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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Wednesday Spotlight: Kaily Hart

Romance. Proving the stereotype wrong.

It still ticks me off that romance gets such a bad wrap. And it’s usually a disparaging one at that! You only have to look at any industry sales figures, revenue numbers, really ANY metrics whatsoever to see how large the romance genre is compared to other categories. It’s a mammoth market segment any way you want to look at it. Yes, there are those out there disproving of popular fiction in general, but I think romance is in a class of its own when it comes to attracting criticism. I’m not sure there are any other genres out there where the type of reader is described with ridiculous generalizations and (wrong) preconceived ideas. I was actually told once that the only people who read romance are unmarried, overweight women who can’t get laid. Clearly, this guy was an idiot but it kind of sets the genre apart in my mind.

I wonder if it’s self perpetuated to some degree, even subconsciously? Is reading romance still done very much under the radar when in the general population? I’ll often see people sitting and reading all kinds of different books, but I rarely see someone reading a romance novel out in public and I do look! I myself may even be a guilty party. I was in a book store over the weekend and I always love to browse the romance section. Of course, right? Why then do I look around to see who’s there, who might be watching me, who could notice me walking those aisles? It’s kind of instinctive, and I’m trying to break myself of it, but it seems to be deeply ingrained. I think we’ve made great strides, but perhaps there’s still a long way to go.

So, I wonder…how proud are you of the fact that you read romance? Do you go out of your way to make it known? Do you just take it as it comes, but you’ll fess up to it or do you hide it as if your life depended on it?


Ju Dimello said...

Ah Kaily, that's one tough question :) But for me, the answer is easy... I go to the store / library and pick what catches my matter it is romance or otherwise. 3 out of 4 times it is romance. No worries there. But if the cover is has lot of skin, I tend to keep it a bit hidden while in the train etc, and if it's neutral, I don't really care. Any wonder I prefer ebooks? No one to judge me by the cover.. LOL!

Kaily Hart said...

Hey, Ju! It's funny how we tend to be sensitive like that. I happen to think ebooks have enabled people to explore their love of romance that much more, without having to worry about what anyone thinks.

Anonymous said...

I don't try and hide it. I will browse the romance section (what little there is of it) to my heart's content. I buy more ebooks now that I have an ereader but I still love to read paper books. I enjoy walking around book stores. If they aren't embarrassed to carry a book then I shouldn't be embarrassed to buy it. :)

user1123 AT comcast DOT net

Kaily Hart said...

Good for you, Stacie!!!

shiderly77 said...

Hi Kaily,

I am a very proud reader of romance. I don't hide it and see no need to. I've reached that stage in my life that other people's negativity doesn't bother me anymore. I've lived a long, full 33 years to get to where I am in the wisdom game and I'm not about to be ashamed of my reading choices... hey, at least I do read, right? lol. Also, off topic but interesting, I wrote a college essay about the bad rap Romance Novels get...! Happy Reading!

Maureen said...

There are some book covers that I would never bring out in public but I was just reading a romance over the weekend when my husband and I were at a park.
mce1011 AT aol DOT com

Cathy M said...

I don't try to hide it anymore. I am old,lol, so I just pick what I want and smile all the way to the check out line.

caity_mack at yahoo dot com

Vanetta Q said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vanetta Q said...

I READ ROMANCE... and Proud that I do... I let it known!:) I love Romance... without it I wouldn't be married for 23 almost 24 years! :)

Love all my romance books and my authors who write them! Keep up the good work!

vanetta at ymail dot com

chey said...

I usually choose my books by reading the blurb on the back and the print size. Sometimes they are romances.

Kaily Hart said...

Shiderly, that's awesome!

That's great, Maureen!!

Good for you, Cathy :).

Vanetta, love your attitude. Lucky husband :).

Chey, yes there are many that read across many genres, myself included!

Gabby said...

Hi Ms. Hart! Oh yeah I definitely agree with your post, when I first started reading romance novels I was usually reading paranormal romance and my brother used to accuse me of reading porn.

Oh man did that ever tick me off, as for your question I love any kind of romance novel and as far as I can tell I don't notice myself looking up and down the aisles to see if whether or not people see what section I'm in.

Even if they did look I'm not sure if I would really care, whenever I go to the book store you'll usually find me in the romance novel section I'm happily addicted to this genre and most of the romance novel sub-genres.

I will admit though that there is one reading addiction that I'm not as confident about just yet, and that would m/m novels I love reading them but I'm not quite to the same strong point when reading them in public that I am with romance novels.

I'll say that someone giving me strange look if they see what I'm reading will not stop me from reading the genre I love the most!


Kaily Hart said...

Gabby, yeah I've heard the porn comment before. Don't worry! You should read what you love and not be concerned about anyone else :).