17 October 2007

Why Read Romance?

Most people who know me well, know I read many things, including romance. Many times I'm encouraging people-- male and female-- to read romances. They often ask, "Why should I? It's nothing more than porn for housewives?" In the past, I used to not know how to respond, but over the past 3 years, I've discovered exactly how to explain why romance is so important.

Everyone believes in love and the power of love. Romance helps to relive the experience of falling in love for the first time, or perhaps even the time you knew it was true love. Romance books also help you to understand the other person's perspective. You ever want to know how women hope men feel about falling in love-- read a romance novel. If you want to know how women think when they're falling in love-- read a romance novel. You want to know how to seduce someone in a unique manner? Pick up a romance novel or three and take some of those ideas and make them come true for your partner.

We all complain on how bad things are getting in this world of ours. How there are more wars, less compassion, less love for all humanity. We've seem to have forgotten what tolerance is and that diversity is a good thing so we don't become to complacent. But we forgot something that's universally true-- love covers a multitude of wrongs. Love helps us to move past problems. Love helps us to understand the other person when otherwise we might not take that extra moment to see things in another point of view. Now this isn't just romantic love, but all love. See, that's the thing about romance novels-- you don't get just about romantic love-- but about all various kinds of love.

One of my favourite novels deals with not only the romance between the main characters, but how the heroine copes with her zany family. She loves them and would do anything to protect them, even go up against the hero. But little does she know that he finds himself enjoying the zaniness of her family, and for once, feeling accepted by someone. It's a great book and the reason I love it is not the romance itself-- which is great and erotic!-- but because it talks about the love of family, friends, the love of cultural beliefs, and the act of falling in love for real.

So, when I hear "Romance books are trash! They're nothing more than porn for housewives." I have only one thing to say. "Then you miss out on the reality of romance novels. They're to entertain, to remind us about falling in love, and encourage to love in all things. But since you think they're nothing but pornography, tell me-- what do you read that reminds people how important love is?"

Cynnara Tregarth
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Betty Ann Harris said...

I agree so very much. Women especially, because we are caretakers, can so easily get bored in the hum-drum routines of our lives, putting ourselves last so much of the time. When I read, or write a good romance novel, it reminds me that I have the ability to love and be loved, to be romantic, to experience that beautiful spice of life, and my attitude totally changes. I can be that romantic heroine in the story.

dlgould said...

Reading romance takes me away to foreign countries, exotic beaches, the mountains of Montana, the magic of New Orleans and my own back door. It brings me into the lives of two people fighting the odds and winning the battle. It teaches me most obsticals can be overcome. Why wouldn't I read romance.

Maggie Nash said...

The comment that romances are porn for housewives is really annoying. I usually say, "Yes, and it's a lot of fun too. Have you read one lately?" LOL...that stops them in their tracks...but seriously, they are of course referring to the fact that romances often have sex scenes.

So what.

Real life has sex scenes, crime novels have sex scenes, movies for goodness sake have sex scenes!

The thing about a romance novel is that the love and sex scenes are integral to the story. The developing relationship between the main characters is enhanced by all forms of interplay including sex.

It's our inherent voyeuristic nature that gets our interest in reading romance. We love to watch a couple travel the journey and we want that "aaah" moment at the end when all the seemingly insurmountable problems sort themselves out against all odds, because in the end...Love is all that matters...and we are all suckers for a happy ending!

Cynnara Tregarth said...

You know what's funny about that comment-- that's what my daughter told me. I kid you not. She'd prefer me write straight fantasy or sci-fi, not romance, but as I've had this discussion with her and others who have this same idea of what romance is- it's something I've come to accept I'm going to always here. But I refuse to be daunted on the fact that I write erotica and romance. It's what I like and more importantly, if people took the truths and the lessons from romance home into their hearts and lived them, there'd be a lot less problems.