Hello, people of the internet!
I’ve been thinking recently about how my reading preferences have changed these last nine months. I have always been someone who read all sorts of genres, but romance wasn’t one of them. It was like this until last year when the first book blog I ever followed, The Little Contemporary Corner (Sarah, who is the co-founder of this blog, is my friend from University), had a Readalong event with My True Love Gave To Me last December and I joined in because I wanted to finally give the romance genre a go.
Turns out I love the romance genre, but it has left me wondering why I never actually gave romance a go years before.
When I was in secondary school, one of the most popular books in the romance genre was the Twilight series. Almost all the girls in my school were obsessed with the books and/or the films. I, however, have never read them even to this day. I was interested at first, to be fair, and was even tempted to take the first book out of the school library. But what stopped me from reading it was the complaints. Some readers didn’t like the characters or how boring they found the story, etc. What they didn’t like about the books were things I knew I wouldn’t like.
I didn’t realise it then, but I made a mistake – I based an entire genre on one book series.
I thought reading a book where the romance was the main focus was boring to me – even though I hadn’t read a romance book all the way through. What I actually did was not give the romance genre a chance and decided I wouldn’t like it because of what other readers thought.
Why I did this I’m not entirely sure. Instead, I read stories that were very dark and, very often, very miserable. They were good books and were exciting reads, but, looking back, I didn’t read a lot of happy books.
It wasn’t until I started to read romance thanks to The Little Contemporary Corner that I realised how much I love the romance genre.
The romance genre tends to be a very happy one. Some of the best romances I’ve read is very heart-warming and it makes me smile to see two characters I love get together, especially when I think they belong together. It does give me a warm feeling when, despite obstacles, love prevails. Even when love doesn’t always work out, the fact that it did happen is thought-provoking and quite often wonderful.
It has become one of my favourite genres because of how happy it makes me.
Of course, there are bad romance stories, but I really should have read romances sooner. I honestly feel I missed out on those conversations at school about which character pulls at our heartstrings. Romance is a part of growing up and finding out who you are.
I missed out on this all because I solely listened to what other people thought and not found out for myself. If I read romance sooner, I do honestly feel I would have understood romance in general a lot better than I do now.
If there is anything I learnt, it is this: if you want to try a genre, go ahead. Even if it turns out not to be to your taste, at least you gave it a chance. Don’t let what other readers think put you off. They may have a point, but it may be just that particular book that doesn’t get the genre right. There are other books to start off with.
Which genre do you wish you read sooner?
Thank you for reading!