Do Men Read Love Stories?
In preparing for an interesting topic for the editorial of one of my favorite newsletters, I entered a simple phrase into Google. ‘Do men read love/romance fiction?’ I found some answers, but I also found romance still isn’t considered serious writing by too many people.
Harlequin isn’t feeling the crunch other businesses are, in fact, their sales keep going up in these slow times. Nightline did a segment on the romance novel publisher Harlequin’s 60th Anniversary, and I decided to take a look.
Edited the link out because it is now dead.
Reading the short excerpt shown below the tube, I got the idea Nightline had little respect for the genre, and less for the authors and readers. If Comedy isn’t a sub-genre, they shouldn’t be laughing. I hope I’m mistaken, but their choice of descriptive words tells me I’m not.
You can watch the entire segment, about Harlequin’s history and how they’re Canadian and how the recession is only making their audience more hungry for bodice-rippers; but since this entire “news” report seems like just an excuse to show celebrities reading from ladies dirty books, I’m not sure why anyone would want to. [Oh, and insert old lady who loves Paul Rudd and romance novels and owns more than two cats joke here.
I’m interested in knowing whether men can enjoy reading love/romantic books openly. I know many read them and men even write them, but there seems to be a cloud of embarrassment hanging over their heads. Male authors hide their genre behind feminine pin names, and male readers deny the book is theirs. They dread being laughed at, maybe? That’s really sad.
Men complain they can’t ‘understand’ why women need to read romance. Being strong and protective, and always winning the woman of your dreams is every man’s dream. Strength isn’t limited to the physical muscles you may or may not have. Bet you didn’t know that. Smarts, values, brains and common sense go a long way in impressing a woman.
After reading a few romantic love stories, you’ll begin to learn how a woman thinks, and how she wants to be treated. I’m not talking about lust, I’m speaking of lifetime relationships – love. Learning the difference between romance and erotica is easy. Most women need romance, and they need a man who knows what romance is. It is gentle, strong, trustworthy, honest, loyal. Her Hero loves her. These are the traits women write into their hero characters over and over, because they are building the kind of man they want to spend the rest of their life with. They are telling you what they want; pay attention if you truly want to understand women.
Picture yourself on the cover of a love/romance; is the Hero you? It could be. And to repeat a fact from the top, romance is still selling big. You could try writing one; men need romance in their lives too.
Thanks for reading,
I’ll see you again next week. In the meantime, fall in love all over again with your SO by reading a romantic story together.
August 11, 2013