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Dear Poll: Do You Read Romance Novels?

We all have our preferred guilty pleasures. As you know, I love The Bachelor, and funny enough, many of my girlfriends profess a weakness for romance novels. Though I'm not a big reader of bodice rippers, I definitely understand how the stolen glances, melodramatic plot lines, and steamy love scenes could be entertaining, as either a guilty pleasure or just a pleasure. What about you? Are you into reading romance novels?


Barbra-Novac Barbra-Novac 9 years
Well, my favourite romance writers are Jane Austen, Emily Bronte, Charlotte Bronte, Daphne Du Maurier and William Shakespeare. It is true, they all have predictable plot lines (predictable even in their day) except for Wuthering Heights, which i guess you would include in paranormal as a genre today, he he. I liked what cnlew says above. I write erotic romance, and I find that my readers are extremely intelligent women (and some men), who like to use these kinds of novels for down time. They enjoy the easy predictability of these novels, in the same way someone might enjoy an episode of Friends, or X files, or Law and Order. However, many of them don't like to watch television. They'd rather use their brain a little more in their down time. I write under a pseudonym, and I write these in a formulaic manner. These intelligent, educated women, don't always want to be challenged by their romance novels. Sometimes they just want to chill.
juicylove juicylove 9 years
i dont now if anyones said this already but Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook) writes really well and its not written by a woman so its not SUPER cheesy. maybe a little bit. i've read the notebook, message in a bottle and have bought but not read yet Nights in Rodanthe. i just realized those are all movies. anyway i read biographies mostly.
Isista Isista 9 years
I definitely have standards when reading romance novels, but I do enjoy reading them from time to time. It sounds like a lot of people have very high standards for what they read, and that is great. But it seems like every once in awhile, can't you stand for something not to be incredibly thought provoking? Isn't it nice every once in awhile to get away from reality and just lose yourself in a good romance? I see no fault with that lol.
ayuninur ayuninur 9 years
lildorothyparker lildorothyparker 9 years
I think we should draw a line between the romance genre and Harlequin-esque novels. There is nothing wrong with reading a well written romance novel.
bengalspice bengalspice 9 years
btw ... those people who argue that reading romance novels will undermine having a degree in English or Literature ... need to get off their high horse. There's nothing disgraceful about reading this stuff.
bengalspice bengalspice 9 years
But you can't make the judgement that a romance writer isn't going to end up being a classic ... I'm sure people in Austen's time didn't realize she was going to continue being such a hit now. Just like you don't know if generations from now people are going to look back and think Nora Roberts is a classic. Some day someone might think Bollywood Nights by Shobhaa De is a classic ... even though it really is scandalous now, but well written.
krrn krrn 9 years
jane austen is a romance writer but she has stood the test of time because of the context and time period she was writing in and because all of her characters went against what was expected of them.. that was considered scandalous at the time. so that is what makes her books different. i also never said that NO romance writers would be considered classics. i said that i'm sure a few will but most will not. jane austen is a good example of a romance writer but she is a rarity in the world of literature.
northofantastic northofantastic 9 years
LadyLibertine, I'm a big fan of the Black Dagger Brotherhood as well! That's actually the series I was alluding to in my comment. You've got good taste. ;)
bengalspice bengalspice 9 years
Speaking of the romance novel formula ... did anyone feel that Eat, Pray, Love read like a romance novel?
bengalspice bengalspice 9 years
Um ... I'd hate to break it to you, krrn ... but Jane Austen is considered a romance writer ... and last I checked Pride & Prejudice along with the rest of her works are considered Classics.
krrn krrn 9 years
i don't know why people get so heated over this. to each her own. like cnlew said, if you want a book where you don't have to think that much than go for it. i personally just like to read things that make me think a lot or move me in a big way, books where the characters are really dynamic and there are so many more emotions than love involved. that's just my personal preference. i like reading books that i think about for a long time or even impact my life in some way. jammi, if you have to pretend to like classic literature than don't do it. i would have to pretend to like romances so it's all a matter of opinion. i know i said i've never read romance novels but i've read enough of some to know what they're like. my mom has been reading them her whole life. i never once said that literature was better than romance novels; i just stated why i personally don't like romance novels. i'm allowed to have that opinion. and also, mary shelley's frankenstein is considered great for more than just being a suspenseful novel. it's one of few novels that is truly considered a masterpiece because of the way it's written (suspense and everything else) and the way the characters are developed. it's incredible. yes a lot of contemporary writers will be the classics of later on but i hate to break it to you: most of them won't be romantic novels. maybe the really great ones but there are just too many of them for the genre to be considered ground-breaking.
lilxmissxmolly lilxmissxmolly 9 years
just like any genre, there are good ones and bad ones. to each her own. i like all kinds of books so i've read a few that were good and a few that weren't. i don't really think, though, that you can just generalize and call the whole genre trash just because its not for you, or you didn't like some that you read.
missdiorluxe missdiorluxe 9 years
I love to read many kinds of books, and I do like romance novels, as long as they are not over dramatic. Lisa Kleypas has great novels, I will read anything of hers.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
I read them, BUT i have standards! You wont catch me reading a "bodice ripper" or some story about a widower with a heart of gold and a huge bulge in his pants....I read romance novels that have substance. Best ones? Charlaine Harris southern vampire series, the Merry Gentry series (erotica) sherrilyn Kenyon
cnlew cnlew 9 years
QUOTE "I take issue with romance writers (both men and women) because they offer nothing of value to the literary world. " Not every book you read needs to be profoundly thought provoking. And that's precisely why I love trashy silly cheap romance novels. I read the harlequin ones, have about 100 of them, and get 4 new ones every month in the mail. I don't read them for their intellectual or literary value...I have other authors that I read for those purposes. But when I can't sleep, or wanna lay by the pool with a fruity drink eyeing the pool boy, or at the beach with a cold beer watching the cabana boy adjust umbrellas, there is nothing better than a little romance escape. Sometimes I don't wanna "think" about what I'm reading... Reading should be fun. It's an escape from everyday life into a different world. The romance "novels" I read are at times ridiculous, and always predictable, and sometimes a bit smutty. My bf refers to them as "book porn"...SO. What's wrong with a little shameless escapism every now and then. Poke fun, call me stupid or uneducated, even un-enlightened or silly for my choice of fluff reading material...I'm still going to read them and enjoy them. I'll tip my fruity drink to you next time I open one up by the pool.
bunsushi bunsushi 9 years
I am not so secretly obsessed with Elizabeth Peters writes Victorian to Edwardian Egyptian archaeology mysteries with a bit of romantic intrigue. Swear it's not cheesy. She has a PhD in Egyptology from the U of Chicago and occasionally publishes scholarly papers on the field, but I'm sure she finds her Amelia Peabody and Vicki Bliss adventures much more amusing. Ramses's son is probably the world's most perfect man.
LadyLibertine LadyLibertine 9 years
another that comes to mind. J.R Ward about the Black Dagga Brotherhood. very interesting
LadyLibertine LadyLibertine 9 years
"Romance novels should never be considered "literature". Danielle Steele, Nora Roberts and the like should not be allowed to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. Perhaps it's the feminist in me, but I find these novels cater all to pathetically to 1950's gender roles. " I disagree with this, the Nora Roberts paranormal story was brilliant. I am happy I read AND bought them. That said, I do not read many, and will only if it has a paranormal side to it. But hey to each their own. But I do find it interesting when people have such opinions. To me the joy of reading and writing comes in many forms and what speaks to me, clearly does not speak to all. And I, am perfectly fine with that.
lildorothyparker lildorothyparker 9 years
Jammi - I have read romance novels - which is why I have such a negative opinion of them.
looseseal looseseal 9 years
I wouldn't knock it all as badly written trash since I never read a page of romance in my life. After all, I'm a fan of horror and Kung-fu novels (it's a whole genre in itself in Chinese Lit), and people assume all of those are trash and never worthy of being called "literature". Of course, that is based on the fact that there are a lot of crap being published in these genres. Don't read Dean Koontz. OMG, I forget which one I read, but it was the most cliche-ridden crap I have ever read, complete with strong, silent hero and violet-eyed people. I don't read romance novels because the "love interest" bit is usually my least favorite part of whatever I'm reading/watching (even in the rare instances where I like the love interest part of the story, there has to be other stuff propping it up), so it seems like novels that focus much more on romance probably wouldn't be my cup of tea. Also, being seen with most romance covers would make me die of embarrassment.
Wild-Magelet Wild-Magelet 9 years
Also, for anyone who does enjoy romance novels or wants to give them a try, I highly recommend the site for reviews and often hilarious snark. :)
Silverlining10 Silverlining10 9 years
I think the closest I've been to reading a romance novel is Nicolas Sparks novels. I'm not one for picking up novels with a cover of a Fabio clone and some half-naked woman with her nipple peeking out.
georgie2 georgie2 9 years
I read them all the time when I was a youn teenager. It may have messed with my head. Anyhow I don't read them anymore. Bad writing and predictable plot, yes, but also too depressing for me. As in, it makes my own love life seem depressing.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
I was the first one posting, and I feel like clarifying something now: I've read a ton of romance novels. I went through a yearlong phase where anything I could get my hands on, I'd read, and that included 4 (literally 4) moving-size boxes of various romance novels I'd inherited from a neighbor, as well as romance novels friends recommended, and etc. That is how I formulated my opinion of the genre as a whole. Of course there are some good romance novel writers, as there are some good writers in any genre. But the vast majority of them in my experience happen to be not what I prefer to read, and therefore I don't read from that genre anymore.
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