Thursday, September 29, 2005

In The Mood

Lately, it seems I'm not in the mood to read as much romance as I used to. Oh, I still read it (and enjoy it when I do. The SEP book we got at the conference I couldn't quit reading and totally marveled at, wishing I was half as good at characterization. And I loved Debbie Macomber's first yarn store book enough that I immediately read the second of the series.) but in bookstores or in my TBR pile, I often feel inclined to pick up something else. Since I've always loved romance and usually read other stuff when I don't have a romance at my fingertips, the reverse amazes me. Anyone else? I've wondered if romance sells are down because everyone else is going through the same thing I've been going through, though what that is, I don't know. Or maybe it's me and the specific time in my life? And since most of the books we got at the RWA conference--including the two mentioned above--weren't strictly romance, maybe that has something to do with the difference. Perhaps the continual disasterous news? (But that's always affected me the opposite way. When I'm in the mood to be cheered up and uplifted, usually I automatically reach for a romance.) So go ahead. Analyze me 'cause I find this extremely curious.


Cheryl Bolen said...

I know what you mean, Alfie. I feel like a traitor saying this, but it's rare when I read a romance book that I really love any more. I still believe some of the most gifted writers today are romance writers, but I miss reading truly wonderful love stories. Perhaps, because I'm a writer, I'm too critical of other authors. If they write beautifully, they have characters I don't love. Or they have characters I'm rooting for, but the prose is trite. I love it when an author gets it all together. Finding a good book is, ahem, better than the Big O.

Sandra K. Moore said...

The last wonderful book I read was Mystic River, by Dennis Lehane. If I could write a thriller or action/adventure novel that well, I'd be a happy camper.

Is it a matter of looking at words and stories all day so that we're jaded? I dunno. Half the time I'm just too tired to read when Reading Time comes. That must be why my TBR pile is so short!

Nancy Morse said...

I have read lots of romances over the years, but they comprise just a small percentage of the books I read. I actually prefer to read books that are not romances - even non-fiction. In fact, I'll read just about anything as long as it piques my interest in some way. A few years back I found most romances not very enjoyable, maybe not that well written, and kind of one dimensional, so even though I continued to write them, I wasn't reading too many of them. I think that's changed, though, and there are a lot of wonderful ones being published. Still, the world isn't all about romance, plucky heroines, hunky heroes and happy endings. There's so much else out there. said...

Alfie, I don't reach much romance at all, and the truth is, I never have. I love romantic stories but I want more than just a romance when I'm reading. I tend toward women's fiction written by authors like Marcia Willett, Barbara Delinsky, and Kristin Hannah. And I love suspense of the type written by Harlan Coben -- he's kind of the male Mary Higgins Clark in my book. :)

Sharon Schulze said...

Alfie, I still read quite a bit of romance, but I do read other genres, as well. I go through mini-obsessions (for want of a better phrase)--I'll read a number of historical mysteries, for example, or romantic suspense. I might stick with Regency historicals or light, fun contemporaries until I've basically glutted myself on that genre and move on to another.

I do find, however, that I don't generally read what I write (medieval romances). With a few exceptions, I avoid them. I got interested the period from reading them, but I guess that since I essentially spend so much time there while I'm writing, I need a "vacation" from the era when I want to escape.

I just love books . . . :-)