🍋🍋🍋! (See, getcha mind out the gutter!)
So, I work with these broads who claim to be voracious readers, and I’m thinking I’ve found a couple of kindred spirits-not because we necessarily read the same things, but simply because they love to read books as much as I do. So we’re making general small talk about how we just love to read and how we’d rather spend a quiet evening with a book than with actual people, and internally, I’m screaming
After a few more minutes of speaking generalities about our mutual love of reading, the question finally comes up: “So, what do you actually like to read?” Internally, I’m already bracing myself because I know some shit is about to go down, and in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…
But you know me. I ain’t never scurred, so I proudly answer: I love romance novels, and I almost exclusively read romance only.These heffas look at me like I just said I’m voting for Donald Trump.
After what feels like an eternity, their looks of surprise and, I swear, disappointment, wear off, they’re like “Oh. I would never figure you as a romance reader. You strike me as the Terry McMillan/Walter Moseley/Stephen King type.
So not only have I been stereotyped by my supposed “personality”, but I have also been insulted because of my reading preference.
Why do romance novels get a bad rap? Or is it rep? If you have never read or haven’t read a romance novel since a 1985 Silhouette Romance paperback with the glossy white covers and painted portraits, then how can you have the au-da-ci-tee to criticize a genre you know nothing about?
Do they not know that romance novels are a billion dollar industry and account for over 13% of the mass market? I’m in pretty damn good company. Hoes, don’t try me…
Since when did what you read become as important, or if not as important, as the act of reading itself? Do you criticize young adults (and some old-ass adults) for still reading comic books and graphic novels? As a result of reading hundreds of romance novels, I cannot tell you how many new words I’ve added to my vocabulary. I cannot tell you how I’ve discovered many new exotic locales and cultures and cuisines in my reading travels. I’ve learned more about mobsters and the gangster lifestyle than I have watching the entire Godfather saga. I’ve even acquired a few bedroom techniques that would put some porn productions to shame.
So you see, reading is fundamental. And it’s not what you read, but how what you read makes you feel and the experiences you take away from it. Don’t ever let someone shame you for loving to read. Whether it’s romance or cookbooks or self-help guides, take pleasure in the joy those words give you.
And while you snobs are busy doing Netflix and chill, I’m doing Kindle and thrill. Peace out, haters…