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Why do you read romance? Or not?


May 8, 2012

My belief is that either you’re born a reader or you’re not. I was definitely born a reader. I read the moment I could recognize words. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of having a Beverly Cleary book clutched in my hands after a visit to the library where I pretty much tried to clear out everything she had on the shelves.

As I grew older, my tastes grew along with me–as right they should. I distinctively remember my years devouring Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys, Trixie Belden and The Bobbsey Twins (okay, that may have been when I was a bit younger). I was into the teen love books at the age of 12 and 13 when my sister introduced to Harlequin Presents(yeah, I was way young for them). That was my true introduction to romance…and I was hooked. I’ve read them every since even as I became a die hard Agatha Christie fan and read Stephen King, Scott Turow and dabbled in Mary Higgins Clark for a bit. I even read one or two Danielle Steele novels–not more me as I didn’t feel like they read like a true romance.

There was a time, however, that I stopped reading romance. My life was crazy and for ten years I was off romance. Those were my cynical days. I don’t think I believed in HEAs anymore. But all is right with the world and I do now. :) I’m an ardent believer that there is someone (or even several someones) for everyone. My love of romance novels has–as you know–led me to take it up as a career, as a writer of romance novels.

What about you? When (age) and how did you start reading romance novels? Why do you read romance? If  you don’t read romance, why not? Comment and enter to win 2 of the six books below (3 winners). Click on the covers for book review and details. 

**U.S. Residents only

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68 Comments

  1. I’ve read a lot of different genres — but I’ve never experienced the same kind of delight and satisfaction as I do when I finish reading a romance novel.

    Reading romance novels is a magical moment for me — it’s escapist but there’s also a bit that can be applied to real life: our interaction with different people, how we react to certain situations, etc.

    Lastly, I love how the HEA reminds us that Love Conquers All. (In the original Virgil: Omnia vincit amor; et nos cedamus amori. – quote copied from Wiki)

  2. I believe you can become a reader and not necessarily being born one. I know several people who got into reading as full grown-ups trying to find a pleasant escape from reality into an engaging story.

    I spent most of my teen years reading European classics, which is not so strange being Italian and growing up when YA and children literature did not offer as much a choice as it does today. Besides 18th- and 19th-century literature was – and still is – perfectly in accord with my tastes and sensibilities.

    I started reading romance novels in my twenties and I still do because I found them marvellously entertaining and optimistic. That being said, I do read a lot of different genres.

  3. I was a stay at home mom, in my early 30’s, when I became hooked on reading romances. I first picked up a LaVyrle Spencer book at a pool while vacationing in Florida. I also found several novels in Good Housekeeping which I started subscribing to in 1986. I also visited our local library. I loved Nora Roberts, Sandra Brown, Joan Honl, Linda Lael Miller, Jayne Ann Krenz, Cathy Maxwell and Elizabeth Lowell. I craved the happy endings. I agree it was a magical escape from my everyday life. I also read them while I excersized on our Nordic trak machine. Time flew by.

    Thanks for the chance to win two of the books including yours!

    johns lake at usa dot com

  4. I started reading “romance” when The Flame and the Flower came out. Before that I would read Ed McBain and Margaret Truman. Currently I read everything but Paranormal,

  5. I started reading romance when I was in my early to mid twenties. I was a nice way to relax when my kids were taking there naps. I love to read different genres. It is nice to have many differents things to pick from depending on your mood. Thanks for the great giveaway.

  6. reading romance transports me another era and realm as well as gives me pleasure and enjoyment. I started reading romance many years ago. Many thanks for this lovely giveaway.

  7. I didn’t really start reading Romance till I was in my early 30’s. Raising 7 kids as a single parent left me no time to read. But once they were grown and started having their own families I had a little more time and Nora Roberts was my first read. Then I moved on and read everything but Horror. I love being taken to another time and seeing the HEA come while the characters take us with them on their journey.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  8. I became hooked on romance books when I was in college. I loved Barbara Cartland stories. From there, I moved on to the more explicit romances with Kathleen Woodiwess, Rosemary Rogers, and other writers. My favorite genre is historical, but I also read contemporaries. I read romances because they provide escapism from real life, take you to different locations you only dream about, and for the pure enjoyment they provide. I am a romantic at heart, and don’t read anything besides romance stories. My husband of 39 years laughs and calls them my smut books, but I disagree with him. Lol!

  9. I started reading romance novels when i found my mom’s stash when i was about 12. I love reading romance because it gives me a place to escape to and i’m a real hopeless romantic :) oh and it doesn’t help that i work at a library.

  10. I also read romance before I was “supposed” to. I love the whole idea of happily ever after. No chores, no messy sex, no whiny kids…I could go on and on :-)

  11. I started reading romance as an adult, only about three years ago. After years of reading non-fiction, then mysteries and thrillers, I picked up a few romantic suspense books then broadened my choices from there. I enjoy the HEA and the diversion reading for pleasure provides. I read most romance genres, except for erotica and YA. Thanks for the contest.

  12. As a young person, I read folktales, science-related books, classics, and poetry. I read “Pride and Prejudice” every year starting as a teen and I read “Forever Amber” back then, too. Mostly, I read philosophy and non-fiction for years. In my 30’s and 40’s, I added mysteries. In my 50’s I started volunteering at our fabulous library in West Bloomfield, MI and discovered romances. This coincided with my retiring from teaching after thirty-three years. I could read morning, noon, and night and, mostly, I read romances. I discovered historical romances and they took me to places where there were wars, espionage, wretched conditions, uncaring parents, and yet, at least the hero and heroine had their HEA by the end of the book. It has been wonderful! For nearly ten years I read a book every day or two. I’ve slowed down a little due to increased responsibilities and the cost of books. Here in FL, the library doesn’t have every book my heart desires, so I buy most of my books. I still love reading them. I think in real life many people don’t live happily-ever-after, so I love reading about people who do. :-)

  13. I didn’t start reading romance novels until I was about 50. I was curious, but the bodice ripper covers put me off. I finally found some of Julie Garwood’s historicals with covers that had jeweled broaches on them. I read the book blurbs and after reading the first one (THE PRIZE) bought them all. I rely more on the blurb than I do on the cover when I select books, but a cover can still stop me from checking out or getting a book.

    I read the romances because I know everything will work out in the end, no matter how difficult it may be to get to that HEA. I think a well written story at the core is most important. Just because it is a romance doesn’t guarantee it will be good. Many of my friends do not read romance and refuse to try it. For some they don’t consider it serious or well written enough. For others it is the constant reference to nice butts and breasts and having couples jumping into bed by page 20. For the most part. they haven’t even tried a romance novel, they are making assumptions. Many of them read romantic suspense and don’t realize it considered romance. There are some interesting books there, two of which are on my Wish List,

    Thanks for the giveaway. Nice selection of books.

  14. I started reading romance novels about the same age as you, Bev – 12 or 13 or so. I don’t remember why I originally started reading them. At the time, I read a lot of fantasy novels, and I think I was attracted to the princesses/noblewomen in the front covers of the historical romances. I ended up loving historical romance and I have read them ever since. I didn’t start reading very many other types of romance until I got older and knew more about relationships, but I enjoy them now. I think, for me, it has to do with the HEA – I read all the time, and I read lots of different kinds of books. I read fantasy and sci-fi, thrillers, horror novels, all kinds of stuff, but sometimes (a lot of the time), I just want to know that the story is going to end HAPPILY, and since I am reading for pleasure, why shouldn’t I make sure I read something that ends happily every once in a while?

  15. I started reading my romance while I was in middle school. I read it because I love the HEA endings found in romance novels. I read in a lot of other genres, like historical fiction, YA and paranormal. I tend to read a romance book and then read a book outside the genre, then go back to romance.

  16. I must have been about 10. I read romance, because of the HEA.

  17. I truly don’t remember when I started reading romance. I do remember starting out reading mysteries at a young age. I really enjoy most genres, but romance gets me because of the happily ever after. These days I mix my romance with suspense, thrillers, and mystery and I’ve found that there’s usually some romance in all of them.

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