On romance novels

I am addicted to romance novels.

There I said it.

It is sort of a guilty pleasure for me. It is funny because other people and some of my friends think that I am not the type to read romance. And I am talking about those bodice rippers-lust equals love- I need a guy in my life or it’s over- romance. They’ve always thought that I was the intellectual classic loving book snob (which I sometimes am). Funny thing though, I have read more romance novels than classics, or at least compared to any type of complicated literature.

I remember reading those Harlequin romance books out of boredom when I was in highschool. I was in my dad’s old bedroom in my grandmother’s house, I was cleaning and organizing the books there (it was a dusty heaven for me) then I saw it, them rather, my aunt has quite a collection. It was the start of my secret affair with romance. It was a perfect cure for my insomnia. I didn’t sleep, but I felt less shitty about being unable to.

Just now I’ve binge read a romance series (5 books in 2-3 days), and, well, I don’t know. It’s just weird.

I am a closet romantic though I have this cynical veneer thing going on. I mean, part of me is waiting for my fated one (cheesy right?) to sweep me off my feet and make me feel all pretty and worth it, while another part of me is laughing at all the bullshit that I just wrote. It’s an internal battle.

You see, it is easy to lose yourself in romance novels. The characters  (The hot alpha males with the emotional capacity of a teaspoon, the damsels in distress with a lot of baggage, the manic pixie girls who are not so bright and perfect beneath the surface, the angsty byronian males etc) are so surreal, with surreal problems and luck.  Then the generic plot line where everything miraculously goes right in the end. Sometimes it’s mind numbing, how almost all of them follow this generic formula for romance yet you seem to lap at it, because somehow you want to be part of it, rather,  you want it to be you in it.

Romance novels gives you hope. I don’t mean it in a cheesy way, but from all the years I’ve been reading this genre, everything that is bad in the beginning will turn out good in the end. Like all the shitty thing you’ve been through will just make you better (and somehow richer) in the end.


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