Free Range Earthling

Building a Fun and Fulfilling Retirement Life

Retirement Free Time, Rabbit Holes, and Romance Novels – It’s About to Get Weird

With all my retirement free time these days, I’m certainly susceptible to a good rabbit hole.

Here’s one definition of a rabbit hole from the Urban Dictionary –

To go down a never ending tunnel with many twists and turns on the internet, never truly arriving at a final destinationyet just finding more tunnels. Clicking one link, then finding another on that page, then clicking another link on that page, which gives you the idea to search for something, and the process repeats.

Now I love a good rabbit hole, but to be honest, it’s not often that I go very deep. It’s shocking to no one that I’m a bit of an arrogant know-it-all, so 30 minutes or so down a typical Internet time suck I usually start to run into things I already know, I get bored, and bail.

So, it was really surprising to me a few days ago when I stumbled into a new rabbit hole and went deep. Like four hours of my evening gone, deep. What I stumbled into was a show on where a bunch of women sit around and talk about books.

Odd, I know, but hear me out.

They have a series of 30-45 minute podcasts on called AUDicted. They are free to listen to and it is really just a bunch of editors from Audible who go into a recording booth and talk about books until someone kicks them out. For whatever reason, almost all of the editors are really smart women and listening to them talk about books is somehow fascinating to me.

These people live and breathe books and quickly wander into areas I know nothing about, which I like! I love it when I stumble into something I know nothing about. I realized that I talk about books almost exclusively with my male friends so to hear what the ladies are talking about is a revelation!

My favorite episode so far is where they dedicated one entire show to talking about how various genres are defined. Wait… we’re talking about books AND taxonomies?? I am so in!

Turns out there are SO many sub-genres of books that I knew nothing about. But the genre they discussed the most, and the genre I knew the least about was, of course, romance novels.

I know that romance novels are a huge and popular industry, but I had no idea how super weird they get! You’ll see what I’m talking about.

There are people who only read novels set in the Regency Period (1811 – 1820) and they are really into carriage sex. Romance genres just go on and on. It’s like porn genres, if you can think of it, someone is already making porn about it. Same for Romance. They have entire catalogs just for romance books set in pre-historic times, fantasy lands, ancient China, Regency, Edwardian, Vikings, Civil War, WWI and II, 60’s, and sci-fi romance.

And from there it just gets bizarre: Amish romance, Amish Vampire romance, NASCAR romance, Gargoyle romance, caveman romance, lots of Alien abduction romance, inter-species love, paranormal pregnancies, studly centaurs, motorcycle gang romance, and no end to books about mermen and mermaids. These ladies are obsessed with merman and mermaid sex. WTF.

I never intended to listen to an hour-long show of ladies talking about romance novels. But it was like a slow-motion car crash, I was fascinated and couldn’t look away knowing that I would regret it later. I kept asking myself, “can this get any stranger?” And the answer was always, “yes, yes it can.”

Well done ladies, well done.

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