Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Dangers of Reading Romance

Well, here's an interesting column that's been circulating on some of the groups I belong to: "Harm in Reading Romance?"

Now, I know the growth of erotica in the romance writing genre might be a source of angst for some readers. But you know what? Then don't pick up those books to read. Plenty of books in that genre still feature the development of an emotional connection between two people that doesn't involve any bedroom scenes [like mine :) ]

The other argument, that reading a romance is disillusioning and somehow damaging to one's own relationship, is a little more interesting. Are the heroes in novels better-looking, stronger, better listeners, and more sensitive than the men we marry in real life? Perhaps some of them are. So are some (many?) of the heroes in movies we go to see. Should we stop reading and viewing different forms of entertainment -- especially escapist entertainment -- because we will develop impatience and dislike for our own partners? I say no. Honestly, if one cannot read with a discerning eye, and an understanding that art does not mimic or predict or create life, then maybe there are some larger problems at stake.

I'll continue to fall in love with the heroes in novels and on the big screen, knowing full well that the man I come home to every day is different from them in many ways...and thank God. He's real, he's here, and he loves me. Can't say that about fictional characters, now can I?


Jim Melvin said...

I agree with everything you said. But no bedroom scene? Damn!

(Just kidding.)

Marianne Arkins said...

Good grief.

So... if I read serial killer books, or sci-fi, or mysteries or... or... or... what are THOSE going to do to my psyche?

Could they be any more ridiculous?

Allie Boniface said...

No kidding, Marianne. In fact, maybe we should ban all books, because in some form, to someone, I'm sure they're dangerous.

Maybe Fahrenheit 451 wasn't so far off the mark after all...

Diane Craver said...

I went and read the debate. I really think women are happier with their husbands when they read romances. I like reading about couples falling in love. I don't read erotic romance and like the sweet romances the best. But if I did, I can't see how reading erotica would make me feel less love for my hubby or dissatisfied.

We've been married for over 30 years so my reading romance for enjoyment will not take away my love for him. And he's not perfect but then I'm not either. LOL

And I better get back to writing my own romance now. Not doing so well on the 70 Days of Sweat Writing Challenge.

Anonymous said...

I started reading romance novels when I was 14 and I have to say that I think it kept me a virgin for a longer time than if not. I certainly wasn't curious!!! I the books taught me not to 'Settle' for less - Liz