Thursday, 4 June 2020

Reading Historical Romance in Public - Discuss and Wonder #14

Hello guys and welcome to another discussion post! I had a lot of inspiration these past couple of days and wrote down a list of future discussion posts that I want to schedule, but if you have any recommendations, make sure to leave them in the comments! I've also been thinking of turning this into a weekly feature, but I'll have to plan it a bit better and actually come up with more than a couple of months worth of topics for it to work. 

Today, we're here to discuss something that came to mind completely by accident and I just had to sort through before attempting to write my thoughts down and share them with you. That is

I want to preface this post by saying that I'm a complete sucker for Historical Romance, especially when a little bit of Mystery is thrown in to spice things up a little. And I've been reading a lot of them recently, which is why I decided to dedicate such a post to the Genre itself. I feel like people underestimate how enjoyable they can be, which is why they make it their mission to stare me down every single time I'm reading one on the bus stop, for example. I obviously carry a book with me wherever I go and steal a couple of reading time whenever I can, in between running from one place to another. People usually stare at their covers, because they're probably too provocative and unconventional for their conservative little minds to wrap around. 

I've had folks look at me with such scorn every time that I dared to pull out a Historical Romance in public, as if they'd be more than willing to punish me for it. I've never been one to cower away at a faraway corner or hide the cover of any book that I'm reading, Historical Romance or not. 

The main reason I'm writing this post though, is this little old lady's shocked and horrified face when she ''realized'', I guess, what kind of book I was reading, while she was sitting opposite me on the bus. She's obviously never going to see this, but I'd like to thank her for inspiring me to talk about what is still considered to be a taboo subject, regardless of the fact that Historical Romance books sell millions of copies worldwide and are quite successful at being enjoyable and fun to read. Contrary to what conservative little old ladies believe, of course. I can't really speak on behalf of other countries, but that is our reality here, in Greece. You are judged by the cover of the books that you read in public, even by your close friends and family. 

I don't know if they think that it's some sort of sinful pastime or whether their minds cannot really comprehend the simple fact that a book's cover doesn't necessarily reflect on its plot, but the looks that I personally get on a daily basis are just ridiculous. Apart from the little old lady, there were some people my age that kind of stared, but kind of didn't give a damn, which is fine by me. But then, there were those who made these disgusting faces and turned to their ''higher quality'' reads, which is completely absurd to me because everyone has different tastes and can enjoy various things, without having to adhere to certain reading stereotypes or choose to read genres that match their outward appearance. A businessman can enjoy Mystery, a professor can choose to read Fantasy and a truck driver can turn to Poetry. Stereotypes go as far as to determine what each one of us should read, based on our status, our gender, our age... And that is wrong!

I do believe that Historical Romance is definitely my go to genre when I'm looking for something that'll help me escape, but keep me entertained. There is a pattern that the majority of them follows and some very specific tropes their authors choose to focus on, but that is the case for every genre and I seriously don't mind them doing so, as long as the plot is interesting enough to make me want to keep reading! 

They do have their faults, obviously, but we're not going to focus on that in today's post. I usually pick them up in between some of my heavier reading material and they're perfect for providing me with something a bit easier to read and comprehend. They're also great at representing some historically accurate period stereotypes and you can learn a thing or two from them, even though they were technically written in the present, but are set in the past. I find myself reaching for them more often nowadays, mainly because they've become my way out of this shit show of a year that we're all having. They're really easy to read, which I cannot stress enough, because it's really important for me, as a reader. As someone who analyzes every single word in a text and annotates all kinds of books, academic or not, I find them to be the most relaxing, mainly because I only highlight quotes and things that leave a lasting impression on me. Book reviewer and English -almost- graduate here, what did you expect? The deadliest combination, believe me. I cannot read something without analyzing it and finding symbols and allusions where there might be none.


That was it for today's post you guys! I've added some of my favorite Historical Romance novels that I read quite recently! Let me know whether you're a fan of the genre and whether you feel comfortable reading it in public! Also, make sure to leave your own recommendations down below!

Until the next post,

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