Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Double Dog Dare You

Several people have covered the topic of the image of the romance genre, including Kassia Krozser on RTB, Super Librarian Wendy, and an upcoming rant I cannot wait to read by Smart Bitch Candy.

Here's the deal. I have never - and I mean, NEVER - been openly ridiculed for reading a romance novel. No one, not friend, family member or complete stranger, has ever said anything to my face along the lines of "You're reading that?" or "How can you read that trash?" Not even a raised eyebrow or a undet-the-breath snigger. At least nothing that I could readily detect.

So I can honestly say I have no idea how I would respond if it ever happened.

I like to think that I'd say, "Fuck you." to the strangers and "Have you ever read one?" to family members and friends with a "fuck you" tone. The idea of anyone having the nerve to openly comment on my choice of reading material is as appalling to me as the idea of having someone question my choice of dinner selection at a restaurant. "You're going to eat that?"

But since I do feel squirmy when I plop my requested inter-loan library copy of Fantasy Lover on the checkout counter, it's easy for me to imagine this hard-assed attitude but not so easy to know I'd follow through with it. Maybe I would stammer and blush and feel really stupid.

Maybe the fact that I actively avoid reading books with embarrassing covers in public places speaks louder of my real feelings.

I'm willing to find out. I dare someone to mock my choice of reading material.

Go ahead. Make my day.

1 comment:

Gabrielle said...

I've had 2 guys I worked with take shots at me for writing romance. One was my manager, and I just said, "When was the last time you read one?" He said, "Never." I said, "Which means you don't know what you're talking about, so you should just shut up." He laughed, said I was right, and from then on was interested in my writing and actually started asking me questions about technique, characterization, etc. He was a mad keen fantasy reader, and also gave me the first 3 Harry Potters one Christmas, which I've forever blessed him for.

Another was a coworker. I happened to have a copy of Megan Chance's "Fall From Grace" in my desk drawer, which I slapped in his hands and said, "Don't say another word to me until you've read this. THEN we can have a serious discussion." He came in the next day, bleary-eyed, cursing me because he'd been up until 3 reading the book. He didn't become a romance reader, but he certainly stopped giving me hell.