So I have a confession, although it isn’t going to be a surprise if you’ve been following my blog for the last sixth months or so. I love romance novels. And you all probably know that romance novels have a bad rep. This genre of books certainly isn’t the only genre or category of books that people like to stick up their noses at. People also like to stick their noses up about young adult books as well. I’m sure we are all familiar with the articles that pop up every now and then where someone says that anyone who reads such and such books should be embarrassed.
Those articles of course piss me off, but then I usually just put it out of my mind. Those people have made up their minds, and there is nothing you or I can do to change it. If they feel so passionate about this that they write an article about it for the Internet, then their minds are made up. I know they are wrong and ignorant and all that, but there really isn’t anything I can do about it.
But at the same time, I don’t profess my love of romance novels to people. I mean, I do on the Internet. But to my family, or friends – not so much. And it makes me mad at myself, because there is nothing wrong with loving to read them. But I don’t want to have to deal with people rolling their eyes at me, or thinking that I read “trashy book.” People should be able to read WHATEVER makes them happy. There should be no judgment, but that’s not the real world, unfortunately.
So I thought that I would tell you all why I love romance novels.
1. Romance novels are primarily character driven, usually with a female protagonist.
I really do love to read all different kinds of books, but I have a very strong preference for character driven stories – especially those with a female main character. The way I read, I tend to almost substitute the main character with myself. Or maybe I feel like I am the main character. So I like when the main character is a woman, because, you know, I’m a woman. Romance novels today feature such strong heroines, and I love that. Whether they are women in 19th century England, who are trying to find a place for themselves in a society that doesn’t value them much, or modern women trying to establish careers for themselves, they are almost always women I can admire, and aspire to in some way.
2. The Romance
I mean, duh, right? I love reading about relationships. I love seeing two people meeting, and falling in love. I love reading about first meetings, and then times spent together. It makes my heart happy. And you know what, I even like the sexytimes. I know a lot of people think that the sex in romance novels makes the books trashy, but I don’t agree. Sex is a part of life. Why are we so scared to talk about it? To write about people having sex? Granted, sometimes the words used during the sexytimes can be a bit funny, but I can’t fault writers trying to make these scenes emotional as well as physical. I like reading about people who care about each other expressing their caring in every way.
3. The Happily Ever After
Seriously, what’s so bad with a happy ending? Don’t we all want that for ourselves, whether it’s in the romance department, the career department, or really just the life department? We all want to be happy. Or, at least, most of us do. I love that when I pick up a romance, I know that no matter what troubles or problems and dilemmas will occur, that the ending will be happy. Perhaps not all the problems will be solved, but there is a good feeling that the protagonists are going to be happy.
I wrote a whole post on how valuable I think escapism
is in letting people deal with difficult times, and I think reading romance novels is such a wonderful way to escape from the world. I understand that romance novels are very much as fantasy, but what’s so wrong with that? I mean, let’s be honest, those mystery/suspense/spy novels aren’t really realistic, either, but they don’t get nearly as bad a reputation as romance novels do. It’s fun to be swept up in this fantasy, and if I like my fantasies with lots of kissing, and lots of professions of love, what’s wrong with that? Knowing that there will be a happy ending takes away a lot of the stress, and let’s me forget about the troubles in my own life for a few hours.
5. Romance novels are written primarily for women by women
I’m a total feminist, which maybe seems surprising because I love reading books about people falling in love. Of course, I do not whatsoever think that a woman needs a man to be happy. Or that the only goal a woman should have is to find a husband. And, in fact, I think that writers of romance feel the same way. These books aren’t about that, or at least the ones I read and love. They’re about relationships, and forming connections. I like to read about relationships and about people finding happiness. And I love that this genre of books is really aimed at women. Not that guys can’t read it, or that a lot of women don’t like this genre. Also, I like supporting female writers. Sometimes I get really angry that so many people have horrible things to say about the romance genre (which is for women by women, primarily), when they don’t say that about other genres with lots of male writers.
So there you have it. Five reasons I love reading romance novels. What do you think? Are any of you lovers of romance? Why do you like reading them? And even if you don’t care for the romance genre, don’t you want people to respect your reading choices?