I Can Read Romance If I Want

You know you’ve walked into a bookstore many times and seen the book covers of romance novels with a couple swooning in each other’s arms, passionately kissing, or in a loving embrace. You know the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover?” Well, this might be an exception. I believe there is such a thing as trashy romance, but I also believe that there is a plethora of romance novels worth the read. Sarah Nichols, in her article, Romance Is Trashy, and Other Things You Need To Stop Saying,” states to her readers, “You’re implying that there’s something dirty or shameful or less about reading romance.” I agree with Nichols on this one. There’s nothing wrong with “guilty pleasure” reading. Everyone has a vice, and when it comes to books, mine just happens to be old fairy tales, and Twilight. Nichols makes the point that it shouldn’t be wrong in the eyes of other people to read romance novels.

Romance can be endearing and watching a love story blossom can make for a good plot. Romance novels have changed drastically over time. Take Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë for example: Catherine was a woman of the 19th century who had to choose between true love and love that would increase her station and inheritance. She died in childbirth and was never truly happy. Nichols says, “Some of the romance books from 30-40 years ago weren’t exactly shining beacons of feminism, but today’s romance is filled with kick-ass women who are getting shit done.” Romance is not all cheesy hookups and happy endings, but if that’s your thing, no one should be shamed for reading them. To each its own! 

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With any novel, the theme can either fall short, or get the job done, and with romance, it’s 50/50. It all depends on the book and the author. Insulting someone for liking romance isn’t getting anyone anywhere. As Nichols says, “We read romance and we are not trashy or guilty or anti-feminist or unintelligent or homogeneous” and that’s ok. 

What’s your take on Nichols’ article?


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