One of the things romance readers share is the undeniable fact that we are all readers. And, as the dedicated readers we all are, we are passionate about the books we love.
And, in that passion, we want readers to embrace those books. Whether it’s because we’re seeking validation for our own tastes or – and I think this is the biggest motivator – we want others to experience the joy that we did when reading our favorite books, bringing others on board sometimes assumes monumental importance.
But here’s where I think a line gets crossed: Some readers are so zealous and outspoken that those who don’t share the love may feel as if they are somehow suffering from some character defect by not embracing what seems to be the Official Romance Land Approved Syllabus.
I’m going to admit something extremely embarrassing in this post. Please don’t condemn or judge because I’m slowly working to overcome what I perceive as my deficiencies. Do you ever sometimes feel like there’s unofficial “required reading” for romance? Or maybe that you’re missing elements of romance knowledge which would enable you to be a more informed reader simply because you haven’t read certain authors or you’ve missed some of tomes that are considered “great” works? I do and I hadn’t realized until recently just how much I’ve missed along the way and how much catch-up I still have to complete.
I’m almost embarrassed to write that in terms of big, sweeping, epic romances, I’ve managed to miss The Bronze Horseman and Tatiana and Alexander by Paullina Simons. I’ll be on the verge of taking the plunge (because I do want to read them) when I’ll read comments about their story and back out because I fear it will be too heart-wrenching of a journey. The same applies to Diana Gabaldon’s Jamie and Claire. While I’ve read Outlander and loved it, I can’t make myself continue yet because of the time gap. Nor have I read Dorothy Dunnett and the Lymond Chronicles, but I plan to – very soon. All of the above – sacrilege, I know.