It’s interesting how, if there’s going to be a genre of books that someone stays away from, you can bet it will probably be romance. Poor old romance. It just wants to be loved *snigger*.
But seriously, why is that? I have heard and read of so many people who say the same thing when asked about the kinds of books they read – “Oh I read anything and everything. Except for romance”.
And I admit, I myself fall into this category. I don’t read true crime anymore, but I used to read it a bit. I don’t read westerns, although I’d like to give them a try. I don’t read spy/detective novels, although I wouldn’t turn one away if it came highly recommended. But romance? I have never read a romance novel, and I have never wanted to.
Evidently though, there are a lot of romance readers around. Current stats are hard to come by, but this article from The Australian earlier this year talks about the success of Australian-centred “rural romance” or “ru-ro”. These stats from the Romance Writers of America, although in need of updating, suggest that the industry is a healthy one. And we all know about the Fifty Shades empire, with the first novel Fifty Shades of Grey selling over 100 million copies worldwide to date and being the fastest selling paperback novel of all time. Where are these romance readers hiding? Is that it, are they hiding? Because I certainly don’t know any.
For me personally, I think it’s because I want the books I read to make me wonder, to confront me, to inspire me, to have me completely immersed and not wanting to let go for trivial setbacks such as sleeping and working for a living. And I just don’t think that romance will be able to do any of those things for me.
Am I wrong to judge romance so harshly? Or would you agree?
I also like to take my books with me wherever I go – work, appointments, the toilet….ok that last one’s not true. Or is it?…..
I wouldn’t feel like I could parade a book around in public without a care if there was a busty lady and a hulking gentleman canoodling on the cover. And I definitely would be too prudish to be seen actually reading the pages of something that is clearly raunchy. Those people I heard about back when Fifty Shades was in its prime, completely immersed in it on the bus or in the lunch room? I couldn’t do that. I would feel like I was being watched, onlookers waiting for me to give away some hint of what I was reading. A smirk? Blushed cheeks? She’s reading about nudie bits!
I do however like to live by the motto “don’t knock it until you try it”, so lately I’ve been thinking I need to take my own advice and at least give romance a go before casting it aside? In the privacy of my own home of course.
Do you read romance? And if so, what title would you recommend for me to start with if you wanted me to be won over by this genre?