I have many people in my life who are what I would classify as book snobs. You know the people I am talking about. The ones who brag about reading the next best literary work. Who take pride in reading the latest thought provoking best seller. The ones who like to brag how they read that book that has reminded us of humanities unsavory past. The book snob who is living on trend with the latest self help guru. They are all about computations of short stories by thought provoking authors. Nothing wrong with any of these kind of books, I have also read them. These books do not bring me the same joy or fill that space in my life that I seek from Romance Novels. These are the people that when they ask what you are reading, and you tell them honestly about a romance novel they look down their nose at you or the sluff it off as not really being worthy of discussion. For a long time when people ask what I was reading I would just shrug it off and know they don’t really want to know. Romance Novels became my guilty pleasure, my comfort food, my ratty sweats that you never let others see you wear. The invention of eReaders made it even easier for me to hide what I was reading. (I contribute the success of 50 Shades of Grey to the tablet/eReader, even though it was terrible.) It has only been in the last few years that I have come out from hiding and am not afraid to tell people about the hot romance novel I am reading, or which character is now my dream provoking boyfriend.
Romance Novels have as much value as the classics and great literary works. Some classics if written today would be categorized with in the romance genre. Back when Jane Austin wrote her novels, they were considered worthless. Many thought they added little to no value to society. They did and still do. We need stories of love and relationships for many reasons. There is value in them. We need the Mr. Darcys of the world to show us the passion the strong silent type is capable of.
While I can not speak to why others read Romance novels, I can tell you why I read them. Why I kinf of need them in my life. Stories of love and relationship help me realize the good in my own relationship. It also has helped me identify my own antagonist in my story. Recognize traits in others that aren’t desirable. It has helped me find champions in my own life. When you connect with a character and see them at their weakest and how they deal with life in that moment; it gives you goals. It also makes me realize when I get angry at a character for self-doubt or lack of faith in themselves that I often display those same attributes. Romance Novels have helped me see where I have flaws and figure out creative ways to work with them or overcome them.
It has been shared with me that Romance Novels create unrealistic expectations for your partner. I very much disagree with that. I don’t think that it does. I might enjoy reading a book about a dominate and submissive relationship, but do I want my husband to tie me up and spank me? No, I don’t but I don’t mind if he is creative. It creates opportunities for discussion, igniting a spark. It isn’t the act as much as it is the focus and intensity of the act that is projected in the story. It has its value depending on how you choose to use it in your life but isn’t that most anything. Am I addicted to a love story? Likely I am. I love love. Love is powerful. Love is something worth fighting for. Every time I read one of these romance novels it affirms for me how much I love love.
I also think you can substitute the words romance novel for Fiction. We need these stories to guide us to remind us we are human. We all stumble. It isn’t so much that you stumble but how you get up and dust yourself off and move forward. So don’t be ashamed if you love romance novels. I used to call my choice of reading, fluff. While they are fluffy and most have a HEA, they have the potential to add so much to your life. Stand proud that you picked up that romance novel! Romance Readers Unite!