>Addicted to Romance?

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Unbalanced? Dissatisfied with your relationship?

You may need to ease off on the Romance novels front.

This is apparently doing the rounds on the interwebs and I found out via The Guardian. It’s war in the romance world after Kimberly Sayer-Giles in KSL.com, a news website owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, wrote that “Romance novels can be as addictive as pornography ” – for men, viewing pornography produces a euphoric drug in the body which causes viewing pornography becomes addictive. “When the natural high wears off, a man will crash and feel depressed (as happens with any drug) and crave another hit. Women are more stimulated by romance than sex, so when they read romantic stories (and they don’t have to be explicit to work) they can experience the same addicting chemical release as men do.”

Sayer-Giles goes on to say reading romance novels can lead to dissatisfaction with real life relationships, “women may find their standard for intimacy begins to change over time because may not be able to get as satisfied with their partners as they can reading a book.”

The interwebs has gone wild refuting such statements but I love the satirical responses best:

Crime writer Jason Pinter started the satirical hashtag #romancekills on Twitter. There Pinter suggests “the destruction of Alderaan was due to Darth Vader reading too many romance novels and that “King George VI only developed a speech impediment because he kept thinking about scandalously illicit romance novels”.

Romance writer Rachel Grant wrote : “Fleas carrying black death were imported into Europe in romance novels,” contributed romance novelist Rachel Grant.

And my favourite from literary agent Amy Boggs : “The Titanic hit that iceberg because the lookouts were too busy reading romance novels.”

After a heated discussion about the standard of books chosen for my book group one weekend where several popular authors works were trashed as “airport novels” and a request was made to only choose literary fiction – something we agreed was very subjective, I found myself explaining to my book group gals the Readers’ Advisory mantra that we do not judge other people’s choice in reading; we assist people to find what THEY want to read, not what other people think is good for them. And said that if people want to read Mills and Boon for example that is a valid choice. Wickedly (?) I said perhaps I would choose a M&B for my choice of read next year.

Then I felt I had to put up or shut up and perused the library shelves for a M&B to try. It was not my cup of tea and perusing my LibraryThing account I find I haven’t even mentioned it there – it is best forgotten. But I’ve read lots of books in book groups that I haven’t enjoyed. We all like different stuff to read. Books I’ve loved have absolutely bombed at book group. Books I thought I’d hate, I’ve enjoyed. Books that have had rave reviews have left me cold.

I don’t like Romance on the whole (Andrew Greig’s That Summer is an exception) but then there’s all sorts of genres I don’t like – I just don’t get Fantasy, SciFi bores me, Religious reading just gives me the hump. And perhaps you don’t what I enjoy – crime fiction, historical fiction, Scottish fiction. I don’t mind. It doesn’t affect me. If you love Romance, go for it! Just as long as you are enjoying what you’re reading.

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2 Responses to >Addicted to Romance?

  1. Book Dragon says:

    >I can see both points but I am on the side of the fence that says "READ" and I don't really care what.

  2. Alba says:

    >Absolutely Book Dragon. One man's meat, etc. . . .

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