In my opinion, romance novels have done more harm than good to the global society. Perhaps I should speak for myself alone, but let’s bet a hundred cowries that this story will resonate madly with you. Thankfully, I can always go down to Alpha beach* to pick your hundred cowry shells if you decide to refute my claim 🙂 (*taps her temple*sharp girl).
I am an avid fiction reader. It is the ship I sail to other parts of the world to get a new experience of culture, races etc. I immerse myself so deeply into the main character that I can almost predict his/her next move, what she would say, and I would even laugh out in reality if another character says something funny to her. I can’t count how many times my mum passed me weird glances at first, until she later got used to me. Even at that, she would shake her head and smile. I have always suspected she was internally rejoicing her daughter had taken quite a liking to the reading culture, because she (like my many big & small mummies) encouraged not discouraged me :).
It is almost impossible for any reader not to share my kind of experience except you were forced to read, or the writer is so-so-so poor in the Skills Department, which means I am not reading the book.
What now happens when one reads romance novels, iz-all-ovah*?
Given my love for studies, I tended towards romance fiction set in academic environments. For example, two Psychology major girls struggling for the affections of a tall, well-built and handsome Medical student, who needs a scapegoat to steal a cadaver etc. I can’t count how many times I strolled into the library fantasizing about meeting my significant other along the staircase. That is the first thing romance novels did to me.
In my own romance fiction where I was the main character, I usually imagined I would drop my books and we (tall, cute eyes, 9-packed guy and I) would both bend at the exact same time to pick them up, then bump foreheads, look into one another’s eyes – and BOOM! That would be it…Love at first sight.
Well, unfortunately, the entrances to the libraries at both 1st degree (not like I was searching at this stage) and 2nd degree university levels had no stairs, they were straight walk-ins. Hence the sad end of my library-romance-fantasy. If I dropped them there… someone would just walk over them. Hey, I cherish my books!
Now let’s go in for the kill!
Romance novels do a lot more than help you create the perfect fantasy for meeting your man or woman, or how your wedding proposal should be organized. They could actually steal your real man or woman from you if you let them. I stress, if you let them. There is nothing really wrong with reading romance fiction, as long as you able to take it just as it is – FICTION. When you are able to back up your reading with the knowledge that this is so UNREAL, that no man or woman is as perfect as that hero/heroine, and they just don’t exist, you are safe. You can then enjoy the HAM in romance fiction.
Have you ever wondered why a brief guy is never the hero in a romance fiction? If the tall guy (hero) has a little imperfection like a scar running down his face, it is usually framed to be a cute scar the girl adores, and I’m sure you adore it along with her. Have you read, “her gaze settled on the scar, and her insides melted like the Sub-Saharan sun on Hagen-Daz”? (I kid :))
Every man can’t be handsome, tall, built, and so rich he could afford to write millions of dollars daily yet never go bankrupt. A friend came by mine yesterday, and like girls do, we broached the issue of “ideal man” (insert *sigh*). She said, “If you grow together, you’ll both stand a strong chance of lasting forever.” Her theory was that, the more ready-made (already established) a man is before you meet him, the less likely you both would have a fulfilling love relationship. You could share your thoughts with me on this by leaving a comment.
It goes without saying that romance novels which border on pornography should not be encouraged at all, because that is a get-away to another dangerous world of addiction. This is not to mention that fact that the ability to uphold moral and for others, spiritual values could also suffer.
On an endnote, I’d recommend two books (that do no harm) by Myne Whitman for your reading pleasure. They are available in all formats; paperback, kindle… the Ma is Good!
Till next week Saturday when you visit my little cottage on the blogo-sphere again, it’s bye 4 now.
Alpha Beach* – a beach in Lagos, Nigeria| Iz-All-Ovah*- it’s all over
Media Junkie as a Softie
P.S. I must say thank you to all who gave my wonderful feedback on the maiden edition last week Saturday, on Twitter, Facebook, BBM… you guys rock. One Love.