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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Category books

I'm reading Maureen Child's Desire book, THIRTY DAY AFFAIR. And it's good, really good. These books usually take me a couple of hours, if I have nothing else to do. But while I'm reading this book it brought to mind how many readers grab category books as quick reads, for either waiting at the doctor's office or while on commute, if they ride and don't drive of course. Or do some readers actually read only categorys like my Aunt does. She reads the American Romance and Presents I believe and rarely if ever reads a single title book. So I have to wonder who benefits from the changes in the lines, those of us who seek quick reads or the faithful readers who only read these lines. Is there a difference? Should there be?

I also have to wonder if there's more of a humm what word, an issue with others when they see us reading these books. I get looks when I'm seen reading a category book taht I don't always get when reading a single title. It's a look that somehow these books make me less of a reader. Why? Many of them offer outstanding storylines and you get the feeling you are reading a longer story. Things just progress quicker.

So readers, what do you think of the category lines? Do you love them all? Only read certain lines? Don't like them? What are your feelings?



Livia said...

Categories have never really graduated from the "lesser romance" department. They have always been looked upon as the "basement reading" of womens fiction. Personally I love them but they garner stares and looks of disgust when read in public. I've had many a confrontation with people in public places that have dared to comment on my reading material. I always welcome the challenge.

With Categories, the cover and the title always glares ROMANCE and this for some reason appears to be frightening or threatening to some. I'm use to it now and I welcome the confrontation. FOr some ignorance rules and they'll never change towards what they just don't understand.

Melissa F. in CA said...

I wholeheartedly agree that categories are more recognizable as ROMANCE when reading in public. I have noticed "looks" but haven't yet been confronted.

I love categories and read several lines as it gives me an opportunity to experience many (often newer) authors. The cats are usually cheaper too which I appreciate.

In general, I think that while cats are many times glaringly formulaic, as a group they have been given a bad rap, especially by people who do not read romance.

Livia said...

You know I honestly feel that the covers are the main ingredient that is upsetting. I've noticed many women reading what they think are new single titles. This may be a clever thing on the part of the publishers. They're taking some Harlequin and Silhouettes that were categories in the 19080s and 1990s, and re-releasing them under new covers that do not have the embracing cover models. But guess what? A category is still a category and the woman who is insistent that this is so much better is paying a much larger amount for the book. I took great pleasure a couple of weeks ago in showing two women who have just discovered Nora Roberts Macgreor series under the new covers, the original category covers. Their comment, "on but that are those romancy trashy type books"! That's when I started laughing and flipped over the book to show them the lablel on the spine of the books they were holding; which by the way has the Silhouette shadow of a couple kissing, and those famous words, ROMANCE! Same story genre different package.

Cateogry Reader Forever

WendyK said...

I know what you mean. What got me to thinking about it all, was being asked what I was reading and when I showed the person, they acted like I was soooo wrong to be reading that. I'm not one to read Oprah's book club like choices. Do leave me cold, most of the time. But I love my romances and category fill a need for me, especially when I want/need a book I can read in just a couple of hours. I actually have a tote or two with just cats in it that has a note on the outside, quick reads. That's what they are too me. And personally I love alot of the covers, some I'll admit get on my nerves but there are alot of the category covers I just adore. I personally don't like all theses covers going to cartoons, and nature scenes and lossing the couples or at least the man.


Debora said...

I love category romance! I've been reading it for forty-two years! I love it short and sweet--it takes a talented author to write category--not everybody can do it.

I don't agree that it's formulaic--if there's a formula, then there's a style and voice for each line and yes, there are certain themes beloved by this subgenre...me, I'm a sheikh, marriage of convenience, second chance at love fan...

In forty-two years, I've had it all said and done to me for reading category romance in public and by my non-romance AND romance reading fans...Now this old broad declares that it's no one's danged business
what I read, so there!
I find it horrendous that fellow
romance fans would disparage another romance fan and anyone disparaging anyone for READING. It's not exactly our society's number one past time, is it?