#Rombklove

#RomBkLove May 2019, Day 8: Second Chance

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Jen Twimom has been reading romance for a long time and started blogging at That’s What I’m Talking About almost a decade ago. She loves romances about second chances, people finding love when they thought it was all over. Read her rec post at:

Second Chance

Day 8's Tweet Archive

 

How to participate?

Readers: Respond to the prompts! Share your favorite books, characters, scenes, or thoughts on tropes.  Make sure to include the #RomBkLove hashtag with your tweet! If you have read and loved a book by LGBTQIA+, Disabled, and/or  Authors of Color that fits the prompt please, please mention it.  You might think everyone has heard of the book but I can guarantee you there are lots of people who still need to hear about it.  

Authors: You are welcome to participate too, as fellow readers. The tag is not meant for self-promotion. Boost fellow authors, celebrate the community but do so in a way that respect reader spaces. Respect the conversation.   Join in to rec the books you love that fit the theme/trope/prompt. Yes, you can say “I wrote a book with this trope” but please don’t spam the hashtag with generic promo. 

For a list of all of these month's prompts and archives go to: https://www.anacoqui.com/2019/04/rombklove-may-2019-celebrating-inclusive-romance.html


#RomBkLove May 2019, Day 7: Neighbors

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Suzanne of Love in Panels is bringing us a list chock-full of sexy neighbors.  Love in Panels is group blog that covers both queer comics with romantic elements and romance novels.  

Neighbors

Tweet Archive

 

How to participate?

Readers: Respond to the prompts! Share your favorite books, characters, scenes, or thoughts on tropes.  Make sure to include the #RomBkLove hashtag with your tweet! If you have read and loved a book by LGBTQIA+, Disabled, and/or  Authors of Color that fits the prompt please, please mention it.  You might think everyone has heard of the book but I can guarantee you there are lots of people who still need to hear about it.  

Authors: You are welcome to participate too, as fellow readers. The tag is not meant for self-promotion. Boost fellow authors, celebrate the community but do so in a way that respect reader spaces. Respect the conversation.   Join in to rec the books you love that fit the theme/trope/prompt. Yes, you can say “I wrote a book with this trope” but please don’t spam the hashtag with generic promo. 

For a list of all of these month's prompts and archives go to: https://www.anacoqui.com/2019/04/rombklove-may-2019-celebrating-inclusive-romance.html


#RomBkLove May 2019, Day 6: Meet-Disasters

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Aarya Marsden is an Indian-American college student, long-time romance reader, Psy-Changeling and Hidden Legacy fanatic and brand-new reviewer at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books.  Her love for Meet-Disasters, when meet-cutes go wrong is clear in this fabulous rec list.

 

Meet-Disasters

Day 6 Tweet Archive

 

How to participate?

Readers: Respond to the prompts! Share your favorite books, characters, scenes, or thoughts on tropes.  Make sure to include the #RomBkLove hashtag with your tweet! If you have read and loved a book by LGBTQIA+, Disabled, and/or  Authors of Color that fits the prompt please, please mention it.  You might think everyone has heard of the book but I can guarantee you there are lots of people who still need to hear about it.  

Authors: You are welcome to participate too, as fellow readers. The tag is not meant for self-promotion. Boost fellow authors, celebrate the community but do so in a way that respect reader spaces. Respect the conversation.   Join in to rec the books you love that fit the theme/trope/prompt. Yes, you can say “I wrote a book with this trope” but please don’t spam the hashtag with generic promo. 

For a list of all of these month's prompts and archives go to: https://www.anacoqui.com/2019/04/rombklove-may-2019-celebrating-inclusive-romance.html


#RomBkLove May 2019, Day 5: Romance for Beginners

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Bree is a blogger, bookstagrammer and  former booktuber  who loves introducing folks to romance. Check out her rec list:

Romance for Beginners

                                                                       Tweet Archive of Day 5

 

Everyone has opinions about where to start & who to read. 

What books are on your rec list for those new to the genre?

 

 

 

 

How to participate?

Readers: Respond to the prompts! Share your favorite books, characters, scenes, or thoughts on tropes.  Make sure to include the #RomBkLove hashtag with your tweet! If you have read and loved a book by LGBTQIA+, Disabled, and/or  Authors of Color that fits the prompt please, please mention it.  You might think everyone has heard of the book but I can guarantee you there are lots of people who still need to hear about it.  

Authors: You are welcome to participate too, as fellow readers. The tag is not meant for self-promotion. Boost fellow authors, celebrate the community but do so in a way that respect reader spaces. Respect the conversation.   Join in to rec the books you love that fit the theme/trope/prompt. Yes, you can say “I wrote a book with this trope” but please don’t spam the hashtag with generic promo. 

For a list of all of these month's prompts and archives go to: https://www.anacoqui.com/2019/04/rombklove-may-2019-celebrating-inclusive-romance.html


#RomBkLove May 2019, Day 4: Creatives

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Rachel Garcia is a latinx romance reader and champion of LGBTQIA+ romance. She has compiled a list of her favorite Creative MC's.

 

Creatives: Artistic Innovators

Archive of Tweets for Day 4

 

Rachel's Post is up!

How to participate?

Readers: Respond to the prompts! Share your favorite books, characters, scenes, or thoughts on tropes.  Make sure to include the #RomBkLove hashtag with your tweet! If you have read and loved a book by LGBTQIA+, Disabled, and/or  Authors of Color that fits the prompt please, please mention it.  You might think everyone has heard of the book but I can guarantee you there are lots of people who still need to hear about it.  

Authors: You are welcome to participate too, as fellow readers. The tag is not meant for self-promotion. Boost fellow authors, celebrate the community but do so in a way that respect reader spaces. Respect the conversation.   Join in to rec the books you love that fit the theme/trope/prompt. Yes, you can say “I wrote a book with this trope” but please don’t spam the hashtag with generic promo. 

For a list of all of these month's prompts and archives go to: https://www.anacoqui.com/2019/04/rombklove-may-2019-celebrating-inclusive-romance.html


#RomBkLove May 2019, Day 3: Magic and Monsters

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Elisabeth Lane is long-time romance reader & reviewer. She has also recently started a booktube channel, where you can follow her adventures in not-buying books and reading through her TBR.  She is a huge fan of table-top role-playing games, and she knew her husband would be a keeper when he gifted her with an overpowered sword.  I am sure this immersion in the world of magic and monster-slaying inspired her choice of topic! 

 

Magic and Monsters

What are your favorite paranormal romance and urban fantasy series? And what are your favorite lesser-known books, series and sub-genres featuring magic and monsters? 

 

Day 3 Tweet Archive

 

How to participate?

Readers: Respond to the prompts! Share your favorite books, characters, scenes, or thoughts on tropes.  Make sure to include the #RomBkLove hashtag with your tweet! If you have read and loved a book by LGBTQIA+, Disabled, and/or  Authors of Color that fits the prompt please, please mention it.  You might think everyone has heard of the book but I can guarantee you there are lots of people who still need to hear about it.  

Authors: You are welcome to participate too, as fellow readers. The tag is not meant for self-promotion. Boost fellow authors, celebrate the community but do so in a way that respect reader spaces. Respect the conversation.   Join in to rec the books you love that fit the theme/trope/prompt. Yes, you can say “I wrote a book with this trope” but please don’t spam the hashtag with generic promo. 

For a list of all of these month's prompts and archives go to: https://www.anacoqui.com/2019/04/rombklove-may-2019-celebrating-inclusive-romance.html


#RomBkLove May 2019, Day 2: People of Color in History

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Jessica Pryde, wears so many hats they are fabulous. Jess is professional librarian, Book Riot's Kissing Books Newsletter's writer and half of the When in Romance Podcast team. She took a some time off her busy schedule to share with us her rec list of her favorite characters of color in Romance!

Rombklove Day 2: People of Color in Historical Romance

Day 2 Tweet Archive

RomBkLove POC collage

 

 

 

How to participate?

Readers: Respond to the prompts! Share your favorite books, characters, scenes, or thoughts on tropes.  Make sure to include the #RomBkLove hashtag with your tweet! If you have read and loved a book by LGBTQIA+, Disabled, and/or  Authors of Color that fits the prompt please, please mention it.  You might think everyone has heard of the book but I can guarantee you there are lots of people who still need to hear about it.  

Authors: You are welcome to participate too, as fellow readers. The tag is not meant for self-promotion. Boost fellow authors, celebrate the community but do so in a way that respect reader spaces. Respect the conversation.   Join in to rec the books you love that fit the theme/trope/prompt. Yes, you can say “I wrote a book with this trope” but please don’t spam the hashtag with generic promo. 

For a list of all of these month's prompts and archives go to: https://www.anacoqui.com/2019/04/rombklove-may-2019-celebrating-inclusive-romance.html


#RomBkLove May 2019, Day 1: Exceptions

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What are your exceptions to the rule?  Books that you love even when the trope is one you usually hate?  The books that are all wrong for you but still wow you?

We all have tropes or romance conventions that we can’t stand. However every once in a while either because you love an author or because you didn’t read the blurb closely enough you ended up reading a book that you usually wouldn’t and  somehow you end up loving it anyway.  

Perv cover  shirtless man flexing arms upI am a heroinecentric reader. When I read romance I am most focused on the women, most invested in their HEAs, their triumphs, the relationships they craft and communities they build. Because I love heroines so much, I very rarely pick up book that is exclusively in the Hero POV. But I also love Perv by Dakota Gray (m/f, contemporary/erotic romance, AOC, Black Woman / White Man). Robyn the heroine has two POV chapters in the whole filthy book yet she shines. I loved their romance. Dakota Gray (who also writes as Mel/Melissa Blue), tells a super hot enemies to lovers romance that never loses sight of its heroine.  (CW:Grief, Past trauma) Thristy cover  shirtless latino man with tatoos looking down

Mia Hopkins’s Thirsty (m/f, contemporary/erotic romance, AOC, Latinx MCs) is another exception to my rule. Thirsty is the story of Sal, an ex-con trying to stay away from gang life and rebuild his life after five years in prison. His story is so compelling both for his determination and his certainty about not being good enough for Vanessa. I couldn’t help but root for him, to want him to succeed and most all to see how much Vanessa cares for him. Although I was initially quite hesitant to read anything featuring Latinx gang-members (who needs that stereotype?), this is a such remarkable story that I can’t do anything other wish more readers make an exception and read it!  I am excited to read Thrashed, which features Sal’s ex-con brother Eddie and chef at the restaurant he is working at. Fingers-crossed that their story is just as compelling, especially since as a workplace romance, a trope I often avoid! (CW: Guns, Gangs, Crime)
Rafe cover  beared redheaded man side profile
I really struggle to enjoy workplace romances, especially if there is a boss/employee dynamic. The
exception to that rule are romances that acknowledge the dangerous power differentials and address it openly. In Rebekah Weatherspoon’s Rafe (m/f, contemporary romance, AOC, Black Woman / White Man), both Rafe and Sloan are very careful about how they acknowledge their mutual attraction and set firm boundaries about when and where they can express and act on that attraction. Instead of feeling tense and stressed like I do when I read most boss/employee romance, I felt comforted by their interactions, able to sink into their gentle comforting romance. (CW: Controlling ex, violent outburst).

Gentleman'sposition cover  shirtless muscled redheaded manKJ Charles’s  A Gentleman’s Position (m/m, historical romance, White MCs) is anything but comforting, instead is a tense but fabulous read.  The central conflict is the power imbalance between David a valet in service to an aristocrat, Richard.  In it Charles acknowledges all the things that can make boss/employee romances so difficult for me to read, because they are the very things that make Richard so resist the relationship and the characters systematically address the issues. The book is full of suspense, danger and has supremely satisfying resolution. (CW: Homophobia). And if you didn't know it, Charles has her first f/f romance, Proper English out next week, it is fabulous in every way, no exceptions!

Caroline's heartHad I not read and adored Peter Darling by Austin Chant I might have never read Caroline’s Heart (Trans m/f, historical/fantasy romance, White MCs) because although I enjoy historical/fantasy mash-ups I tend to avoid reading westerns.  I’m very glad I made the exception because this surprising book, a romance between a grief-stricken prickly witch, Cecily obsessed with resurrecting her lost love, Caroline and Roy a simple, lonely cowboy, whose life is upended by how drawn he is drawn to her despite her dangerous power. (CW: Guns, gun violence, mentions of past trauma: transphobia, family estrangement, grief.)

I am not a fan of Millionaires, my first instinct is to turn the opposite direction whenever a blurb or title Smoke Signals  video game style cartoon cover  Green dragon on a tower and manmakes that central as I prefer to read stories of working class and middle class folks. However I have a couple of exceptions. In the first, the hero is a dragon. Come on now, hoarding is their primary occupation and dragons are awesome.  In Meredith Katz’s, Smoke Signals, (m/m, PNR, White MCs) the dragon in question, actually likes to collect games and when he first learns about downloadable computer games his world is turned upside down and he uses his considerable wealth to convince a major game developer to send him a tech to help him download all their games. Through the book Mike and Zali'thurg get to know each other, and find a way to bridge the differences of expectations between their species and figure out how to have healthy boundaries and lovingly relationship despite their differences.

American fairytale cover  young afro-latinoman in white henleyAnother exception is Adriana Herrera’s upcoming, American Fairytale (m/m, contemporary, AOC, Latinx/White and Latinx/Afro-Caribbean MCs), because Tom’s wealth, and how it both facilitates and complicates his relationship with Milo is central to the romance.  Herrera’s is gifted at addressing privilege and the intersecting aspects of their identities and how it plays into how people respond and react.  I loved how Milo had to struggle to feel comfortable around Tom’s wealth and his struggle to get Tom to understand the lines he draws. (CW: Past trauma (Domestic Violence)),

Alisha Rai a gentleman in the street woman in red strapless dress  being looked at by man in tuxedoBut my biggest exception to my no-millionaires rule, is a female billionaire.  Alisha Rai’s Akira in Gentleman in the Street (m/f bi, contemporary erotic romance, AOC, Asian Woman/White Man) is one of my favorite heroines. In a world full of alpha-hole billionaires, Akira stands out. She is driven, demanding, angry and more than simply prickly. She knows what she wants and Jacob has to do some serious catching up if he wants a shot at her. I love her to pieces and I also love Rhi, the heroine of Rai’s upcoming The Right Swipe, (m/f, contemporary, AOC, Black Woman / Samoan man). Rhi’s is a black woman in the tech field, who has had painful experiences with workplace harassment and racism. Every dollar she has made, and every corporate success is big F-U to all those who have sought to tear her down.  (CW: Workplace Harassment, Past experiences with racism and sexism).

Night Hawk by beverly jenkins shirtless black man in duster and cowboy hatSometimes it isn’t just a single book or character that I make exceptions for. Sometimes an author just establishes a level of trust where I can assume that I will love pretty much everything they write even when the tropes are all wrong for me.  Ms. Beverly Jenkins is that kind of author for me. So many of her books break my rules. I shouldn’t love her books the way I do. Most of her historicals are westerns, they feature tropes like prisoner/lawman (NightHawk), secret baby (Destiny’s Surrender), cowboys (Breathless),  marriage of convenience (Tempest), and there are even books with evil exes (Forbidden) that are typically in my no-go list and yet every single one I read I love more than the last!

Which books or authors have earned your exceptions? Which books do you love even when they break all your rules?

 

Tweet Archive of Day 1

 

 

How to participate?

Readers: Respond to the prompts! Share your favorite books, characters, scenes, or thoughts on tropes.  Make sure to include the #RomBkLove hashtag with your tweet! If you have read and loved a book by LGBTQIA+, Disabled, and/or  Authors of Color that fits the prompt please, please mention it.  You might think everyone has heard of the book but I can guarantee you there are lots of people who still need to hear about it.  

Authors: You are welcome to participate too, as fellow readers. The tag is not meant for self-promotion. Boost fellow authors, celebrate the community but do so in a way that respect reader spaces. Respect the conversation.   Join in to rec the books you love that fit the theme/trope/prompt. Yes, you can say “I wrote a book with this trope” but please don’t spam the hashtag with generic promo. 

For a list of all of these month's prompts and archives go to: https://www.anacoqui.com/2019/04/rombklove-may-2019-celebrating-inclusive-romance.html

 


#Rombklove May 2019: Celebrating Inclusive Romance

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Three years!  Three years and every year I feel like we need it more that ever.

#RomBkLove  is meant to give all of romancelandia an opportunity to talk about romance, build up the community, and create new relationships between readers through the sharing recs about books they love. We want to continue to celebrate inclusive romance, and lift up the work of Disabled, LGBTQIA+ authors &  authors of color, particular Black authors who are consistently ignored by romance institutions.  #RomBkLove has two pieces, the  inclusive rec posts created by the #RomBkLove Team and the twitter/instagram discussions created by all readers and we hope you enjoy them both!

This year we are welcoming 18 new bloggers/reader/reviewers to the #RomBkLove team of 32!  You can follow the team on twitter through the RomBkLove 2019 Team twitter list. I am incredibly thankful to this team and I hope you are looking forward to their inclusive rec posts as I am.

How to participate?

Readers: Respond to the prompts! Share your favorite books, characters, scenes, or thoughts on tropes.  Make sure to include the #RomBkLove hashtag with your tweet! If you have read and loved a book by LGBTQIA+, Disabled, and/or  Authors of Color that fits the prompt please, please mention it.  You might think everyone has heard of the book but I can guarantee you there are lots of people who still need to hear about it.  

Authors: You are welcome to participate too, as fellow readers. The tag is not meant for self-promotion. Boost fellow authors, celebrate the community but do so in a way that respect reader spaces. Respect the conversation.   Join in to rec the books you love that fit the theme/trope/prompt. Yes, you can say “I wrote a book with this trope” but please don’t spam the hashtag with generic promo. 

 

THE PROMPTS:

Prompt List May2019Rombklove


Day 1: Exceptions by Ana @AnaCoqui, Day 1 Tweet Archive
Day 2: POC in History by Jessica Pryde @jessisreading , Day 2 Tweet Archive
Day 3: Magic and Monsters by Elisabeth Lane @elisabethjlane Day 3 Tweet Archive
Day 4: Creatives: Artistic Innovators by Rachel Garcia @TorchlightInDrk Day 4 Tweet Archive
Day 5: Romance for Beginners by Bree @Bree_TheGoddessDay 5 Tweet Archive
Day 6: Meet-Disasters by Aarya Marsden Aarya_Marsden Day 6 Tweet Archive
Day 7: Neighbors by Suzanne @cerestheories Day 7 Tweet Archive
Day 8: Second Chance by Jen @Twimom227 Day 8 Tweet Archive
Day 9: Short Stories & Novellas by H Bentham @bentchbites Day 9 Tweet Archive
Day 10: New-To-Me Authors by Chachic @chachic_ Day 10 Tweet Archive
Day 11: Seasoned (Older Characters) Romance by Kini @kinilei1  Day 11 Tweet Archive
Day 12: Clue Me In by Maria @maria_reads Day 12 Tweet Archive
Day 13: Unusual Sports Romances by Ellie @e_savova Day 13 Tweet Archive
Day 14: Off the Beaten Path: Unusual Locales in Romance by  MaryLynne @emmelnie Day 14 Tweet Archive
Day 15: Unforgettable Family by Jazmen Greene @blklitreviews Day 15 Tweet Archive
Day 16: Fake relationships by Nix @Scorchingrevs, Day 16 Tweet Archive
Day 17: Love Me All the Curves Agata Weronika @Aqueda_Veronica Day 17 Tweet Archive
Day 18: Career-oriented by Carolina @wutheringreads
Day 19: Communities by Wendy @SuperWendy
Day 20: Celebrations! by Stacey Agdern @@nystacey
Day 21: Dancers by Danielle @DanieReads
Day 22: Beautiful covers by Cande @iamrainbou
Day 23: Co-workers  by Ericka @e_bookpushers
Day 24: Retellings by Isa @Mikkuchan07
Day 25: Someone famous by Alex @alextweetsbooks
Day 26: Travel/road trip romance by Trisha Brown @TrishaHaleyBrwn
Day 27: Rebellious readers by Kat, @Bookthingo, Rudi @Rudi_bee and Gabby
Day 28: Romancelandia/found family Melinda @MelindaEdits & Meka Mektastic
Day 29: Geeky romances by Corey Alexander @TGStoneButch
Day 30: All the pairings: Beyond m/f & Heteronormativity Jennifer Porter @JenniferRNN
Day 31: Change-Makers  by Leigh Kramer @hopefulleigh

 

Every year, I meet new people via #RomBkLove and as result my reading and twitter life is richer. I hope it does that for you too.  See you all on May 1st!




What can I do?

In the wake of the #ritassowhite  and the growing awareness of how black authors are systematically discriminated against in the romance community, there has been a lot conversations about what we can do as readers and reviewers.  For all the attention we pay to the Ritas each year most readers, bloggers and reviewers are not and will never be RWA members. I am librarian member, which is a limited membership, that doesn't give me access to the forums or allow me to vote.  But the pronounced discrimination against Black and Indigenous writers at RWA and prejudice and exclusion of Authors of Color more generally is an industry wide problem.  As a reader, blogger, and reviewer I am part of that industry. I might be unpaid but I know that I am part of the industry, thus part of the problem.

You might be asking yourself, "What can I do?"

 

Track Your Reading:

Inspired by others, last year I started keeping a reading log, so I could get a better idea of how inclusive my reading really was. It is very easy to think one is reading inclusively because the white/straight default is so strong and nothing like hard numbers and charts to make you aware of how far there is to go.  This is the first thing I would recommend to readers who wants to do more.  You can't recognize patterns until you look at your data.  I would suggest you start simply. Just a spreadsheet with the books your read and a couple of categories you will want to track. My spreadsheet this year is more granular, but I didn't really know what I really cared to learn till I looked at the first round of data.

Evaluate Who You Follow:

When I first came into Romance I mostly followed white reviewers and authors. They were the biggest names, the most visible and the most retweeted. They had their books in the library and on the RITA lists.  And as a result almost everything I read was written by white authors.

Really look at who you follow, it matters. Do you have black bloggers on your follow lists?  Do you read the reviews of Black, Asian, Latinx  & LGBTQIA+ readers?  Do you follow their Instas? If you are not, it isn't because they aren't out there on their platforms. Their work is invisible to you because you haven't looked for them.   Once you find someone who is giving good inclusive recs, look at who they follow. We all influence each other. 

The big publishers have advertising and promo budgets, and access to us through their newsletter databases.  We've all seen how certain books are seemingly are everywhere, that isn't simply organic, that is marketing. If you are already an established author, that ARC is an easier sell to readers and reviewers, more likely to be coveted and talked about, more likely that folks with big platforms were approached and offered the book. Privilege builds on privilege.

 

Read Someone New:

We all have favorite authors, authors who are auto-buys, authors whose books we drop everything else to read. Our TBRs get crowded, and maybe you are mood reader, and prone to re-read binges. We can very easily let our reading be dictated by others. We want to be part of the conversation, read that hot book everyone else is reading. But I urge you to try a book a black author whose work you have never read before.  Make room for them on your reading shelf in between your favorites.

If you have a favorite-can't-miss tropes, you can search WoCinRomance's database for ideas, look at Girl, Have you Read's weekly new release list, or maybe try one of those three 2019 POC Rita finalists (Courtney Milan's organizing a virtual bookclub to do this: Romance Sparks Joy). If you are reviewer, sign up for Love in Panels/BawdyBookworms/Jenreadsromance's Diverse Romances Press List and get a monthly list of new and upcoming books by AOC and LGBTQIA+ authors.  Also if you didn't look at them in the past take a look at the #Rombklove prompt posts, as we tried to create diverse and inclusive lists for our prompts.

Reading and then talking about you read, leaving reviews is time-tested  and effective way to support authors.  Hopefully you will like me turn those New-to-Me authors into your new Auto-buy authors.

Recommend books by AOC to your Library:

 

Melinda's tweet reminded me of another simple action readers can take.  If you library uses the Overdrive ebook system or collects patron recommendations, take the time to suggest your library purchase books by authors of color.  Many people rely solely on their library collections and the diversity of collections varies widely.