The stigma attached to romance novels, probably from their inception, remains strong even today. – Worthless pieces of mindless garbage.
There are a lot of women I know, who admit (with some embarrassment) that reading romance novels is a “guilty pleasure” and nothing more. There are others who admit to it being “light reading” when whiling away time and not wanting to “think too much.” Others categorize the genre as “silly,” “predictable” and even downright ridiculous and harmful.
Why the embarrassment?
Why the harsh judgement?
For the most part, the romance genre has been critically ignored and/or dismissed. Yet it is one of the biggest sellers in fiction.
women people immerse themselves in romantic fiction as a form of escape. It’s fantasy, it’s limited, it’s dumb reading!” Snort self-proclaimed intellectuals thumping their hard cover works of presumed literary genius.
People also immerse themselves in movies and TV shows as a form of escape, folks. They do the same with music, sports and such. Doesn’t make them dimwits anymore than reading a romance novel would, does it?
Good. Now go back to your Cafe au Quink Ink Book club and ponder that.
There is a constant and underlying suggestion from many, that people who read romantic fiction are somehow incapable of intellectual thought or response. And, I’ve always wondered why that is.
I read a lot, and a wide range of books in many genres. Historical fiction and graphic novels are usually high on my list. Fantasy, occasionally. Mystery and suspense, yes. And, romance also. What I pick up to read mostly depends on my mood, and not what is sitting pretty on the New York Times Bestseller list.
And, definitely not what those book club people shout at me to read now, this instant, and if I don’t, OMG my life will be lacking so, so much if I don’t drop everything, even Downton Abbey, OK but not Sherlock, because which idiot would not watch that? And, just READ this exceptional work of * gasp * BRILLIANCE our generation is so fucking fortunate to be bestowed with this month in 20fucking14! And, AND, then let’s all discuss it to death via Whatsapp and Twitter and Facebook, and simultaneously pat ourselves on the back for being intellectuals and better than those silly romance readers.
OK, now I need to crack my stiff knuckles from typing all that without pause.
Some people read as a form of escape, some to immerse themselves within the pages of a tale, and some just for the sheer joy of reading. So, I don’t really see how reading say, a murder mystery would be any different from reading a romance?
No one swallows literary fiction whole and accepts everything they read within the genre without thought. If they do, then well, there’s a problem there, right? Because you cannot (and do not) as a reader agree with everything you read even if it’s The Holy and Revered Word by Leo Friggin Tolstoy.
No one can claim to intellectually and emotionally accept everything the characters in literary fiction say and do. The plot does not always please you immensely, neither does the outcome or the path towards the eventual outcome. Sometimes you approve of the protagonist’s growth, other times you want to bitch slap the mother fucker for being so idiotic and not seeing life as he should.
Similarly, no one swallows romantic fiction whole and without thought. Again, if they do… Something’s wrong.
People do lose themselves in fiction sometimes, and it’s scary when it happens. Hell, people read stuff on blogs and take it as they would a Gospel passage. Did you hear that Obama is secretly seeing Jennifer Aniston? Brad is so fucking pissed he got a hair perm. There was a blog post the other day. God’s honest truth. I swear on my mother’s favourite porcelain teapot, it’s true.
But, not everyone falls for everything they read. People aren’t stupid, women are certainly not, and that includes the ones who read romantic fiction as well.
So, keep calm, ignore the snobs, and carry on reading romance if that’s what you like to read. It can be emotionally uplifting, moving and all those other things associated with soul and heart. There’s no shame in that.
Hope you all are having a good week. My apologies for the short post, but I must rush off to finish writing chapters and things. More on the flip side of this topic soon.
Thanks for stopping by.