See, even many people are under the misapprehension that Romance novel readers are un- or undereducated and focus only on the sex scenes. People are convinced that Romance readers are looking for excitement their own lives lack. People cling to the notion that Romance novels are stuck in the "Thank you for raping me" scenarios that were disturbingly common in the '80s. Those stereotypes do not describe the Romance novels or Romance readers of today. Romance readers are often highly educated, strong women and the books that fall into this genre cover the spectrum of quality just like books in any other genre.
I could go on and on trying to refute the stereotypes and myths surrounding Romance readers and books but, thanks to today's entry at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, I will just tell you to go read the piece Laura Clawson wrote over at Daily Kos. The brilliant SB Sarah quoted my favorite part of Clawson's article and I want to make sure it is read here too...
One of the key issues in judgments of the average quality of writing is that the romance genre is never allowed to claim love stories from outside the genre. Really beautifully-written, “literary” books with mystery plots or with sci-fi elements are likely to be marketed at least loosely in association with those genres. They get to have the best of both worlds—the marketing bump of the genre and the critical and social recognition due their quality. You don’t see love stories allowed to strike that balance, which severs a world of possibility from the genre, and an introduction to a new audience for at least some deserving authors.I am truly delighted that the thing that made me really think today, the thing that had me pondering the socio-economic and political implications of a cultural phenomenon was an incredibly well-written article about Romance novels (something most of society considers fluff) and the comments that followed.
I’m sure there are a hundred other myths to be attacked, and none will die easily. But in the end, even if they were mostly true, the disgust for romance novels and their readers would still look more like disdain for women and feminized culture than anything else.
Please, please take a moment to go read the piece Laura Clawson wrote over at Daily Kos. You won't regret it and it might open your eyes to some great authors you've missed out on.
So, do y'all have any literary secrets you want to confess? There is nothing to dark to confess. Come on, spill it.