Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Truth About Romance Books: 5 Reasons You Should Read Them

Hello my little writer-lings! Can I call you that? Cool! Recently I was talking to someone online and we got into a...uh....let's call it a 'friendly debate' about Romance Books. Yeah. Friendly. That's it. This person told me that they didn't like romance books because they gave bad ideas about what sex really was, and cast women in roles where they had to be saved by a man and perpetuated the ideas that women were weak and only sexual objects. Woah, I thought. Woah, woah, WOAH. 

"What kind of romance books did you read?" I asked. Because there ARE romance books like that, but they're a very specific kind, called harlequins. It's basically porn. No plot, just sex, and yes, that brand does have some of the problems just stated. Sometimes.

"Oh," They typed, "I haven't read them. Bu I have friends who have. I wouldn't be caught dead reading them."


After I was done flipping out (internally of course...mostly) I kindly explained to said person why they were super super misinformed about romance books. This got me thinking, though. Just how many other people think romance books are all just smut with no substance or depth? How many people were missing out on really interesting books because they think that romance books are about sex and objectification?


First and foremost, before I get to my list (because you all know much I love lists!), I would like to publicly and proudly admit that my mom is a romance author. She's a GOOD romance writer and I'm going to link her website at the end of this! Secondly I'm going to tell you something that'll Blow. Your. MIND. You ready?

The romance book industry outsells almost every other genre.

Don't lie, I know this is your face right now!

That's right. Let that sink in. Reaaaaaaallly let it sink it. I bet you thought it was YA right? Nope. It's romance. If you were to make a pie chart of all the genres, half of the pie chart would be romance, and everything else would be all the other genres. THAT'S HOW MANY PEOPLE READ ROMANCE. THAT'S HOW POPULAR IT ACTUALLY IS.

So now what we've done that, lets talk about why you should give romance books a shot! 

1) You can learn really interesting facts from them!
Some of  the most interesting historical things I ever learned came from romance books. I learned about Roman Minnow Pools. Google that. I dare you. Writers's of historical romance do a ton of research! And why do they do that? Because their readers are smart and the internet is at our fingertips. Those readers (like me) will go to Wikipedia, google, and history books to see if what they just read is actually true. Plus, writer's want their books to be interesting, so they try and find the most obscure rules, laws, fashion, slang, and all that other stuff just to make sure they're keeping up with their readers intelligence. 

2) There are more sub-genres than you can shake a stick at! There's something for everyone!
    Hey ladies (and gentlemen! You should read romance too!), did you like True Blood on HBO? Yes? Well guess what, that's a huuuuge book series (I think there's like...10 books) and you can find it in the romance section! But you can also find it in the Sci-fi section. And the Fantasy section. Why? Because romance writers will write in EVERY genre. There's Steampunk Romance, Historical Romance, Modern Day Romance, Paranormal Romance, Sports Romance, Sweet Romance (aka, no sex scenes), and sometimes some authors even do Sci-fi Romace (hi, my name's Katie, and I'm writing a futuristic romance. Nice to meet ya!).

3) In many romance books today, the women tend to be the hero! 
    That's right! Women are not objective and used as play things. They're smart, educated, and usually headstrong. They aren't wilting flowers waiting for a man to come save them. That isn't to say that there aren't books like that (the early 90's and down were kind of a bad time for female leads, not gonna lie). But for over 20 years now the women in romance books are usually strong, and the male leads (while very manly) also come to realize very quickly that what they thought they wanted--weak, 'yes' girls--wasn't what they needed, and are very happy with their strong, smart women. Also, both the male and female leads save each other. It's a mutual saving. EQUALITY PEOPLES!

4) You CAN learn some good sex techniques from the books! It can improve your sex life!
    Yup, I'll say it. I enjoy those sexy scenes. And so does every other woman out there. And there are now some very satisfied women who got good ideas from those romance books. A lot of them work. Because romance writers need to draw from experience and research right? How fun is it to say you had to do some of those positions for research? Your S.O. will be more than happy to help, I'm sure. Also, writing them is an ART. An ART I tell you!! You can write bad scenes. Anyone remember 50 Shades of Gray? Yeah.

Aaaaaand Reason #5 You should read romance books:


That's really why we read romance. Hell, it's why readers read anything! We read for that happy ending. The good guy winning, the guy/girl getting their true love. In every every genre ever, there's always love involved. Because love is beautiful and transformative and wonderful. It moves us and makes us become more than we thought we could be or could deserve. Romance books are wonderful that way. They focus not on sex (as those who've never read a romance book, or a good romance book, will tell you), but on the building of the relationship.

That's right!

It's not about the sex in romance books!...........Okay it's a little about the sex. But mainly it's about the character's journey to finding and accepting love. And THAT is what romance books focus on. They focus on the characters and how love changes them. They have to go through all sorts of things (because you know, plot is good!), and often times come to grips with their own demons.

 Romance books can be so helpful in turning the mirror back on you. Perhaps you see the same emotional problems in the character that you yourself have, and reading the book and how they over come it could be a step in the right direction for YOU to find love if you haven't (but want to!).

So before you go knocking romance books and laughing and making fun of the girls and women who read them, try reading one. Seriously. And if you're scared too or don't know where to start, give me a ping and I can recommend some to you and your tastes--because honestly, I read SO much romance in so many sub-genres.

How about you guys? Do you read romance books? If so whose you're favorite author!? Did people make fun of you reading them? Has Romance books helped your love life? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!

And as promised, here is a link to my mom's website! Her books are paranormal romance about a woman who has magic powers but doens't realize she has them--and that the items she knits are being infused with love magic! SUPER cute stories! And one of them even has LARPing involved! (guess where she got that idea!)

The Knit Witchery Tales: Jill Jaynes  (click on this link and you can see her books and blog! Enjoy guys!) 

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