Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Don't Knock The Romance Novels!

I'm wondering just how many of my readers also read romance novels.  I fully admit to curling up with a romance novel and a blanket on a cold night or taking one to the bath with me to read while soaking in the tub.  Romance novels get a bad reputation for being trash reading.  What folks don't realize is that the authors of the books take a lot of time and effort into doing research.  I in particular like period pieces when I indulge in reading this particular genre.  I read basically whatever I can get my mitts on and in fact have even read a manual on how to repack bearings for an Army vehicle.

While in college I took a class on Chaucer, specifically his Canterbury Tales in the original English which isn't as easy to read as one might think.  I noticed that while reading these tales my previous choices of genre, especially books by Jude Deveraux, Johanna Lindsey, and a few by Catherine Coulter all helped with my understand of Chaucer's works.

Maybe you wonder what one has to do with the other as Chaucer is a classic while the others are modern novelists?  Well it helped me to imagine how the people of Chaucer's time period lived.  How they ate, what they wore, and how they traveled were well described by the above three aforementioned authors.  Those romance novelist took the time to do their research so that my job was easier.  I not only understood the courtly ways of the character the Knight in Chaucer's Tales but I knew that he shared a trencher of bread filled with meats and vegetables with his maiden fair.  He would also serve her first.  I was able to answer questions by other students in class because of my reading choices.  Okay I'm also a research junkie but then again most avid readers are fact checkers.

Bringing this topic back to present day we have some folks out there that also knock the works of Stephenie Meyer.  Some critics have even had the audacity to compare her to J. K. Rowling who isn't even in the same style of writing.  Why?  Well those that can't write often complain about those that can and how they are lacking in qualities.  I loved both of the above authors.  I have read their works and find them equally enchanting.  Rowling wrote mainly for the younger child while Meyer wrote for the older teenager and young adult of which I am neither but it didn't stop me from reading the works.

If you want to read in public, don't hide your book behind a newspaper just because you are afraid of being judged by what you read.  I read classics, I read modern works, I read pulp fiction and sci-fi.  If someone is going to judge you by what you read then so be it but don't let it stop you from enjoying the adventure of reading.

I dare you to be seen in public reading a book that you would otherwise hide from others.  Well, okay within reason as there are some laws restricting what one should read in public because of public lewdness but I think you get the gist of my dare.

Go forth and read.

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