I ran across a video yesterday that made me both smile and shake my head. One of the ladies over at BookRiot is dipping her toes in the world of romance books. I think she is smart to ask for book recommendations as well as exploring books she thinks she may like. She’s also doing an important step I’ve mentioned in the past, researching.
However, the part that had me shaking my head was when she mentioned how surprised she was at how snooty some independent bookstores were in regards to her request for romance books. The store she went to had no romance books and apparently stated that none of their customers every asked for them.
I don’t doubt that this was the store owners response. What I doubt, is that no one has ever asked for romance titles. In all honesty, if I’m looking for recreational reading, and I can’t find my genre’s section in a bookstore, I walk out and take my money with me. I don’t need that level of stupid in my day.
Romance is still one the highest grossing genres of fiction. If you are an independent bookstore, unless you are catering to specific niches it makes no sense for you to deliberately exclude such a profitable genre. When you do I can only conclude, that you don’t need my money or my patronage. *Deuces*
I feel the same about people who ask me (in a certain tone) why I read/write romance. I merely ask them why it matters to them and why should I care about their opinion and leave it at that. I walk away from those conversations mentally crossing off these people from my “smart people” list. Again…*Deuces*
In the video, Wallace poses the question of whether the romance genre is the “red-headed step-child” of fiction (apologies to all red-heads). What do you think? Have you ever had problems finding the romance section in bookstores? Have you had to defend your reading choices? Why do you think romance gets such a bad reputation?
Laurel Cremant is an opinionated author and reader of romance with a wicked sense of humor. RNIC was smart (or crazy) to bring her on as a blogger. In 2016 she took over the management of this site and relishes her new title of “Overlord of Awesome”