Closet Romance Novel Reader

    c346w closet readerNot only did it take me a long time to admit I actually read romance novels, it took me a long time before I’d read one in public. Even longer before I would be seen with a Harlequin Romance novel. Talk about being in the closet!

    After all, it’s a “known” fact that intelligent persons read “thought provoking literature,” not fluff. There’s a reason the “classics” are considered “classics.” (That most — if not all — junior high and high school students would beg to differ and claim reading “classics” in English class is simply a governmentally sanctioned form of torture is another matter.)

    Of note is many bright, intelligent women (not sure of the stats regarding men) read these books. A lot of the writers also fit that description.

    I started reading these books when my stress levels were high and my brain was on overload. I enrolled in college 30 years after high school, my daughter hit her teens hard and painfully, our home was taken from us and we moved to a garage. When the garage situation disintegrated on very short notice I found an apartment I could barely afford. You get the gist. Not woe-is-me-ing or seeking sympathy, just explaining how things were intense.

    During that time of intensity, it was nice to escape to “happily ever after.” No matter how bad things appeared to be in the books, in the end it always worked out. A hug. A kiss (of the passionate sort) and hope for the future. Sure it was fantasy. Sure it wasn’t reality. Who cares? It gave my mind a break from everything going on. Some place else to be. A mental breather if you will. Who knows? Maybe the hope-towards-the-future the books ended with gave me the encouragement I needed to keep moving forward.

    c345w love birdsBut an interesting thing happened on the way to reading romance novels. There were little gems of wisdom tucked away in them. Quotable quotes. Since I enjoy collecting quotes I started writing them down. At last count I had over 80 pages (typewritten).

    Let me end with five quotes chosen at random. Having 80+ pages makes revisiting this idea tempting, but we’ll see. Time will tell. *smiles* (And if you have any particular quotes you’ve gleaned from the fluff novel genre that resonate with you, please feel free to share.)

    “Don’t ever discount the magic of your imagination, …. It’s a gift few people have and fewer appreciate.” ~ Lori Handeland, Leave it to Max

    “Life doesn’t always have to be about conflict.”
    “I agree” she said…”but if it doesn’t have any at all, it also can’t have its opposite and counterpart–pure joy.” ~ Tara Taylor Quinn, A Child’s Wish

    “The sharpest tongue often guards an injured heart.” ~ Sari Robins, What to Wear to a Seduction

    “Failure’s not the enemy. Not trying is.” ~ Sarah Strohmeyer, The Penny Pinchers Club

    “I learned long ago that you can lie to everyone else, but it doesn’t do any good to lie to yourself. The truth keeps nagging at you until you face it.” ~ Margaret Watson, Small Town Secrets

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    Sheila Bergquist - June 29, 2016 - 3:24 am

    I am laughing because this is exactly what happened to me. I was struggling through severe anxiety (I was in my twenties) and had become agoraphobic. I started reading Harlequin books and they helped me tremendously. As you said, it took me into another world where I could forget my troubles for awhile. I still have a huge box of them packed up in storage! I may just start reading them again. :) This post of yours was uncanny for sure!

    Tana Bevan - June 30, 2016 - 10:23 am

    Sheila~If you decide to reread any of the prior romance novels (or even take the plunge and go for a new one or two or ten *haha*) keep your eyes open for any gems of wisdom or quotable quotes you’d like to share. And feel free to share them. *smiles*

    kath unsworth - July 4, 2016 - 4:46 pm

    Tana Im not a romance reader these days, I use to enjoy a good happy ever after read in my younger days. Im into science fiction and fantasy so I have my quirks too. And isn’t that what life is all about……being free to choose what inspires us or helps us get through this crazy life. Love the quotes too.

    Tana Bevan - July 5, 2016 - 8:03 pm

    Kath~I’m all for doing what it takes to “get through this crazy life.” (Though I tend to stick with legal activities. *smiles*) Though fantasy and science fiction have never done it for me, the Love of My Life is a fan. He enjoys Jessica Alter’s writing. Are you familiar with her?

    Jess Alter - July 11, 2016 - 1:35 pm

    Hi! Thanks very much Tana and Love of Tana’s Life for mentioning my work here. What I write currently is paranormal science fiction/romance (The Cryptid Series), though my prior series (The Dome Trilogy) was epic social science fiction with romance here and there. The indie authors out there these days . . . holy cats. Oh, and if you like dark paranormal romance? Christy King’s Talia series is just . . . wow. Intense.

    And I have a confession, too: I am a closet chick lit/hen lit reader and (as yet unpublished) writer. I love the women’s journey with the added the mania of comedy and snark that just . . . well, it’s a rollicking ride through the chaos of a woman’s personal development–usually with a relationship win at the end.

    Happy summer reading all!

    Tana Bevan - July 12, 2016 - 6:42 pm

    Jess~As a whole, we women do tend to rock and roll “through the chaos” of our personal development. In my particular case, I wound up with a relationship win with a man who is good enough, kind enough, and understanding enough to help bring me back into the stratosphere when my rockin’ and rollin’ gets a little too far out there. Who knows, maybe one of these days I’ll actually write a romance novel? (I’ve certainly read enough of them!) In the meantime, I continue reading them … though now well outside the closet. *smiles*