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Monday, June 14, 2010

Why Do Women Read Romances?

The other day I was talking with a gentleman who is one of those distant relatives, the kind that is related by marriage twice removed or some such nonsense. I had a Johanna Lindsey novel in my hand as I had been devouring it and was quite taken aback when he asked me “Why do women read those things?”

It surprised me because it has been years and years since I’ve met someone with that attitude toward romances and I’m afraid I had become quite rusty in my response. My world consists of people who value romance novels and see the writers of such as almost heroes, or rather heroines. So this question caught me completely off guard. I stumbled through what I hope was a fitting reply, but realized I definitely need to update my arsenal for other people I may encounter who are ignorant of the beauty of romance novels.

If you have an idea for a good response, would you share? Maybe I could practice possible comebacks for that rare occasion when I run into a person who simply doesn’t get romance novels. All suggestions are welcome!



  1. LOL - if he actually said "those things," I would have said, "They're called 'books.' You should try cracking one open sometime!"

    Seriously, I think I'd site the study that says women who read romance novels have 70% more sex than those who don't. Then I'd smile and wink at my incredibly happy husband.

    Hopefully, that would give your friend something to think about.

  2. That's an awesome idea, Laura. I'll have to remember that one. Unfortunately, my husband wasn't with me at the time and the gentleman is a CFO for a company so it's not like he isn't smart, just uninformed :-)

  3. I read romance for several reasons:
    *I am guaranteed a good ending
    *I love the relationship and personal growth of the characters
    *I love reliving the euphoria of falling in love which I feel that every time I read a romance novel
    *It puts me in a good mood and I feel energized as if I can face the world again
    *My husband likes the 'effect' it has on me ;-)

  4. How about saying, "To live vicariously when hooked up with men like you?" Meow! Seriously, though, I'd throw the question back at him and say, "Why does anybody read anything in particular?" Then he could answer his own question.

  5. I don't have an answer for you but I like everyone elses response.

  6. Some great answers, Donna. I wish I had you there with me!

    Ann, you are bad. Remember, he is a distant relative. Don't really want to cause family strife. But great comeback!

    Kim, for me it was such a given that I read them that I'd forgotten why I do. Funny how our worlds can be invaded my aliens, isn't it?

  7. Hey Alexis, I decided to take a few moments and catch up on what you're talking about...
    I have kind of a round about answer I constantly use, and it isn't completely pretty, but gets the idea across: I tell people-men and women-that romances are not simply the thin novellas created by Harlequin (no offense intended), but they are of many genres and and the main theme that makes them all a romance is the happy ending. The excitement is getting to it.
    Oh, and my mom insisted she didn't read romances until I slipped her a couple suspense romances. Now she's hooked, too!

  8. Hey Dawn,

    Way to go with your Mom. Another Romance reader recruited. Yea! So when does your romantic suspense come out? Hope you'll come be a guest :-)