Blind Spots

When it comes to reading, I’ve always considered myself to be broadminded when  deciding what to read next. Take a collection of words, stick them on a pile of paper and bind the whole, and I will happily give it a go. I might not necessarily like everything, but I don’t have any preconceived ideas about a book until I’ve at least read SOME of it’s contents.

At least that’s what I thought. It turns out I have one blind spot. A slab of the world’s collective library that I ignore. I’m talking about books that fall under the admittedly broad umbrella of romance.

Just this morning, I was trawling through my emails;I get a lot from various publishers and bookish sites.Today I had one spruiking for some kind of romance novel. It had all the usual hallmarks of this kind of thing. The elegant cursive writing for the title. The picture of a good looking couple, gazing longingly at each other. I think you know what I mean. The book was pitched to me as a great story, by an accomplished author. Apparently this woman is not a novice, and her previous works have been well received.

If this had been anything else, I would have been tracking down a copy to check it out for myself. After all, if you were to ask me what I look for in a book, it’s a good story that is well written.

But, not this time. I looked at it, laughed at the silly cover art and dismissed it as trash. As trash! Not as something that I simply didn’t feel like reading right now, but as something that was rubbish and beneath me to even look at at.

It got me thinking. Why is that? Could it be that the few that I HAVE read in the past tend to be a little formulaic and predictable? If that were the case I would never read another ‘Whodunit’ ever again. No that wasn’t it. Maybe it’s because I have been burned by previous attempts? Again, I’ve never let one poor quality work, or author, influence my opinion of an entire genre. It’s not even that I’m not a romantic, I am. It’s just that I tend to focus more on ‘romantic’ fiction that also lays claim to being ‘classic’ fiction.

I’ve been pondering the matter all day. I can’t come up with any answers except that I have this huge, unjustified prejudice against a whole lot of books. Maybe I’m missing out? The only way I can really find out is to give them a go. So, I’ve decided that the next one that lands in may lap, I’m not going to dismiss as trash. I’m going to read it and give the genre the chance to change my mind. After all, isn’t that what reading is for?