can you describe yourself?

GrowlyCub is a Jill-of-all-trades who is interested in many subjects from history, language and architecture to science like genetics and evolution, which made it hard to settle to any one career because there is always something else new and exciting going on that needs to be explored. She has two and a half degrees (Academically Trained Graduate Translator from Germany, a Master in Arts of Teaching Foreign Language and a half degree in biology/genetics from two US institutions), has worked in business, international education, taught foreign language to American college students, bred and competitively showed Maine Coon cats in CFA and TICA and worked in a museum before returning to her original career as a translator.¬† German, with Croat blood on her mother’s side, she moved to¬†the¬†US in 1998 and stayed for 17 years before relocating to London in 2015 where she had planned to settle for life until Brexit made that impossible.¬† GrowlyCub is currently evaluating countries for future permanent residency and would love for people who read these pages to tell her why or why not she should consider theirs. ūüôā Continue reading

Allyn from Bookgroup is Sharing the Shallows

In only the way that the temporal¬†ground-rush that is Christmas can¬†do, I have missed posting my friend Allyn’s shallows twice! So though belated, I introduce to you another of my fabulous bookgroup members. Allyn is always seen with a well-thumbed, doorstopper of a book in hand, wherever he goes.¬†Even though we don’t see him anywhere near as often as we used to, we still enjoy his occasional attendances and his messages back to the group through his proxies. And¬†I have to say that every library staff member across the world would also attest to the same “saddest task”. It slays us and it is something that no-one ever prepares you for in library school. It slays me even more that¬†Allyn had to do this¬†to romance novels *sob*

A room full of books with the side of Allyn's face in the corner of the photographAllyn

Can you describe yourself?

Forty-something who wants to stay thirty something. Grew up with a mother and a grandmother who were voracious readers.

IT consultant/contractor, currently stay-at-home father of two very energetic children.

What is your main reading medium (books, blogs, games, news, etc) and how much time do you spend reading a week?

A tie between news and blogs, and books. Somewhere between one and two hours a day, so about 10 hours a week, mainly because I fall asleep before I get a chance to read to much at night ..our children like dinner around 5 in the evening, and by the time they are asleep, I can barely manage to brush my teeth, let alone get lost in a book. Continue reading

Kristine (K) is Sharing the Shallows

It has only taken me until December, but I have finally worn down my work friend, Kristine (K) to write to the Shallows. I have worked with many lovely library people in my life, but none have made me laugh as much as Kristine (K). She sees the funny quirks in every library moment and you can hear her laughter peal across the library – this may not be good if you are trying to do some studious studying, but it is definitely good for staff, and especially me as it makes work an especially happy place.

Kristine (K)

Library Assistant

Can you describe yourself?

Library Assistant, amateur writer and life-long student of current beau ‚Äď a horse called El Rocco.

When I’m not researching my writing, dancing with my handsome Rocco or drawing circles for reindeer puppets and singing to toddlers at work, you’ll find me coiled around a salacious historical fiction novel. When the moon is just right, I’ll take on a good literary fiction shortly followed by several Scottish romances filled with moody lochs and emotionally snared Scotsmen. Continue reading

Marijana is Sharing the Shallows

Marijana and I live in the same city, and I suspect in the same kinda part of the city, and yet we have never met in person. Not only do the two of us share many a romance novel discussion, but I find our views align politically too, and I much admire her sharp, incisive tweets on all matters. I am sure that one day, the two of us will meet but for now we will enjoy each other’s reading recommendations.¬†Oh! And noted on Kleypas’s Wallflower series, Marijana.

Marijana's hand holding Jo Beverley's Deidre and Don JuanMarijana


Can you describe yourself?

Marijana rediscovered reading when she was on maternity leave the first time around. She started with the Russian classics, delved into the Bronte sisters (love!) and through chance discovered urban fantasy and paranormal romance. Through discussion boards and blogs, she picked her first historical romance, which was a Mary Balogh (she now knows that technically it was a regency romance).

She’s an unashamed book pusher (you HAVE to read Imprudent Lady) who loves to see what people on the train are reading (sadly, it’s rarely romance). She is also known to binge-watch TV shows, most recently Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

On twitter @__Marijana_. While not at her day job, she tries to wrangle her children and a husband, which can sometimes make work feel like a holiday. Continue reading

Anna Cowan is Sharing the Shallows

Many years ago, when Twitter was young, Anna Cowan and I would chat regularly. We would always talk romance fiction, or laugh at some bizarre world event. We didn’t have much of a chance of meeting as we live in cities that are 8 hours away from each other. And then, one day, Sarah from Smart Bitches came to a high tea in Sydney, and Anna surprised a whole lot of tweeps by hopping on a last minute flight to Sydney to join us. SHE FLEW TO SYDNEY TO MEET US!!! HOW CAN I NOT LOVE THIS WOMAN!!!! Suffice to say, we have met up on several occasions since, either when she has been in Sydney or I have been in Melbourne, and our meet ups are always, just absolutely always an absolute scream.

Anna Cowan's picture book shelvesAnna Cowan

diary of a(n accidental) housewife


Can you describe yourself?

Name: Anna Cowan, occupation: Writer, description: Anna is a writer and mum who lives in the hills outside Melbourne. She dreams and watches the weeds overgrow her garden at an alarming rate.

What is your main reading medium (books, blogs, games, news, etc) and how much time do you spend reading a week?

I suppose the very honest answer to that is: Subtitles of TV shows on my phone, and some shameful number of hours per week. 12? 15? I am an avid watcher of Korean TV, and when I say avid I really mean addicted. Why are they so good at TV? My attempt to get everyone else in my life addicted too isn’t bearing much fruit, but then no one listened when I told them to read Twilight, either. I look forward to saying I told you so. Continue reading

Rain Merton is Sharing the Shallows

Earlier this year, I had the absolute good fortune of having travelled to Montreal, Canada for a readers’ meet-up. There were many people I had already met online over the years at this meet-up but there were some I had never crossed paths with – and I need to ask…how on earth had I never met Rain!? We met on our first day walking around Montreal and spent the weekend having conversations on everything – education, plagiarism detecting software (and the detrimental effect on student outputs), Eastern Europe, women’s issues, politics, food, and, of course, romance fiction. I am so glad that I got to meet Rain.

Rain's black catRain Merton 


Can you describe yourself?

Rain Merton has moved halfway across the world thirteen years ago and never regretted it once. In those past thirteen years, to keep with the pattern, Rain has moved across Canada twice, acquired two post-graduate degrees, two children, and, most recently, two kittens. Rain writes queer romance when not teaching college students, and prefers the personal pronoun ‚Äúthey.‚ÄĚ Find them on Twitter (https://twitter.com/RainMerton), instagram (https://www.instagram.com/rainmerton/) or‚ÄĒvery sporadically‚ÄĒFB (https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100012107086345).

What is your main reading medium (books, blogs, games, news, etc) and how much time do you spend reading a week?

Blame it on too much time in grad school, but I am a greedy and fickle reader when it comes to reading for pleasure. I usually have anywhere between five and ten books and audiobooks going at the same time, because I like to read in a variety of genres. There’s always at least a couple of romances in there, because they are my constant soothing companions. I read non-fiction, too; sometimes it’s life writing, other times narrative nonfiction for topical research, other times still it’s theory (aka my grad-school love).

I used to be a big news junkie, especially in grad school, as my research area is contemporary literature and cultural studies, but these days the news are overwhelming, so I filter them through social media. Continue reading