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Topic: People who look down on the paranormal genre

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Subject: People who look down on the paranormal genre
Date Posted: 8/1/2008 7:32 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
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Do any of you find yourself defending the fact that you love the paranormal genre? I just had an unpleasant exchange with a female family member who basically thinks the paranormal genre is for uneducated, weird,  horny middle aged women. Ok...LOL!  She has never read a paranormal and never plans to due to her preconceived notions of what this genre consists of.  Anyway, I just wondered if any of you encounter people like this and what you normally say to these people in defense of our beloved genre. For the record, I genre jump quite a bit so I don't exclusively read paranormals.  That doesn't mean I don't enjoy them as much as some of the more "intense" genres I also read.

Date Posted: 8/1/2008 8:03 PM ET
Member Since: 11/24/2005
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Last Edited on: 2/21/10 7:42 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/1/2008 9:24 PM ET
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I'm new to the Paranormal genre. I started about a year ago and am totally hooked. I had one co-worker ask how I can waste my time reading paranormal and fantasy. I just told her that when I sit down to read for my own personal enjoyment I want something to take me away. I've had enough real life. We see it everyday on the news and papers. But my best reason for reading this genre is: It's fun and it entertains me.
Date Posted: 8/1/2008 10:21 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
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Ive long been secure in all my dorky glory so I dont care what others think of me.

SoBe -
Date Posted: 8/1/2008 10:43 PM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2008
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I am all too familiar with this...Almost everyone I know looks down on my reading choices (paranormal, fantasy, suspense etc...anything with romance really)...in particular my sister who doesn't watch television, movies, listen to music or curse and when she does read, reads nothing but nonfiction (mostly about the evils of all those things she doesn't do). We've learned not to discuss books.

Someone at work (during lunch)  recently made a comment about how books with sex scenes would automatically become a bestseller solely because of said scenes even if they're all crap...It got my hackles up, but I managed to do the smile and nod thing and continue on with my book....lucky for me, she no longer works there, so I don't have to pretend to be nice.

So ideally, I agree with Marilyn...as long as I’m enjoying myself, other people's opinions don't matter...esp those who won't even bother to attempt to read something new/different. I still get annoyed, but I usually manage to brush it off...eventually:-D

Date Posted: 8/2/2008 12:43 AM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
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I must be lucky --- or my place of employment (a newsroom) is filled with uneducated, weird,  horny middle aged women! :) :)  Which of course, it is not. I don' think .... lol

There is a group of us that reads voraciously and many read a lot of the paranormal. In fact, my editor just got a copy of Twilight the other day for her b-day (and it wasn't from me)!  Another group is stuck on comic characters like Batman, Transformers, and then there is the "Dr Who" group - and trust me, many of us cross over between the paranormal, science fiction, romance etc ...

I guess we're all just geeks and need an other-wordly escape - and like was said before, when I read for fun, I read purely for pleasure. I don't usually want to learn something. Being an editor I proof and edit enough news stories, features, columns, politics, entertainment to last me a life time when I'm at work. I do NOT want to go home and read the same thing! Uh uh, no way! lol


Date Posted: 8/2/2008 1:06 AM ET
Member Since: 3/18/2006
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My grandma thinks vampires are evil...  why I don't know, they aren't even real.  Well, in my mind maybe...LOL  My Aunt thinks I'm weird and so does my Mom...  Then there are the girls at work..  ALL of them love paranormal.  So I get a wide variety :P

Date Posted: 8/2/2008 12:01 PM ET
Member Since: 2/4/2008
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I have to admit to being embarrassed sometimes when people give you the look.  I read books of all sorts, and love the paranormal the best right now, but I admit to glossing over what I am reading at times.  One of my professors came over to me a couple of weeks ago and said " You're reading for pleasure? That's great!"  She started talking to me about her favorite book of the year, Three Cups of Tea, which I have read  then asked what I was reading.  I was reading a paranormal romance, with the sexy beasty look on the front -- Now she is about 60, and found myself red in the face telling her about the book.  I don't even remember which book it was.  -- Something about demons I think :) 

    I admit I have to get over it. 

Date Posted: 8/2/2008 12:33 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2008
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Everyone knows that often when you try to describe a storyline you can't do it justice, it usually ends up sounding silly. This is 110% true with paranormals. My mother is an avid reader, and passed the compulsion along to me. We share books often. Only, when I tried to describe the Sookie Stackhouse books to her I found myself floundering. Telepathic barmaid, vampires, shapeshifters, fairies...I knew I sounded silly.


I haven't came across anyone who thought me silly for reading paranormals specifically, but I have a few friends that think I'm silly for reading as much as I do anyway. Most my friends don't even own a bookshelf, or if they do it's to store their DVD's and CD's on.

Last Edited on: 8/2/08 12:34 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/2/2008 12:54 PM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2008
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Only, when I tried to describe the Sookie Stackhouse books to her I found myself floundering. Telepathic barmaid, vampires, shapeshifters, fairies...I knew I sounded silly.

heh.  i also got the 'avid reader' thing from mom.  we'll share books, but she'll recommend to me a little more than i will to her, since i have a harder time deciding what she'll like.  she reads mainly mysteries.  she likes some of the paranormal stuff, but not a lot of it.  when she called a while ago after having found the first Sookie Stackhouse book at a thrift store, thinking maybe i hadn't heard of it, i mentioned i had the whole series.  after reading the first one, she borrowed them all.  actually, mom thinks they're so good that she's not reading them all at once - she wants to be able to savor each one so she's spacing them out.  :)

mom also likes the Harry Dresden books by Jim Butcher, and borrowed that series after the tv show on Sci-Fi.

Date Posted: 8/2/2008 2:50 PM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2007
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I was what I consider a book snob (no best sellers here...actual "literature") till about 2 yrs ago when I read my first vampire book.  I still don't talk about my paranormal books w/ my book club.  I figure I'd spend most of the time defending myself...and to be honest there is just a tiny part of me that is embarressed!  And I'm usually an open book, couldn't care less what people think of me kind of person, so it's kind of ironic.  So I'm a closet paranormal reader...at work and in public I usually use the book covers so no one can see what I'm reading!  Too many years of being a book snob and rolling my eyes at people reading romance novels (I still do roll my eyes at people who read romance!)

Date Posted: 8/2/2008 3:38 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2008
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My mom loves thrillers, mystery, and horror. I know she'll like paranormal books but I'm just not sure what to send her. Sookie Stackhouse seems up her alley. I didn't think about Jim Butcher, but I have the first few Dresden books she could borrow too. I wonder what she'd think of Anita Blake :)

Last Edited on: 8/2/08 3:41 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/2/2008 5:30 PM ET
Member Since: 12/26/2005
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Ive long been secure in all my dorky glory so I dont care what others think of me.

Chris, you speak for the glorious dork in all of us.    :D

Date Posted: 8/2/2008 5:49 PM ET
Member Since: 1/14/2008
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Try telling your book club you read about Vampires who are into BDSM..now that will really get them going.  My husband just roles his eyes at me.  All my girlfriends think I am crazy in a good way and they might not read my paranormal stuff but I find they sure ask me about it enough!

Date Posted: 8/2/2008 8:23 PM ET
Member Since: 12/4/2005
Posts: 2,320
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I guess I've never had to defend it to anyone or at least I haven't had to in years:lol:   I used to get weird reactions as a kid who liked to read true crime books and non fiction about the Mafia when I was 13.   I like to read what I like to read=) 

I will say that as I've been buying a few more of the paranormal/erotica books that those are more likely to cause me to be embarassed if I had to explain one to someone.   I just read the first two of the Lord of Satyr books and I think I would spontaneously combust if I had to tell anyone about those;)   

I've noticed a few of the ladies at work in the breakroom reading paranormal (today I saw Vampire's Betrayal and something something's Interstellar Fella being read).    The UBS used to have this genre priced cheap like historicals and category romances but in the past 5 years the prices have increased to $4.80 for current or more recent releases which is in the used price range of the new and super popular and hard to find Sci-Fi books and series. 

Date Posted: 8/2/2008 9:10 PM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2008
Posts: 14,846
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I wonder what she'd think of Anita Blake :)

well, my mom liked Anita Blake right up through Obsidian Butterfly, but not after that.  like a lot of other people.  so maybe give her the first to see if she likes it and just not give her the later ones?  although i will admit, mom felt a little betrayed by the events near the end of the first book, and didn't read the second for a looong time - but after that she was ok.


i do go to a book club at the local library, and it's mostly all literature, but i just talk about my sf&f and urban fantasy type books.  (we'll pick a theme for the next month, and then everyone picks a book of their own.)  we usually go around the table and introduce ourselves unless we've all been before, and then i'll mention i read mainly sf&f and paranormal romance.  i had to explain what paranormal romance was the first couple of times, but not anymore.  not that anyone else in the group has ever read any of the books i mention - or plans to read my recommendations.  though maybe some will read the book i mentioned this month.  topic was "the best book i've read so far this year".  my pick was Twilight, and a couple of the ladies sounded interested.

Date Posted: 8/2/2008 10:36 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
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uneducated, weird,  horny middle aged women!  Hey I resent the hell out of being called 'uneducated' the rest, well can't argue with that! :-)

 I take books to a couple of coworkers and one was left out and one fo the guy workers asked me if it was mine and I said y es but hadn't read it yet. he said he looked at it and 'man that's some weird sh*t'! I looked at him and he was like' com on that stuff isn't real that you're reading' and I said no but i"m not read it to be real. and btw that stuff you see/read in playboy and penthouse isn't real either! he shut up then.

I try not to judge on people's genres seeing how my tastes change/expand over the years. I posted in the fantasy forum trying to get some recs for good light reads and several gave suggestions and I was looking them up and finally  just picked a few to get but I still think they sound well 'weird'b ut I'm gonna give them a chance since I've liked a few fantasy books like wizard of  oz, charlie and the chocolate factory, and the urban fantasy with harry dresden..doesn't hurt to try!

Date Posted: 8/2/2008 10:40 PM ET
Member Since: 9/20/2005
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I have to defend my love of paranormal books to the same people who look down on romance novels in general.  It's really rather irritating. 

I wish people would just accept that we all like different things.  I don't say anything when people say they only like non-fiction or mysteries...etc.  I just think it's great that they are reading! 

Although I do get a kick out of showing people what books I'm reading!  lol  My boss (who loves to read, but doesn't read romance) asked me what I was reading the other day and I showed her the cover.  She got all red in the face and just said oh... lol!  I just laughed.  I really don't care what others think of what I'm reading.  It's my choice, not theirs. 

Last Edited on: 8/2/08 10:48 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 8/3/2008 1:23 AM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2007
Posts: 527
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Constantly, LOL. But not only for the usual reasons. I also get the added fun of trying to explain why the lesbian is reading these books. I can't tell you how many friends have walked in my room and lost thier chins on the floor after seeing Kenyon & Hamilton hanging out right next to "Patience & Sarah". My arguement is always the same.

"Why read, if I can only read about exeriences and feelings I already know?"

For me reading is about being someone (and somewhere) else for a while. And it's twice as much fun to be someone totally different. You learn so much more that way and fantasy becomes that much more "fantastic".

Date Posted: 8/3/2008 12:45 PM ET
Member Since: 2/22/2007
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Wow, I'm so lucky that I don't have to defend my love of the paranormal genre. In fact, there are several ladies at work who read the same books that I do! In fact I got a few hooked on paranormal myself *proud look*.  :D

I just don't know what I'd do/say if somebody said something about my reading preference. You read what you like and everybody's different. Each to their own, right? It's too bad that some people don't think that.

Date Posted: 8/3/2008 2:07 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2007
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It's never been an issue for me.  I read what I want to read. 

Date Posted: 8/4/2008 4:11 PM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2007
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Only my mother gives me a hard time....lol.  She thinks I'm going to hell in a handbasket for reading them. 

I just laugh at her and shrug it off.  She is always on me that psychics and blood drinking and witches are abominations.  I just look at her and say that when I start doing those things instead of just reading fiction about it then we can talk.......

Date Posted: 8/7/2008 11:17 AM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2008
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I just started reading paranormal romances about a year ago.  Picked up Halfway to the Grave at walmart because it looked interesting.  Now I can't get enough of them!  The people I work with usually make fun of me..and tell me all I ever do is read smutt and I probably only ever watch porn.  I just smile and say oh yeah that's me!  They usually leave me alone after that...so I'm not worried what they think.

Date Posted: 8/8/2008 4:13 PM ET
Member Since: 7/20/2007
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I tend to not discuss reading material with most people. My best friend only reads novels with a Christian theme, the exception might be the In Death series... which she admits is out of the norm for her. If she picked up one of my books (not just paranormal romance) i know exactly what would happen. She'd get a wide-eyed look on her face, place it back wherever she got it very gently, look at me with an expression of surprise, and say "Oooooooo-kay then!"

I used to (pre-PBS) take all the books i didn't think i'd read again, and give them to her. But then she admitted that she picks out the tame stuff and gives away 'the Trash'..... *GASP*...

No more books for HER. My mom is a fellow reader of 'trash' though... so when i can't get rid of something on PBS or when i find myself of an extra copy of something, i send it along her way. Once she's done reading it, she passes it along other women who have nothing to read, since she lives in a large apartment complex.

My husband knows i have a vampire love, but i don't discuss it with him. He'd just want to go buy some fake teeth and pretend to bite me in bed - haha.

When i worked, occasionally someone would have the nerve (haha) to pick up one of my books and give me the 'Why do you have to read fluff/garbage/trash-Can't you find anything better to read' talk and it usually raises my hackles and i get all bitchy. They usually regret it and we never discuss books again lol. Which is probably a good thing. I never gave anyone hell about reading Guns 'N Ammo or Field And Stream (i worked with guys as a security guard and all they talked about was guns). Leave me alone.

I read a lot more than romance, but it never fails... i am ALWAYS reading a romance on the day someone decides to pick up my current read and 'discuss it' with me.

Date Posted: 8/9/2008 9:34 AM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2007
Posts: 13,134
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My husband knows i have a vampire love, but i don't discuss it with him. He'd just want to go buy some fake teeth and pretend to bite me in bed - haha.

And that's why you SHOULD discuss it with him!  ;-)