I just finished reading a Huffington Post piece entitled New Hit Romance Series Proves ‘Fifty Shades’ Ruined Erotic Novels Forever Click here to read the article. In short the article spouts off on Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James and a new ‘it’ series called Calendar Girl by Audrey Carlan. I haven’t read Carlan, but I have read James along with a lot of other FanFic authors. I am getting tired of people disparaging James and authors like her. We romance reading women are an economic force that fuels books, movies, merchandise, book signings and book events, but it seems that everyone likes to throw stones and tries to make us feel like we are perverted, kinky morons for reading books. I am tired of people looking down their collective noses at us for reading romance books. We are brilliant women who have careers, family, hobbies, and full enriching lives. So back off!
Do you want to know a real life fact? Romance books have brought me a group of great friends. Friends that I adore. Friends that have become family. Friends that have my back if I need them. Friends that were the first to call me when my dad died. Friends I will have forever. Friends that offered their help through dark times, and we all came together because of our love of romance novels.
I have used books as a pain management technique for my Fibromyalgia. They transport me from a body always racked with pain to someplace else. Because of these books, I transform into a body that can do unbelievable things and can travel to exotic and unfamiliar places. Some of these books I read are the books that other people disparage, criticizing their worth as if they are below their intellectual standards. But these books have proven their net worth, and I’m not speaking only of their monetary gain. They have helped women get over pain and dark times in their own lives. Books have helped women to escape for just a little while from the pressures of real life, allowing them time to heal emotional wounds.
Novels helped me escape for moments at a time as I continued to care for both my parents who died within eighteen months of each other. I was thankful for my eReader which helped me pass the day as I sat by my mom’s bedside as she suffered and eventually passed away from brain cancer. During the short times I had for myself while caring for her, books carried me away while I sat next to her, watching her life slowly tick away. Closer to her death she was no longer aware, and, again, reading became my solace. Without those books I would have gone crazy, waiting and watching.
I read my books as my father was in the hospital. . .reading when I could not sleep. Their pages were my sanctuary as I waited for my father to win his battle with acute infections. During the night when the hospital was quiet and the only sound was his labored breathing, books were there to hold off my tears. These romance books that so many have the nerve to criticize, kept my mind from spinning and shattering into a million pieces.
Some women will be life long readers of romance, and others will have read romance and moved on once the genre has served it’s intended purpose. Just because someone reads romance doesn’t make them less than you. There is an entire world of books. Yet, despite how much money romance books make, they are still seen as the lowbrow stepchildren of the publishing industry. To the naysayers of this particular genre, it would behoove you to understand that maybe, just maybe, we all need a momentary Happily Ever After to get us through the hard times.