Sunday, February 10, 2008

I Read Romance and Gosh Darn it, I am Proud of it!

I was out shopping on Saturday at the local Books-a-Million and was perusing the romance section; when I happened to notice another woman in the isle with me. She had the book Hot Wheels in High Heels in her hand and was reading the back cover. Now I don’t usually talk to other customers when I am shopping, but I was feeling friendly, so I leaned over in her direction and said “Hi, I just read that book recently and thought it was really cute.” She looked a little sheepish and then smiled at me and said, “Do you know if this book came out recently. I read so many books. I want to make sure I haven’t read it before.” I laughed and told her that I keep a list for this very reason. Well, we then proceeded to have a lengthy conversation on our author preferences and what genres we liked best; not to mention that she has been reading romance since she was 12 (she looked to be in her 50’s now).

Also, imagine my surprise (super thick sarcasm here) when she mentions it’s not just about the sex, but that the books had to actually have a well written plot for her to enjoy. Let me say that I was just tickled pink to have met another fellow romance reader and, for the first time in my life, I wasn’t one bit embarrassed talking about it either. I could tell that she was a little apprehensive at first to talk to me about her reading habits, but once she realized I wasn’t going to judge her and that I like romance just as much as she did, she completely opened up.

In conclusion, I would like to say thank you to the community of romance bloggers who have made me realize that I am a romance reader and damn proud of it! Take that; all you sarcastic, cynical, snooty, know-it-all bastards! (Man, that felt good).


Jace said...

I used to feel shy being in the vicinity of the "Romance" aisles of bookstores. This was perhaps 10 years ago. Now, life's too short to be bothered by what others think ... I'll read what *I* want, thank you very much.

I don't have a single friend, male or female, who's a romance reader! (Or is it because I don't have that many friends to begin with? *wink*) So it's great to find and connect with so many wonderful romance bloggers and readers online - not to mention that my 3 reading buddies are from different corners of the world. My TBR has certainly grown by leaps and bounds because of this. *grin*

Ana said...

I am proud too! Even though I am a rookie just as you are, I already feel the need to pick up the flag and carry it with honor, this is what I try to do in my blog.

I am adding you to my blog roll!

nath said...

I'm still a bit shy, because none of my friends are really reading romance... and I hate it when ppl seems to think that romance is beneath them... seriously. I get the same thing with manga... grrr. However, I'm getting there... I think somewhere, I'm more embarrassed of some of the covers than the fact that I'm reading romance.

and you know, there's this instant connection between romance readers. It doesn't matter your age, your race... when i meet romance readers, it's so easy to talk to them.

Brie said...

It took me seeing a total stranger hunkered down in the middle of the romance isle, with a stack of cheesy romance novels in front of her, for me to get over my embarrassment about perusing the romance section.

I have no idea who this woman was, but I remember thinking that if she has the balls *grin* to not give one care about who sees her enjoying romance books, then surely I can browse the the romance isles without shame. Now I don't care what anyone thinks.

I do still have the tendency to hide a cover, if it's really horrible, under a book with a more respectable cover. Maybe one day I'll get over that too.

Jennie said...

That's what I love about the online romance-reading community--it's just full of really smart women. My family might not get my reading habits, but I know I'm not alone. :)

Jill D. said...

Jace, I am like you, outside of blogging I don't know anyone else that reads romance. It is so nice to meet up with other women and discuss the books I love.

Ana, Welcome to the online community. We are always glad to welcome newbies! Go Romance!

Nath, I too get embarrassed about some the covers on books these days. I also think that people, who are so quick to judge a romance, are the ones who haven't ever read one. Or maybe they did read one; a bad one back in the bodice ripper days.

Brie, it was not until I realized that there are so many other smart women (online) who love romance and that I have nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about. You are right, life is too short.

Jennie, My family doesn't get my reading habits either although I did discover I have an Aunt who likes romance too.

Kristie (J) said...

I'm like so many others. Most of my friends don't read romance and since it's such a huge part of who I am, it was like there was this enormous chunk of me I couldn't share with anyone. Blogging has been WONDERFUL in getting to know others out there like me!!
I still haven't really struck up any conversations yet with another romance reader in a bookstore - but I hope that I do soon *g*

EmJay said...

I'm curious, what causes romance readers to feel shy and sheepish? Do people really make disparaging comments about other people's reading preferences? I don't know why I find this hard to believe. Maybe it's that no one has ever made fun of me for reading a romance novel. Or if they did, I probably didn't notice. Anyway, I just have to wonder if these sheepish feelings have any basis in reality, or if we just imagine that others are watching and judging when they're really just going about their own business.

Jill D. said...

Kristie, It was very liberating for me to just let go of my hesitance and talk to another fellow reader. I am glad that I did because she was really nice and it made my day.

Emjay, I have had several people make negative comments about the books I read, and yet I have also had other people who have expressed interest. Some of it was in my head but some of it was because of outside influence. I am glad that now I realize it doesn't matter what others think, but what I think. I guess that comes with age and maturity :)