A mixture of romance, work and life left to simmer on a weak flame.

"Love - a wildly misunderstood although highly desirable malfunction of the heart which weakens the brain, causes eyes to sparkle, cheeks to glow, blood pressure to rise and the lips to pucker."--Unknown.

"I learned long ago that being Lewis Carrol was infinitely more exciting than being Alice."--Joyce Carol Oates

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Monday, April 10, 2006

People are idiots. Period.

I hear it is Smart Bitches Day, so in the spirit of things…

*ugh, arg, pulling out soap box, mmmmmm, clearing throat*

I used to think that I was ashamed of being a romance reader. And then I felt I had to defend my oh-so-adored genre. Now, as I begin to throw caution to the wind with the things I say, do and teach, I’ve found that I don’t feel ashamed or the need to defend. I feel pity. Pity that someone who is educated and somewhat worldly would be so narrow minded. I mean, what has romance ever done to get such a bad rap? A little bodice-ripping never hurt anyone!

Full size stand alone romances have one of the highest reading vocabularies used in contemporary fiction. And the fact that historical (because this is my area of expertise ;-)) romance readers are intelligent and educated women, we require quite a bit of research with T-crossing and I-dotting backgrounds. I mean, can these people tell me who the Prince Regent was? Where and when he was born and what the title entailed? Can they tell me any history behind Hadrian’s Wall? What about the Danelaw? Anyone? Can they describe authentic fashion for the Regency era? What about listing all of the books that Austen wrote? Eyre? Hawthorne? Do they even know what country Guthrum ruled? I bet not, and yet my peers roll their eyes, sigh and snicker when seeing me reading my current novel in the copy room, teacher’s lounge, basketball game, etc.

Romance is just that, romance. It is the hope of something better; the feel of a character growing and shaping and melding with another life. It is everything that words were meant to inspire. And because a novel can hold, what, 10 or 15 pages of the most enjoyable and natural act that two humans can conduct together, it’s not worthy fiction? Really? I mean, come on!

So what is the point of the rant you ask? I’m not really sure. Maybe it was just me contradicting myself and defending the genre. Or maybe, just maybe it is a call to action. A request that we stop being the ones who feel the need to turn to the side just a little when a coworker walks in or explain why we read what we read when seen in public. The next time I get ‘one of those looks’ I’m going to give as good as I get. “What’s your problem? Never seen someone reading an accurate portrayal of mid-19th century Scotland? Hmmmmmmm?”

Or what about, “Okay then, what have you read lately?” Because the saddest thing in the educational arena is that we are one of the most under-read groups of professionals. Pitiful, really.

*ugh, arg, pushing the soapbox back into its corner*


3 touched me

Blogger Suisan pondered...

Hey Fiona.

My mom remains horrified that I read Romances. I've been reading them for at least twenty years, and she's STILL horrified.

She collects dolls and was telling me about some costume research she had done, and I threw something into the conversation about what type of fabric went with what type of walking dress, morning dress, etc.

"How did you KNOW that?"

I answered, "Mom, I read a LOT of Romance Novels."


Felt a little nice....

4/10/2006 03:26:00 PM  
Blogger Bookseller Chick pondered...

Yes, yes they are (idiots that is), but isn't it nice to escape them in a good book. Excellent Smart Bitches Day! Enjoy the Quinn!

4/10/2006 04:04:00 PM  
Anonymous ~debbie~ pondered...

We've had the same debate on PBS in the discussion forum. I hate that people put down romance books without even trying one. Didn't mom always say "try it you might like it" with food and other things?
We played a trivia game with other couples one night and my group won because I read historical romance!

4/10/2006 09:57:00 PM  

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