A Love Letter to Romance Novels

I read a lot of romance novels. Now, I’ve never once been ashamed to admit that I’m a reader. If someone asks, I am thrilled to tell them that I have read about 85 books in 2019 so far. But when people ask what I read, I almost never tell them that a large portion of those novels is romance books. I usually just say, “Oh, it’s mostly contemporary with a little bit of fantasy in there when I want to change things up a bit.” While it is true that I do read those genres, I definitely read way more romance than I let on. During the rare times that I do admit that I read romance, I often describe it as a “trashy read” or “fluff,” regardless of my love for them. 

It comes down to the fact that even I don’t think of romance novels as “real literature." Between the cheesy covers and the primarily female audience, romance novels often aren’t taken seriously. And we can talk about the sexism behind that in another article!

So, I’ve decided that I don’t care anymore. I am the type of person who reads solely for entertainment purposes. Of course, I take away messages from every book I read, but that's not the reason I’m reading. I know so many people who will curl up on the couch to watch their favorite rom-com, yet then giggle at the idea of reading a romance novel. I want to be entertained in the same way that I want to be entertained while watching TV or a movie. And what’s not to love about romance? From the moment the character’s eyes lock to their first kiss, the inevitable conflict, and ultimate happily ever after, I love it all. 

Sure, it can be overly dramatic, but anything else can be too. The well-crafted drama keeps people reading and is honestly more realistic than some people give it credit for. Since middle school (and probably before if we’re being honest), I’ve always been the person more interested in shipping characters than the actual plot. It took me until college to realize that this was what I actually like to read instead of forcing myself through books just because they are popular.

Now I’m done feeling bad or embarrassed about the fact that these are the types of books I love. I hope you'll join me in ending the stigma around romance novels because they make for such fun reads!

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