Reading Romance

An interesting thing happened a couple of weeks ago. The student office had spring cleaning I guess and gave away books for free. Now, anyone who knows me can guess my reaction. It was like Yay!! Gimme!!!

Most of the books and other texts that were given away were textbooks and university booklets and essays and such, but some were romance novels. I was fascinated. What can romance novels possibly have been doing at a university? Then it hit me. Maybe romance novels aren't as put down as I think they are. Or someone put private books on that table as well as uni property. They were old novels. I swiped four of them.

Yes, I like to read romance novels. I am very aware that they do not in any way reflect the real world. But then again, I like to read fantasy novels and sci-fi also. They don't reflect the real world either. They are however not as frowned upon as romance novels. I wonder why.

I know a couple of authors of romance novels. They are highly educated, skilled women who works hard to write their novels. It is not easy to write a romance novel. Everyone who thinks so is very welcome to try. Besides being hard to write, they are even harder to sell. As any manuscript is since there are so many trying. Only a few do it well.

The sad thing is that the romance novels lose quite a lot in translation. They're better in English. Too bad they're not available here. Very good thing to have American friends sending books and stuff once in a while.

Anyway, as I was saying, romance novels are just as good as any other genre. Just because they aren't sold in any bookstores doesn't mean they're not litterature. And just because they're not hardcover doesn't mean they're not books.

I am not going to apologize for reading romance novels, nor will I apologize for reading fantasy or sci-fi. I will not apologize for reading Shakespeare, Doyle or Foucault. That is for certain. I read whatever I want. I am a highly educated woman. I am neither stupid or uneducated. I still will read romance novels. Mainly because I like them. Just like in fantasy and sci-fi. It's a matter of taste, not class.

In the words of friend Heather: With reading decreasing more and more one should applaud every effort to read there is.

Just my two Euros...

Ta ta for now!



Heather said...

Thanks for the quote! To share one of my favorite quotes:

The only thing worse than the man who cannot read, is the man who can and does not.

I make no apologies for what I read or write, and in my opinion, those who read romance are more likely to read across genres than those who only read "literary fiction." So far this year I've read mysteries, thrillers, romantic suspence (a few of which also crossed over into the SF and fantasy genres), two books by Jane Austen, one YA novel, and have just finished a nonfic on polio.

Tell me I'm not well-rounded! I also recently reread Swift's essay, "A Modest Proposal," after it came up in a round of Jeopardy!

Speaking of Jeopardy!, last week they had an entire category on Sue Grafton, and have also had questions on Nora Roberts. So much for "pulp" fiction! *WEG*

BTW, while packing/cleaning recently I discovered a bunch of rom-suspense books I picked up for someone (no idea who that could be, hehe) and never got around to sending. Whatever shall I do with them?

Nina said...

Ha! See? I was right! There are intelligent people out there who read romance novels. I know this because I've been inside your head Heather. Or was it the other way around? :)

Oh books!!! Can't have them laying around cluttering up your apartment now can we? :) I can even pay for shipping now, I found out how to send money.


Nina said...

Guess what I found today! I found Edith Wharton's "Age of Innocence" as a Harlequin Classic romance novel. I did not buy it however since the original is cheaper than the translated one. Strange eh?

So is it Harlequin who print classics or is it uni who uses Harlequin romance novels as learning tools? Is this a case of hens and eggs? :)

I just thought it was funny. :)


Maggie Nash said...

Are you saying that you can't buy romance novels in the stores in Sweden? That's a tragedy!

I would be lost!


Nina said...

Hey Margie! Cool! You made it!

You can buy romance novels in some stores, not all. They are harder and harder to find. That is where the Internet comes in. You can buy and even buy a subscription (or in your case a prescription...) online.