1. Okay, I started reading romance at 18 and before that I had no clue that sex was even in books. Colour me shocked and well hooked at 18 😉

    Now, here’s what I can tell you. My best friend told me when I asked her why she wouldn’t read a romance book (she was adamant) when she loved fantasy books so much. Her reason? She had promised a grade school teacher she greatly admired to ‘never read one of those trashy romance books’. I was floored and tried to explain to her that there was nothing about romance books that were trashy but she never budged. Can you believe a teacher asking a student to never read a certain type of book? I wouldn’t even be a reader today if it wasn’t for romances!

    I think from this story was born my fear of letting people know what I read. If my best friend wouldn’t even read them how was what I was reading any good?

    I think those who think romance books are beneath them should be made to read Flowers From the Storm by Laura Kinsale or For My Lady’s Heart. Yeah. Tell me those aren’t worth your time.

    Better yet, why dontcha go watch that real stimulating TV show with that Hilton girl again.

    Ooops, I think my ‘rage’ slip is showing. Sorry.


  2. Well, I’ve semi converted my husband, he’ll read Romantic suspense. I should point out he wouldn’t be caught dead in the romance section of a bookstore unless he was shooing me along.

  3. I know many who read romance believe it’s got such a bad label attached to it because people, men specifically, are uncomfortable with a woman’s sexuality. That just seems to over simplified to me. Many men NOW, becaue they’ve been raised with NOW women, are not uncomfortable with women and their more open sexuality. MY bf loves it!

    Academics think Romance isn’t “meaty” enough. Other’s, like the bf, dismiss it as chick porn.

    Here’s my response when a similar question was asked at Romance Divas( bascially my history of romance reading):

    I’ve always read cross-genre, even as a kid, but I learned early romance novels were less than acceptable compared to other genres. I grew up hiding my romance reading addiction- literally. Because my mother thought it was smut as well- religious reasons rather than academic- I had all my books stuffed in a suitcase I kept under my bed. (My favorite rereads I kept in a separate train case!)

    Later I hid it from my roommates by reading them behind acceptable reads; in other words- literature. They disdained romance novels for academic reasons. (hmmm I wonder if academia realizes they DO have something in common with the religious right after all?)

    Although now I’m more open about my reading preferences, (the books are out and proud on bookshelves rather than hid away and I no longer read them like a teenage boy slobbering over his porn mag tucked into a textbook), I do gravitate to non-clinch, no bare-chests covers.

    It’s tough to completely erase a 20 year history of being made to feel shame for what I like to read. ::shrug::

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