I Read What I Want

Have you seen Bridgerton? If you haven’t, what are you waiting for? Perhaps you’re not into romance, and if you’re not, that’s fine. To each their own. Several years ago, I was super into reading regencies, but it’s been years since I read romance novels. I tend to bounce from genre to genre, but thanks to Bridgerton (a super amazing series on Netflix, if you haven’t seen it) I will probably revisit the genre, starting with Julia Quinn’s book series.

But that isn’t exactly what this blog is about. This isn’t exactly about Bridgeton, though the romance series has inspired this article. Truthfully, I’ve thought about writing something like this in the past. When I’ve read or heard people shaming readers for enjoying Twilight. Or for enjoying Fifty Shades and other BDSM billionaire fiction. Or when I’ve heard people trashing the romance genre altogether. And you’d think it would be men making fun of women for their “questionable” taste in reading material, but it isn’t. Women are complicit as well in the mockery of other women. The tearing down of other women. Putting women down for enjoying what some women enjoy. 

And isn’t that just plain shitty? Don’t we have the right to enjoy what we enjoy? I’ve done it too. I’ve said stuff about Fifty Shades. I don’t love that book, and I have my reasons. (After all, we don’t have to love everything.) But I’m not trashing an entire genre or insulting the intelligence of the women who enjoy those books. The fact is, the women who enjoy the romance genre are intelligent, educated women who just happen to read romance novels as a PART of their lives. It’s a hobby.

And I’ll let you in on a little secret. Some of those intelligent, educated women WRITE those novels. They happen to make a crap ton of money. You can mock them and their “poorly contrived plots,” and their “cookie cutter characters,” but they’ll be laughing all the way to the bank, because romance happens to be one the best-selling genres out there. Romance readers are loyal and voracious readers.

So, if it makes you happy to pick apart Bridgerton, or any other romance series, go ahead. If it makes you feel better to tear apart women or the things they enjoy, go for it. I’ll be sipping a cup of tea, curled up on the sofa with my dog, reading a regency novel. And the “silly” romance novelists to whom you feel oh so superior will be cashing their huge royalty checks while thinking of their next smutty plot line for their readers’ pleasure. xxx

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