Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Book Vant

Okay. I am an avid reader. I have to be reading all the time. When my mother wouldn't let me bring books to the table as a child, I would amuse myself by reading the ingrediants on the box of cereal. Yes, I was that desperate. If a complete stranger is reading a book, I will walk up to them and ask what they are reading, do they like it, have they read anything else by the author? This doesn't always work, there have been a few books that I've read because of reccomendations and they just didn't meet my criteria. However, I discovered Stuart Woods that way. Palindrome was the first one I read by him and I loved it.

So, obviously, because I like to read so much and I read quickly, I buy a lot of books from garage sales or thrift shops. Usually all I do is read the back blurb and decide if the book sounds interesting. I do this because, unfortunately, my favorite authors do not write fast enough for me (Why yes, Nora Roberts and Mil Millington, I am talking about you. Get cracking!) and I have already re-read each of the books I own by them many, many times.

I picked up a book yesterday. It was a romance novel I picked up at a garage sale for 25 cents. And I am here to tell you that 25 cents was too much to pay for this.

There is something I do when reading romance novels that baffles most people. I don't read the sex scenes. This is because I don't read romance novels for sex. If I wanted sex, I could find it somewhere. And sex is not something that is missing, or ever has been, in my life. If I wanted to read about sex, I will go to a Sex Shop and purchase Letters to Penthouse or something like that.

I, shockingly enough, read romance novels for the romance. That is what I am deprived of, what makes my heart ache in the middle of the night, what makes me go "Ohhh" when David Duchovny says to Julianne Moore "What are you talking about? You already do" after she says to him "I would have rocked your world" in Evolution. I love fairy tales and happy endings and love at first sight. I am a hopeless romantic. I looooove Love. And believe me when I say I am definitely not getting any.

This book that I picked up yesterday? I skipped all of the sex scenes. How much do you think I actually read of it? 10 pages.

Yeah, that's right. 10 pages. 10 pages of some of the worst writing I have ever read. No character development, no plot development, all it had was sex, sex, sex. The most romantic thing this guy did for her? I don't know. Because every thing they did was have sex. That's it. And somehow they went from complete strangers to "Oh, let's get married, I want to spend the rest of my life with you" in 10 pages.

This is why I read Nora Roberts. Her characters are well developed, her plots are feasible (even the one about the time travel. It could happen) and her sex scenes don't take up the entire book, are well written and not graphic.

This is why I read Mil Millington. His characters are well developed and even odder than I. His plots are absurd and hilarious and his sex scenes are imbued with the ridiculous.

Sigh. Oh, well, Ella Enchanted comes out next week. I can hold out until then.

Previous comments:

At 8:50 PM, angelia said...

It's always a risk buying romance novels...sorry to hear about your unfortunate book. I hate it when that happens....:)

At 3:21 PM, Robert ~ Marlénè said...

I used to read cereal boxes, too... actually, I still do... I'll even read junk mail at the table if there's nothing else.

I had to stop reading romance novels some years ago; an English Lit degree ruins one's ability to take in half-assed writing; I also got to the point where I no longer believe in Romance... and it seemed to me that the "romance" in most of the romance novels I read had more to do with settings and circumstances than with behavior. Of course, I usually read historical romances, because the settings were more interesting to me, but it seemed that there were only two or three plots endlessly embroidered with different names and a couple of variations in character: the wilful spitfire girl who is misunderstood and shall be forced to marry someone she doesn't love; the big strong silent man who either rescues her from the loveless marriage or is the loveless marriage or kidnaps her before she can get married (and if the latter two, she will fall in love with him almost immediately but won't want to admit it because of her pride); there will be a villain or two trying to keep them apart or take one of them away from the other, and in historical romances there is always a kidnapping from which the heroine is saved by the hero (sometimes the girl gets kidnapped several times by different people); the sex scenes are usually barely disguised rapes which the heroine shamefully enjoys, and some bondage or punishment comes into play somewhere, always resulting in an orgasm or four on the woman's part; the novel usually ends when the heroine has a child, and then they all live Happily Ever After.

Blech. Maybe it's one of my few guy-things (like having to have the remote and refusing to ask for directions), but if that's Romance, I say no thank you.

Anyway, I found that mystery novels tend, on the whole, to be better-written, so I switched over to that genre some time ago.