I have a confession to make: Most of my friends don’t read romances. For one reason or another, they simply…don’t read romances. Period. Either they’re worried about being judged by the racy covers, or they think all that romance stuff is “a fairy tale,” or they prefer to read exclusively about serial killers, or they’ve tried one (just one!) romance–possibly a decade ago, or more–and have decided the whole genre just isn’t for them.
That’s okay with me. I mean, there are occasionally awkward moments between us, I’ll admit that. Because I’m passionate about reading and writing romances! I think they’re awesome. I like to celebrate the power of love, the thrill of attraction, and all the wonderful differences between men and women. At the same time, I’m a live-and-let-live kind of person. I don’t think it’s up to me to try to “convert” anyone to my favorite genre. I wouldn’t like it if someone tried to force me to take up lawn bowling or sushi eating or PlayStation playing (it would be futile; I’m a Nintendo Wii gal). Our dissimilarities make us uniquely interesting, and the world would be a boring place if everyone liked the same things.
That said, two friends recently read copies of my books–contemporary romantic comedies that I wrote a few years ago. Afterward, the first friend seemed a little concerned. “I laughed! Is it okay that I laughed when I read your book?” Now, I get this reaction occasionally, and it puzzles me. There are tons of incredibly enjoyable funny books out there. Are people really missing them? Do they not realize that, with the right book in hand, reading can be hilarious? (Not just romances either–see P.G. Wodehouse, Terry Pratchett, or David Sedaris for examples.) The second friend also laughed…but then said, “And it was time well spent, reading your
book, just because I laughed so much.”
You know what? That’s the way I feel about reading romances. It *is* time well spent. After I’ve read a good book, the world feels like a better place. My faith in the positive qualities of human nature is reaffirmed. And if I’m lucky…I’ve done a little laughing too.
What about you? Are you the only romance reader among nonromance reading family and friends? Do you like to laugh when you’re reading, or do you only crack a smile when Borat is involved? Let’s chat!Lisa Plumley