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Topic: This attitude just bugs the heck out of me!!

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Subject: This attitude just bugs the heck out of me!!
Date Posted: 11/13/2007 4:28 PM ET
Member Since: 7/25/2005
Posts: 28,098
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I was PMing with a very nice woman and she mentioned some mysteries that she thought I might like. I said I can't read mysteries anymore because I find myself depressed.  I explained that I read romances instead.  And she said, "Hey, sometimes you just have to go with the mindless stuff, to escape reality!! " 

Why do non-Romance readers always assume that romances are mindless? 

I don't find romances mindless. Sure you're pretty much assured a Happily Ever After but in most mysteries you're assured that the baddie will be caught and the case solved.  Why isn't that considered mindless as well?

Now maybe this particular woman didn't mean anything by her comment but I'm so tired of romances being treated like unwanted guests at a wedding!

Date Posted: 11/13/2007 5:13 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Well I used to have that opinion on romances. And some are pretty mindless. But I've found that most of them have actually really good plots.  Not just sappy romance.  I've noticed that the last few mysteries I've read have had sex scenes and a bit of romance in them.  Mysteries written by men not romantic thrillers either.  In a James Patterson book I read recently the main character was going through a breakup and rekindling and old flame throughout the book. In a Ken Follet book recently the 2 main characters were involved in an interracial romance.  Neither romance had anything to do with the murder mystery. Love and romance is a fact of most people lives. I no longer have the opinion that all romances are mindless. Even the ones that are "mindless" are valuable for the laughs, entertainment and escapism value. 

Date Posted: 11/13/2007 5:39 PM ET
Member Since: 6/22/2006
Posts: 88
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I would say that it doesn't take a whole lot of effort to read a romance.  For the most part romances are easy to read, pretty predictable, can even skip pages and still know what is going on, simple language (with exception of futuristic, foreign historicals, regency, etc. type books).  I am one that frequently skims the pages rather than read word for word on every page.

A mystery is something you have to really pay attention to the details or you may miss something.  You have to use your mind to try to figure out the "who dunits".

I am a romance reader with the opinion that most romances ARE mindless and used to escape reality.  I've been a romance reader for over 25 years.  But then....aren't all Fiction books to help escape reality in a sense....otherwise you would be reading Non-Fiction all the time.

Just my opinion of course.

Date Posted: 11/13/2007 6:29 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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I would guess that she just assumed from what you said that that was why you were reading them and she was just trying to be understanding.

I think there are lots of "levels" of romance.  There have been times in my life when I was so stressed, I would joke that I could even read romances that had secondary love interests or sub plots. But it wasn't really a joke.  I have several books in my TBR pile, including _Flowers from the Storm_ by Laura Kinsale, that I really want to read, but need to wait for a time when I have more attention to pay to them.  I'm reading the shorter, easier, more "mindless" books right now because I'm tired and overstressed.

Date Posted: 11/13/2007 9:37 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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I think a lot of people think harlequin and the old type of harlequins when they think of 'romance' novels. I do find romance reading to be more relaxing compared to thrillers for sure...like Alica said you sorta focus on all the details with mysteries and that figuring out who done it thrill is there. I have read romances though that had me totally engaged and not for the sex either! and harlequins have changed somewhat too with their intrigue line and next lines.

people just don't know who dont' read them! I used to see this coworker read horror and thought 'geez'..but she liked them. I've never read them or fantasy either but to each their own.

I usually go for the 'mindless' funny romances myself and I"m not stupid or brainless! at least not all the time...

Date Posted: 11/13/2007 11:57 PM ET
Member Since: 6/8/2007
Posts: 6,358
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Last Edited on: 1/20/09 11:57 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/14/2007 12:59 AM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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Patricia, I still can't get images of 'flowers in the attic' out of my mind and that was from over 20 yrs ago seems like..I know I read it a long time ago or at least skimmed it back in my totally innocent naive days and it stuck with me...

Date Posted: 11/14/2007 7:44 AM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2007
Posts: 1,657
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I confess I used to be a romance snob and have an attitude similar to this woman.  Then I discovered Diana Gabaldon and changed my mind.  Now I'm addicted to historicals, but still very very picky about the books/authors I read.  I think there is some mindless stuff out there (that gives the entire genre a bad name -- the covers don't help), but that's the kind of stuff I try to avoid.  I read only the really good books/authors.  I don't think it's mindless if you're choosy.

I would have told this woman that good romance is no more mindlesss than any other genre.

Date Posted: 11/14/2007 6:45 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2007
Posts: 662
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I used to get offended when none romance readers said stuff like this., but I got to thinking.... isnt EVERYTHING mindless ( watching TV takes alot of brain power, and that sure is not escapism, right?  *rolls eyes*) ?  We read for entertainment, to reduce stress, for the pleasure reading gives us. 


I no longer care what other people says about romance novels.  Who cares... *shrug*