Forbidden pleasures

Davyhead
Here's Jo, waving the flag of freedom, supported by a stern eye from Davy.

Freedom to read, that is. This is Freedom To Read Week, and that's a very serious subject. (Does this only exist in Canada? If so, I'm shocked!)

I'm actually quite annoyed by the way people use books like Harry Potter as examples to catch media attention. Yes, it's ridiculous that some people have tried to have the books taken out of school libraries because they promote witchcraft and such, but such an example undervalues the real issue — attempts, often successful, to suppress ideas that challenge the norm or the powers that be.

You can read a list of the most commonly challenged and banned books in the US here.

I'm not going to go on at length about that, but I'd be interested in your opinion of the above. Also, are there are ridiculous or serious book restrictions going on in your area that might not be widely known? Do you think some books should be banned, or severely restricted?

You can look at the Canadian Freedom To Read website here.

Here's a quote from there. "Freedom to read can never be taken for granted. Even in Canada, a free country by world standards,
books and magazines are banned at the border. Books are removed from
the shelves in Canadian libraries, schools and bookstores every day.
Free speech on the Internet is under attack. Few of these stories make
headlines, but they affect the right of Canadians to decide for
themselves what they choose to read."

I don't want to underplay at all the seriousness of true book banning, and especially the powerful challenges faced by people in more difficult countries, but the last bit made me think.

"…the right of Canadians to decide for
themselves what they choose to read.
"

We don't only restrict that right by taking books off shelves or stopping them at the border. We can do so in other ways, and it happens to romance novels all the time. Expressed disapproval or ridicule is an attempt to stop people from reading what they choose to read. This disapproval is even sometimes dished out by bookstore clerks as they scan the books at the cash register! Some bookstores have section for mystery, science fiction and fantasy, but refuse to stock "those kinds of books." That's a very overt attempt to limit choice. Many literary events never invite romance authors. Some don't invite any genre authors. I was reliably told of one small literary event that decided to invite
some romance writers. Some of the other authors threatened to pull out
if that was done.

All the above people probably take Freedom To Read week seriously, as they should. Isn't it time for them to embrace the idea completely, and make it Freedom To Read, Even The Books I Don't Approve Of, week?

Unfortunately, all this disapproval makes some romance readers secretive about their choice, or at least apologetic. I was working in the romance section at a big charity book sale last weekend and some customers there made deprecating remarks, or apologized for their choice. "I know it's trash, but…" "I shouldn't be reading this, but…"

So, as a romance reader, do you ever experience disapproval or worse? How do you handle it? Are you hesitant to read a romance novel in some places? What do you say if someone insults your choice of reading?

Devious
 And, to turn it on its head, is there a type of fiction you scorn others for reading?

I'll confess, when I came across this book at the book fair last year I laughed. I sneered. I poked fun at it. Okay, I still can't take it seriously! Especially when I found a typo in a casual flip through the 150 pages of large print. At the end of a brief sex scene where they achieved "the soft of fulfillment" whatever that is, I read "When I opened my ewes…" Baaaa!

So we all do it, don't we? But, I hope if I saw someone reading this book (published in 1965, so unlikely) I would hide my opinion and say nothing. If someone asked my opinion of the book, however, I'd give it.

I think that's an important distinction. I'm entitled to comment on and criticize individual books, and if I'm rude enough, to do so to people reading them. I'm not entitled to abuse people for reading a type of book. I also think it's wrong for a genre to be barred from a bookstore or the authors of a genre to be seen as lesser than other authors.

What say you?

It's just over a month to the publication of The Secret Wedding, and I've put up the beginning on my web site. If you like a sneak peek, check it out here.

Jo

65 thoughts on “Forbidden pleasures”

  1. Oh, sure, I felt embarrassed about reading romance, too. Not that it stopped me. Yes, bookstore clerks have looked at me odd for buying romances. I don’t patronize those bookstores anymore. I think part of the reason romances get bashed is because women read them. No one bashes westerns or war stories.
    In the end, though, everyone talks about art, but what they really want is money. Romance is a big seller, and the best way to thumb your nose at those who deprecate romance is to make a lot of money. I’ll bet those small literary event authors didn’t want the romance authors because the romance authors make more money than they do.

    Reply
  2. Oh, sure, I felt embarrassed about reading romance, too. Not that it stopped me. Yes, bookstore clerks have looked at me odd for buying romances. I don’t patronize those bookstores anymore. I think part of the reason romances get bashed is because women read them. No one bashes westerns or war stories.
    In the end, though, everyone talks about art, but what they really want is money. Romance is a big seller, and the best way to thumb your nose at those who deprecate romance is to make a lot of money. I’ll bet those small literary event authors didn’t want the romance authors because the romance authors make more money than they do.

    Reply
  3. Oh, sure, I felt embarrassed about reading romance, too. Not that it stopped me. Yes, bookstore clerks have looked at me odd for buying romances. I don’t patronize those bookstores anymore. I think part of the reason romances get bashed is because women read them. No one bashes westerns or war stories.
    In the end, though, everyone talks about art, but what they really want is money. Romance is a big seller, and the best way to thumb your nose at those who deprecate romance is to make a lot of money. I’ll bet those small literary event authors didn’t want the romance authors because the romance authors make more money than they do.

    Reply
  4. Oh, sure, I felt embarrassed about reading romance, too. Not that it stopped me. Yes, bookstore clerks have looked at me odd for buying romances. I don’t patronize those bookstores anymore. I think part of the reason romances get bashed is because women read them. No one bashes westerns or war stories.
    In the end, though, everyone talks about art, but what they really want is money. Romance is a big seller, and the best way to thumb your nose at those who deprecate romance is to make a lot of money. I’ll bet those small literary event authors didn’t want the romance authors because the romance authors make more money than they do.

    Reply
  5. Oh, sure, I felt embarrassed about reading romance, too. Not that it stopped me. Yes, bookstore clerks have looked at me odd for buying romances. I don’t patronize those bookstores anymore. I think part of the reason romances get bashed is because women read them. No one bashes westerns or war stories.
    In the end, though, everyone talks about art, but what they really want is money. Romance is a big seller, and the best way to thumb your nose at those who deprecate romance is to make a lot of money. I’ll bet those small literary event authors didn’t want the romance authors because the romance authors make more money than they do.

    Reply
  6. I agree,Linda!Jealousy! Don’t they know the profits from popular books like Romance allows the publishing firms to take a chance on works that may not draw a large audience? I would put the quality of your writing up against anyone’s, Jo. That goes for all the wordwenches and many other Romance writers. You’ve touched on a sore spot, Jo- I could get on this soapbox and rant for hours! I recently read an opinion piece in my local paper(probably syndicated) about censorship that occurs because writers don’t want to offend any group that is politically taboo- Okay to criticize government or big business, but don’t offend Mothers Against drunk Driving, or the Red Cross, or cat lovers, or anyone else likely to call your editor. Romance readers may need to become more vocal- the snide remarks will cease if we make it politically incorrect to dis us!

    Reply
  7. I agree,Linda!Jealousy! Don’t they know the profits from popular books like Romance allows the publishing firms to take a chance on works that may not draw a large audience? I would put the quality of your writing up against anyone’s, Jo. That goes for all the wordwenches and many other Romance writers. You’ve touched on a sore spot, Jo- I could get on this soapbox and rant for hours! I recently read an opinion piece in my local paper(probably syndicated) about censorship that occurs because writers don’t want to offend any group that is politically taboo- Okay to criticize government or big business, but don’t offend Mothers Against drunk Driving, or the Red Cross, or cat lovers, or anyone else likely to call your editor. Romance readers may need to become more vocal- the snide remarks will cease if we make it politically incorrect to dis us!

    Reply
  8. I agree,Linda!Jealousy! Don’t they know the profits from popular books like Romance allows the publishing firms to take a chance on works that may not draw a large audience? I would put the quality of your writing up against anyone’s, Jo. That goes for all the wordwenches and many other Romance writers. You’ve touched on a sore spot, Jo- I could get on this soapbox and rant for hours! I recently read an opinion piece in my local paper(probably syndicated) about censorship that occurs because writers don’t want to offend any group that is politically taboo- Okay to criticize government or big business, but don’t offend Mothers Against drunk Driving, or the Red Cross, or cat lovers, or anyone else likely to call your editor. Romance readers may need to become more vocal- the snide remarks will cease if we make it politically incorrect to dis us!

    Reply
  9. I agree,Linda!Jealousy! Don’t they know the profits from popular books like Romance allows the publishing firms to take a chance on works that may not draw a large audience? I would put the quality of your writing up against anyone’s, Jo. That goes for all the wordwenches and many other Romance writers. You’ve touched on a sore spot, Jo- I could get on this soapbox and rant for hours! I recently read an opinion piece in my local paper(probably syndicated) about censorship that occurs because writers don’t want to offend any group that is politically taboo- Okay to criticize government or big business, but don’t offend Mothers Against drunk Driving, or the Red Cross, or cat lovers, or anyone else likely to call your editor. Romance readers may need to become more vocal- the snide remarks will cease if we make it politically incorrect to dis us!

    Reply
  10. I agree,Linda!Jealousy! Don’t they know the profits from popular books like Romance allows the publishing firms to take a chance on works that may not draw a large audience? I would put the quality of your writing up against anyone’s, Jo. That goes for all the wordwenches and many other Romance writers. You’ve touched on a sore spot, Jo- I could get on this soapbox and rant for hours! I recently read an opinion piece in my local paper(probably syndicated) about censorship that occurs because writers don’t want to offend any group that is politically taboo- Okay to criticize government or big business, but don’t offend Mothers Against drunk Driving, or the Red Cross, or cat lovers, or anyone else likely to call your editor. Romance readers may need to become more vocal- the snide remarks will cease if we make it politically incorrect to dis us!

    Reply
  11. Canad has a Freedom to Read Week? Is this the same Canada where the Human Rights Commission put Mark Steyn on trial because some people didn’t like what he wrote about Islam?

    Reply
  12. Canad has a Freedom to Read Week? Is this the same Canada where the Human Rights Commission put Mark Steyn on trial because some people didn’t like what he wrote about Islam?

    Reply
  13. Canad has a Freedom to Read Week? Is this the same Canada where the Human Rights Commission put Mark Steyn on trial because some people didn’t like what he wrote about Islam?

    Reply
  14. Canad has a Freedom to Read Week? Is this the same Canada where the Human Rights Commission put Mark Steyn on trial because some people didn’t like what he wrote about Islam?

    Reply
  15. Canad has a Freedom to Read Week? Is this the same Canada where the Human Rights Commission put Mark Steyn on trial because some people didn’t like what he wrote about Islam?

    Reply
  16. I think that taking away a persons right to read what they choose is wrong. However on the other hand I believe that there are some books banned because who really needs to know how to build a bomb. That would be a public safety measure. Thats an example of course.
    I know I enjoy a wide variety of books. My favorite is a romance novel, or a romantic suspense. I for one am definately not embarrassed or ashamed to admit what I like to read. Sometimes sitting down with a glass of wine a blanket and a good book is just what is needed to relax. For me, reading a book is like watching a movie in my mind. So for me to apologize for wanting to relax and read something that makes me feel warm and fuzzy is crazy. Just my opinion.

    Reply
  17. I think that taking away a persons right to read what they choose is wrong. However on the other hand I believe that there are some books banned because who really needs to know how to build a bomb. That would be a public safety measure. Thats an example of course.
    I know I enjoy a wide variety of books. My favorite is a romance novel, or a romantic suspense. I for one am definately not embarrassed or ashamed to admit what I like to read. Sometimes sitting down with a glass of wine a blanket and a good book is just what is needed to relax. For me, reading a book is like watching a movie in my mind. So for me to apologize for wanting to relax and read something that makes me feel warm and fuzzy is crazy. Just my opinion.

    Reply
  18. I think that taking away a persons right to read what they choose is wrong. However on the other hand I believe that there are some books banned because who really needs to know how to build a bomb. That would be a public safety measure. Thats an example of course.
    I know I enjoy a wide variety of books. My favorite is a romance novel, or a romantic suspense. I for one am definately not embarrassed or ashamed to admit what I like to read. Sometimes sitting down with a glass of wine a blanket and a good book is just what is needed to relax. For me, reading a book is like watching a movie in my mind. So for me to apologize for wanting to relax and read something that makes me feel warm and fuzzy is crazy. Just my opinion.

    Reply
  19. I think that taking away a persons right to read what they choose is wrong. However on the other hand I believe that there are some books banned because who really needs to know how to build a bomb. That would be a public safety measure. Thats an example of course.
    I know I enjoy a wide variety of books. My favorite is a romance novel, or a romantic suspense. I for one am definately not embarrassed or ashamed to admit what I like to read. Sometimes sitting down with a glass of wine a blanket and a good book is just what is needed to relax. For me, reading a book is like watching a movie in my mind. So for me to apologize for wanting to relax and read something that makes me feel warm and fuzzy is crazy. Just my opinion.

    Reply
  20. I think that taking away a persons right to read what they choose is wrong. However on the other hand I believe that there are some books banned because who really needs to know how to build a bomb. That would be a public safety measure. Thats an example of course.
    I know I enjoy a wide variety of books. My favorite is a romance novel, or a romantic suspense. I for one am definately not embarrassed or ashamed to admit what I like to read. Sometimes sitting down with a glass of wine a blanket and a good book is just what is needed to relax. For me, reading a book is like watching a movie in my mind. So for me to apologize for wanting to relax and read something that makes me feel warm and fuzzy is crazy. Just my opinion.

    Reply
  21. Last summer I discovered Loretta Chase’s books. This led me to the Word Wenches and of course to more wonderful authors and delightful books. I had been reading romantic suspense for a long time and I enjoyed making the change to historical romance. I was really impressed by the quality of the writing of all the Wenches. It occurred to me that I never saw book reviews in my local(Minneapolis) newspaper for any romance novels. I sent a letter to the editor of the book/literary section of the paper to ask her about it. The response I got from her is that because she has limited space in the paper, she sticks to reviews of mysteries, poetry, non-fiction, and literary fiction. The paper avoids genre fiction which “tends to follow a formula.”
    I don’t agree totally with her argument since I find many mysteries very formulaic. Vince Flynn, a hometown favorite, is in the paper regularly.He writes a continuing series and the plots tend to follow a similar format. I think this is an example of the lack of respect romance authors and their novels get, in general.
    I like happily-ever-afters. I’m over the age of 50 and I don’t apologize for it any more. If I want anything else, I can turn on the TV and watch the news or read the newspaper. I read totally to relax and escape for awhile and believe in the power of love.

    Reply
  22. Last summer I discovered Loretta Chase’s books. This led me to the Word Wenches and of course to more wonderful authors and delightful books. I had been reading romantic suspense for a long time and I enjoyed making the change to historical romance. I was really impressed by the quality of the writing of all the Wenches. It occurred to me that I never saw book reviews in my local(Minneapolis) newspaper for any romance novels. I sent a letter to the editor of the book/literary section of the paper to ask her about it. The response I got from her is that because she has limited space in the paper, she sticks to reviews of mysteries, poetry, non-fiction, and literary fiction. The paper avoids genre fiction which “tends to follow a formula.”
    I don’t agree totally with her argument since I find many mysteries very formulaic. Vince Flynn, a hometown favorite, is in the paper regularly.He writes a continuing series and the plots tend to follow a similar format. I think this is an example of the lack of respect romance authors and their novels get, in general.
    I like happily-ever-afters. I’m over the age of 50 and I don’t apologize for it any more. If I want anything else, I can turn on the TV and watch the news or read the newspaper. I read totally to relax and escape for awhile and believe in the power of love.

    Reply
  23. Last summer I discovered Loretta Chase’s books. This led me to the Word Wenches and of course to more wonderful authors and delightful books. I had been reading romantic suspense for a long time and I enjoyed making the change to historical romance. I was really impressed by the quality of the writing of all the Wenches. It occurred to me that I never saw book reviews in my local(Minneapolis) newspaper for any romance novels. I sent a letter to the editor of the book/literary section of the paper to ask her about it. The response I got from her is that because she has limited space in the paper, she sticks to reviews of mysteries, poetry, non-fiction, and literary fiction. The paper avoids genre fiction which “tends to follow a formula.”
    I don’t agree totally with her argument since I find many mysteries very formulaic. Vince Flynn, a hometown favorite, is in the paper regularly.He writes a continuing series and the plots tend to follow a similar format. I think this is an example of the lack of respect romance authors and their novels get, in general.
    I like happily-ever-afters. I’m over the age of 50 and I don’t apologize for it any more. If I want anything else, I can turn on the TV and watch the news or read the newspaper. I read totally to relax and escape for awhile and believe in the power of love.

    Reply
  24. Last summer I discovered Loretta Chase’s books. This led me to the Word Wenches and of course to more wonderful authors and delightful books. I had been reading romantic suspense for a long time and I enjoyed making the change to historical romance. I was really impressed by the quality of the writing of all the Wenches. It occurred to me that I never saw book reviews in my local(Minneapolis) newspaper for any romance novels. I sent a letter to the editor of the book/literary section of the paper to ask her about it. The response I got from her is that because she has limited space in the paper, she sticks to reviews of mysteries, poetry, non-fiction, and literary fiction. The paper avoids genre fiction which “tends to follow a formula.”
    I don’t agree totally with her argument since I find many mysteries very formulaic. Vince Flynn, a hometown favorite, is in the paper regularly.He writes a continuing series and the plots tend to follow a similar format. I think this is an example of the lack of respect romance authors and their novels get, in general.
    I like happily-ever-afters. I’m over the age of 50 and I don’t apologize for it any more. If I want anything else, I can turn on the TV and watch the news or read the newspaper. I read totally to relax and escape for awhile and believe in the power of love.

    Reply
  25. Last summer I discovered Loretta Chase’s books. This led me to the Word Wenches and of course to more wonderful authors and delightful books. I had been reading romantic suspense for a long time and I enjoyed making the change to historical romance. I was really impressed by the quality of the writing of all the Wenches. It occurred to me that I never saw book reviews in my local(Minneapolis) newspaper for any romance novels. I sent a letter to the editor of the book/literary section of the paper to ask her about it. The response I got from her is that because she has limited space in the paper, she sticks to reviews of mysteries, poetry, non-fiction, and literary fiction. The paper avoids genre fiction which “tends to follow a formula.”
    I don’t agree totally with her argument since I find many mysteries very formulaic. Vince Flynn, a hometown favorite, is in the paper regularly.He writes a continuing series and the plots tend to follow a similar format. I think this is an example of the lack of respect romance authors and their novels get, in general.
    I like happily-ever-afters. I’m over the age of 50 and I don’t apologize for it any more. If I want anything else, I can turn on the TV and watch the news or read the newspaper. I read totally to relax and escape for awhile and believe in the power of love.

    Reply
  26. I used to be self-conscious about my reading choices in two equal and opposite ways–I didn’t want to be perceived as a fluffy intellectual lightweight OR as too geeky and scholarly. Now? I realize life is too short to worry if, say, my coworkers think my taste in novels is insufficiently literary, or if my relatives think I’m strange for reading a Peninsular War memoir over the Christmas holidays.
    I do, however, hate to read a book with an ugly cover in public–whether it’s a garish beefcake romance cover, a too-busy fantasy or science fiction cover (recent SFF covers have improved a lot, but some houses still use such BUSY images), or just plain unattractive. I’m currently reading a 1970 edition of THE RECOLLECTIONS OF RIFLEMAN HARRIS, borrowed from the library, and the drawing of a rifleman on the cover is just PAINFULLY ugly–the color contrasts are too stark, and he looks sickly and unhappy.
    I don’t know why I care, but when I’m reading a book like that, I try not to flash the cover all over the bus/cafeteria/airplane/etc.

    Reply
  27. I used to be self-conscious about my reading choices in two equal and opposite ways–I didn’t want to be perceived as a fluffy intellectual lightweight OR as too geeky and scholarly. Now? I realize life is too short to worry if, say, my coworkers think my taste in novels is insufficiently literary, or if my relatives think I’m strange for reading a Peninsular War memoir over the Christmas holidays.
    I do, however, hate to read a book with an ugly cover in public–whether it’s a garish beefcake romance cover, a too-busy fantasy or science fiction cover (recent SFF covers have improved a lot, but some houses still use such BUSY images), or just plain unattractive. I’m currently reading a 1970 edition of THE RECOLLECTIONS OF RIFLEMAN HARRIS, borrowed from the library, and the drawing of a rifleman on the cover is just PAINFULLY ugly–the color contrasts are too stark, and he looks sickly and unhappy.
    I don’t know why I care, but when I’m reading a book like that, I try not to flash the cover all over the bus/cafeteria/airplane/etc.

    Reply
  28. I used to be self-conscious about my reading choices in two equal and opposite ways–I didn’t want to be perceived as a fluffy intellectual lightweight OR as too geeky and scholarly. Now? I realize life is too short to worry if, say, my coworkers think my taste in novels is insufficiently literary, or if my relatives think I’m strange for reading a Peninsular War memoir over the Christmas holidays.
    I do, however, hate to read a book with an ugly cover in public–whether it’s a garish beefcake romance cover, a too-busy fantasy or science fiction cover (recent SFF covers have improved a lot, but some houses still use such BUSY images), or just plain unattractive. I’m currently reading a 1970 edition of THE RECOLLECTIONS OF RIFLEMAN HARRIS, borrowed from the library, and the drawing of a rifleman on the cover is just PAINFULLY ugly–the color contrasts are too stark, and he looks sickly and unhappy.
    I don’t know why I care, but when I’m reading a book like that, I try not to flash the cover all over the bus/cafeteria/airplane/etc.

    Reply
  29. I used to be self-conscious about my reading choices in two equal and opposite ways–I didn’t want to be perceived as a fluffy intellectual lightweight OR as too geeky and scholarly. Now? I realize life is too short to worry if, say, my coworkers think my taste in novels is insufficiently literary, or if my relatives think I’m strange for reading a Peninsular War memoir over the Christmas holidays.
    I do, however, hate to read a book with an ugly cover in public–whether it’s a garish beefcake romance cover, a too-busy fantasy or science fiction cover (recent SFF covers have improved a lot, but some houses still use such BUSY images), or just plain unattractive. I’m currently reading a 1970 edition of THE RECOLLECTIONS OF RIFLEMAN HARRIS, borrowed from the library, and the drawing of a rifleman on the cover is just PAINFULLY ugly–the color contrasts are too stark, and he looks sickly and unhappy.
    I don’t know why I care, but when I’m reading a book like that, I try not to flash the cover all over the bus/cafeteria/airplane/etc.

    Reply
  30. I used to be self-conscious about my reading choices in two equal and opposite ways–I didn’t want to be perceived as a fluffy intellectual lightweight OR as too geeky and scholarly. Now? I realize life is too short to worry if, say, my coworkers think my taste in novels is insufficiently literary, or if my relatives think I’m strange for reading a Peninsular War memoir over the Christmas holidays.
    I do, however, hate to read a book with an ugly cover in public–whether it’s a garish beefcake romance cover, a too-busy fantasy or science fiction cover (recent SFF covers have improved a lot, but some houses still use such BUSY images), or just plain unattractive. I’m currently reading a 1970 edition of THE RECOLLECTIONS OF RIFLEMAN HARRIS, borrowed from the library, and the drawing of a rifleman on the cover is just PAINFULLY ugly–the color contrasts are too stark, and he looks sickly and unhappy.
    I don’t know why I care, but when I’m reading a book like that, I try not to flash the cover all over the bus/cafeteria/airplane/etc.

    Reply
  31. There was a comment on the BBC the other week about the fact that people are no longer reading romances, but the increase in the borrowing of crime fiction has been huge. Certainly there is no dedicated ‘Romance’ section in my local library any more, and the books themselves are difficult to find. This however won’t stop me!! Books are my big extravagance – and I love the romance genre – particularly historical. These books have literally kept me sane after the death of my husband, 18 months ago. Yes I have been made to feel brainless because these are the books I read. I do suggest to friends that they try it before they sneer! Usually lovely stories with little violence and a happy ending. What on earth is wrong with that!
    One problem – I haven’t room in my house for any more bookshelves – unless I put some in the bathroom…

    Reply
  32. There was a comment on the BBC the other week about the fact that people are no longer reading romances, but the increase in the borrowing of crime fiction has been huge. Certainly there is no dedicated ‘Romance’ section in my local library any more, and the books themselves are difficult to find. This however won’t stop me!! Books are my big extravagance – and I love the romance genre – particularly historical. These books have literally kept me sane after the death of my husband, 18 months ago. Yes I have been made to feel brainless because these are the books I read. I do suggest to friends that they try it before they sneer! Usually lovely stories with little violence and a happy ending. What on earth is wrong with that!
    One problem – I haven’t room in my house for any more bookshelves – unless I put some in the bathroom…

    Reply
  33. There was a comment on the BBC the other week about the fact that people are no longer reading romances, but the increase in the borrowing of crime fiction has been huge. Certainly there is no dedicated ‘Romance’ section in my local library any more, and the books themselves are difficult to find. This however won’t stop me!! Books are my big extravagance – and I love the romance genre – particularly historical. These books have literally kept me sane after the death of my husband, 18 months ago. Yes I have been made to feel brainless because these are the books I read. I do suggest to friends that they try it before they sneer! Usually lovely stories with little violence and a happy ending. What on earth is wrong with that!
    One problem – I haven’t room in my house for any more bookshelves – unless I put some in the bathroom…

    Reply
  34. There was a comment on the BBC the other week about the fact that people are no longer reading romances, but the increase in the borrowing of crime fiction has been huge. Certainly there is no dedicated ‘Romance’ section in my local library any more, and the books themselves are difficult to find. This however won’t stop me!! Books are my big extravagance – and I love the romance genre – particularly historical. These books have literally kept me sane after the death of my husband, 18 months ago. Yes I have been made to feel brainless because these are the books I read. I do suggest to friends that they try it before they sneer! Usually lovely stories with little violence and a happy ending. What on earth is wrong with that!
    One problem – I haven’t room in my house for any more bookshelves – unless I put some in the bathroom…

    Reply
  35. There was a comment on the BBC the other week about the fact that people are no longer reading romances, but the increase in the borrowing of crime fiction has been huge. Certainly there is no dedicated ‘Romance’ section in my local library any more, and the books themselves are difficult to find. This however won’t stop me!! Books are my big extravagance – and I love the romance genre – particularly historical. These books have literally kept me sane after the death of my husband, 18 months ago. Yes I have been made to feel brainless because these are the books I read. I do suggest to friends that they try it before they sneer! Usually lovely stories with little violence and a happy ending. What on earth is wrong with that!
    One problem – I haven’t room in my house for any more bookshelves – unless I put some in the bathroom…

    Reply
  36. There is a quote I cannot quite remember or who wrote it but it basically says I may not agree with every thing you say, but I will defend your right to say it until death – excuse the poor paraphrase! I feel like that when it comes to books. If I do not like a book’s content – I don’t have to read it, but i will defend someone else’s right to read it!
    That said – Dr Eric Selinger of De Paul University and several other professors are now bringing Romance into the academic world for serious study. I took a class from him last summer. They have created a list-serv called romance_scholars and an international organization called The International Association for the Study of Popular Romance (IASPR)which has a page on Facebook.
    We are going mainstream in academia!!!!!!:)

    Reply
  37. There is a quote I cannot quite remember or who wrote it but it basically says I may not agree with every thing you say, but I will defend your right to say it until death – excuse the poor paraphrase! I feel like that when it comes to books. If I do not like a book’s content – I don’t have to read it, but i will defend someone else’s right to read it!
    That said – Dr Eric Selinger of De Paul University and several other professors are now bringing Romance into the academic world for serious study. I took a class from him last summer. They have created a list-serv called romance_scholars and an international organization called The International Association for the Study of Popular Romance (IASPR)which has a page on Facebook.
    We are going mainstream in academia!!!!!!:)

    Reply
  38. There is a quote I cannot quite remember or who wrote it but it basically says I may not agree with every thing you say, but I will defend your right to say it until death – excuse the poor paraphrase! I feel like that when it comes to books. If I do not like a book’s content – I don’t have to read it, but i will defend someone else’s right to read it!
    That said – Dr Eric Selinger of De Paul University and several other professors are now bringing Romance into the academic world for serious study. I took a class from him last summer. They have created a list-serv called romance_scholars and an international organization called The International Association for the Study of Popular Romance (IASPR)which has a page on Facebook.
    We are going mainstream in academia!!!!!!:)

    Reply
  39. There is a quote I cannot quite remember or who wrote it but it basically says I may not agree with every thing you say, but I will defend your right to say it until death – excuse the poor paraphrase! I feel like that when it comes to books. If I do not like a book’s content – I don’t have to read it, but i will defend someone else’s right to read it!
    That said – Dr Eric Selinger of De Paul University and several other professors are now bringing Romance into the academic world for serious study. I took a class from him last summer. They have created a list-serv called romance_scholars and an international organization called The International Association for the Study of Popular Romance (IASPR)which has a page on Facebook.
    We are going mainstream in academia!!!!!!:)

    Reply
  40. There is a quote I cannot quite remember or who wrote it but it basically says I may not agree with every thing you say, but I will defend your right to say it until death – excuse the poor paraphrase! I feel like that when it comes to books. If I do not like a book’s content – I don’t have to read it, but i will defend someone else’s right to read it!
    That said – Dr Eric Selinger of De Paul University and several other professors are now bringing Romance into the academic world for serious study. I took a class from him last summer. They have created a list-serv called romance_scholars and an international organization called The International Association for the Study of Popular Romance (IASPR)which has a page on Facebook.
    We are going mainstream in academia!!!!!!:)

    Reply
  41. “There was a comment on the BBC the other week about the fact that people are no longer reading romances, but the increase in the borrowing of crime fiction has been huge. Certainly there is no dedicated ‘Romance’ section in my local library any more, and the books themselves are difficult to find.”
    That’s terrible, Cynthia! Do they still have sections for historical novels? Libraries used to, and they’d include romances and historical novels.
    Mind you, I think the range of romance in the UK is more limited.Outside of Mills and Boon, is there any home grown historical fiction? So it may be more that people, like you, can’t find what they want rather than them turning away.
    Also some books which are romance are probably in the general fiction shelves, to escape the shadow of being romance.
    Jo

    Reply
  42. “There was a comment on the BBC the other week about the fact that people are no longer reading romances, but the increase in the borrowing of crime fiction has been huge. Certainly there is no dedicated ‘Romance’ section in my local library any more, and the books themselves are difficult to find.”
    That’s terrible, Cynthia! Do they still have sections for historical novels? Libraries used to, and they’d include romances and historical novels.
    Mind you, I think the range of romance in the UK is more limited.Outside of Mills and Boon, is there any home grown historical fiction? So it may be more that people, like you, can’t find what they want rather than them turning away.
    Also some books which are romance are probably in the general fiction shelves, to escape the shadow of being romance.
    Jo

    Reply
  43. “There was a comment on the BBC the other week about the fact that people are no longer reading romances, but the increase in the borrowing of crime fiction has been huge. Certainly there is no dedicated ‘Romance’ section in my local library any more, and the books themselves are difficult to find.”
    That’s terrible, Cynthia! Do they still have sections for historical novels? Libraries used to, and they’d include romances and historical novels.
    Mind you, I think the range of romance in the UK is more limited.Outside of Mills and Boon, is there any home grown historical fiction? So it may be more that people, like you, can’t find what they want rather than them turning away.
    Also some books which are romance are probably in the general fiction shelves, to escape the shadow of being romance.
    Jo

    Reply
  44. “There was a comment on the BBC the other week about the fact that people are no longer reading romances, but the increase in the borrowing of crime fiction has been huge. Certainly there is no dedicated ‘Romance’ section in my local library any more, and the books themselves are difficult to find.”
    That’s terrible, Cynthia! Do they still have sections for historical novels? Libraries used to, and they’d include romances and historical novels.
    Mind you, I think the range of romance in the UK is more limited.Outside of Mills and Boon, is there any home grown historical fiction? So it may be more that people, like you, can’t find what they want rather than them turning away.
    Also some books which are romance are probably in the general fiction shelves, to escape the shadow of being romance.
    Jo

    Reply
  45. “There was a comment on the BBC the other week about the fact that people are no longer reading romances, but the increase in the borrowing of crime fiction has been huge. Certainly there is no dedicated ‘Romance’ section in my local library any more, and the books themselves are difficult to find.”
    That’s terrible, Cynthia! Do they still have sections for historical novels? Libraries used to, and they’d include romances and historical novels.
    Mind you, I think the range of romance in the UK is more limited.Outside of Mills and Boon, is there any home grown historical fiction? So it may be more that people, like you, can’t find what they want rather than them turning away.
    Also some books which are romance are probably in the general fiction shelves, to escape the shadow of being romance.
    Jo

    Reply
  46. In general I agree that no one should ban books and no books should be banned. However…..
    I am routinely faced with a conundrum. I am a high school teacher. Too few high school age kids read. Getting kids to appreciate “reading for pleasure” can be really tough. BUT…. what do I do when I see a kid reading and I know that what they are reading is either a) WAY too sexually explicit for their age or b) way too graphically violent? The worst, of course, are those books that are both.
    I never want to discourage a student from reading. I wish they could all love Jane Austen or Jack London, or both. But, as they say, “that ain’t happening!”
    So, while I want to scream “why are you reading that garbage???” I keep my tongue in my head and try to be glad that they are reading at all.
    It’s difficult.

    Reply
  47. In general I agree that no one should ban books and no books should be banned. However…..
    I am routinely faced with a conundrum. I am a high school teacher. Too few high school age kids read. Getting kids to appreciate “reading for pleasure” can be really tough. BUT…. what do I do when I see a kid reading and I know that what they are reading is either a) WAY too sexually explicit for their age or b) way too graphically violent? The worst, of course, are those books that are both.
    I never want to discourage a student from reading. I wish they could all love Jane Austen or Jack London, or both. But, as they say, “that ain’t happening!”
    So, while I want to scream “why are you reading that garbage???” I keep my tongue in my head and try to be glad that they are reading at all.
    It’s difficult.

    Reply
  48. In general I agree that no one should ban books and no books should be banned. However…..
    I am routinely faced with a conundrum. I am a high school teacher. Too few high school age kids read. Getting kids to appreciate “reading for pleasure” can be really tough. BUT…. what do I do when I see a kid reading and I know that what they are reading is either a) WAY too sexually explicit for their age or b) way too graphically violent? The worst, of course, are those books that are both.
    I never want to discourage a student from reading. I wish they could all love Jane Austen or Jack London, or both. But, as they say, “that ain’t happening!”
    So, while I want to scream “why are you reading that garbage???” I keep my tongue in my head and try to be glad that they are reading at all.
    It’s difficult.

    Reply
  49. In general I agree that no one should ban books and no books should be banned. However…..
    I am routinely faced with a conundrum. I am a high school teacher. Too few high school age kids read. Getting kids to appreciate “reading for pleasure” can be really tough. BUT…. what do I do when I see a kid reading and I know that what they are reading is either a) WAY too sexually explicit for their age or b) way too graphically violent? The worst, of course, are those books that are both.
    I never want to discourage a student from reading. I wish they could all love Jane Austen or Jack London, or both. But, as they say, “that ain’t happening!”
    So, while I want to scream “why are you reading that garbage???” I keep my tongue in my head and try to be glad that they are reading at all.
    It’s difficult.

    Reply
  50. In general I agree that no one should ban books and no books should be banned. However…..
    I am routinely faced with a conundrum. I am a high school teacher. Too few high school age kids read. Getting kids to appreciate “reading for pleasure” can be really tough. BUT…. what do I do when I see a kid reading and I know that what they are reading is either a) WAY too sexually explicit for their age or b) way too graphically violent? The worst, of course, are those books that are both.
    I never want to discourage a student from reading. I wish they could all love Jane Austen or Jack London, or both. But, as they say, “that ain’t happening!”
    So, while I want to scream “why are you reading that garbage???” I keep my tongue in my head and try to be glad that they are reading at all.
    It’s difficult.

    Reply

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