Thursday, April 19, 2007

Booking it Shamefully?

“... the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering - these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love - these are what we stay alive for.” - Robin Williams

First off, can I just say (re: American Idol) -- It's about freakin' time.

Yesterday in the comments, Alwyn asked me what I was reading now. This ties in to my booking it answer, so let me proudly state that I am currently in the middle of:

Of course, I never read only one book... so I'm also reading:

Over Sea, Under Stone

How & When to Tell Your Kids About Sex

101 Ways to Help Birds

Okay...moving on.

Booking Through Thursday

Okay, there must be something you read that's a guilty pleasure . . . a Harlequin romance stashed under the mattress. A cheesy sci-fi book tucked in the back of the freezer. A celebrity biography, a phoned-in Western . . . something that you'd really rather not be spotted reading. Even just a novel if you're a die-hard non-fiction fan. Come on, confess. We won't hold it against you!

I'm trying not to leap upon my soapbox at this question, but it's a struggle. Why does anyone think they have to hide their romance novel under a mattress? Maybe only if it's a Harlequin? Why is genre fiction looked upon as some kind of nefarious plot by authors and editors to somehow lower a person's IQ?

Sometimes, I read for edification or education, as you can see from the above non-fiction books -- but mostly I read for entertainment. I proudly write romance, and would love a contract with Harlequin. I face persecution for this decision constantly -- even in a writing group I was involved in (but am no longer).

I do draw the line at books with sexy covers -- but ONLY because I'm just not up to talking to my seven y.o. daughter about them. The only book I've had to hide lately is How & When to Tell Your Kids About Sex, because "when" isn't quite "now" and my DD is VERY curious about everything.

Okay, stepping down. But I can't promise I won't leap back up.
Have you entered my contest yet? Today's the last day (for this week -- remember, tomorrow morning, I start a new one!).


anno said...

When m. had just learned how to read, the "It's a child, not a choice" campaign was running on billboards all through town. Made for some interesting conversations as we ran our errands.

All of my reading is usually a guilty pleasure -- I'm all too aware that I should probably be doing something else!

Alice Teh said...

Hi Barbara, really cool answers. I love the way you say things.

I love romance novels and generally fiction, but I don't usually buy them. However, recently I'm beginning to switch my habit to start buying. Actually, they're not quite fiction (or is it?) and I've finished "Frankenstein" and now on to "Dracula".

I'm interested in the current one you're reading "101 Ways to Help Birds"... Happy reading AND writing, Barbara!

Allie Boniface said...

Ah, the sex talk. Don't envy you that one. :)

sally906 said...

I agree - no-one should be made to feel less than inferior over the choice of books they read. I was criticized once by a teacher for allowing my then ten year old daughter to read "trashy" Archie and Sabrina comics. What she didn't take into consideration is that my daughter hates reading - at least these comics got her to read anything at all. She reads anything and everything now - but not because she was forced to.

Debi said...

Feel free to hop back up anytime! Well said!

Ceri said...

I don't have any books that I have to hide. Nothing in the world wrong with Harlequin or Silhouette. I'd love to write for either of them too. I'm currently reading only 2 books, a Nora Roberts and a Dean Koontz.

ljlho-little jimmy leapt huge obstacles

Chris said...

True, true!

I am not looking forward to the sex talk.

ebony said...

My curious (nosy!)10 year old is the only reason I hide any of my books too!

Tori Lennox said...

I don't hide my books either. I don't care what people think about my taste in reading. What bugs me is how they always have to comment on how MANY books I have. Like it's a crime or there's something wrong with me.

(And, yes, I have a LOT of books... over 1200 at last count.)

tNb said...

Fantastic post, I often get tired of condescending opinions of what constitutes "real" literature. IMHO any form of reading is positive (with some notable exceptions, such as hate literature, etc.). I still hold a special place in my heart for my teenage affairs with Catherine Cookson's characters!

Melissa said...

I don't hide any of my books. Never have. Of course that has led to some jokes being made, but who cares? I love writing them, why would i be ashamed to be seen reading one? And most of the people making jokes or rude comments have never read one so have no idea what in the world they're talking about anyway!

Thanks for posting the cover, Marianne!

Melody said...

Hi Marianne, love your answers. Very well said. Happy reading & writing. :)

Alice Teh said...

Thousand apologies, Marianne. I have -- don't know what I was thinking yesterday -- mistaken you for Barbara!! I'm so, so sorry... Please forgive me. :-(

kat said...

Y'know what's weird? Other writers of literary fiction find the romance genre a bit of a turn off, but it's one of the biggest genres around, it's present in almost any kind of other genre, and there are thousands of writers in different languages. :D