Friday, August 24, 2012

One Man's Trash

I've read a lot of books.

I've read mysteries, horror, history, turfgrass manuals, Russian novels, French novels, scientific journals and textbooks, literary fiction, comic books, biographies, poetry, and as a teen--YA. I've read the bible. I've read thrillers. I've read autobiographies. I've read non-fiction.

And of course I've read romance.

Some of these books were excellent. And some were not. Some were thoughtful. Some were marshmallow fluff. Some were exceedingly dark and disturbing. And some were uplifting, powerful, and inspiring.

But never once, as I worked my way through this incredibly diverse mix of reading materials, did I think "This is trash."

Romance novels are a lot things. They are about love and hope and lust and longing. They make us cry--tears of loss, tears of joy. They reaffirm our beliefs in happy endings.

There is nothing remotely trash-like in these themes. I can't think of anything more important or universal than love, pure and simple. And that's what romance novels are about. Doesn't matter if you're gay or straight or young or old. Kinky or vanilla. Whatever.

Love is not trash.

I find it fascinating that books which contain themes of love and sex are considered "trashy novels" while books with gruesome and horrific crimes, violence, and murder are fine and dandy. It makes no sense to me.

I sincerely hope the next time I hear the term "trash" it's a book about recycling and the environment.

Because it has no place in my genre. At all.

Proud, card-carrying member of the Romance Brigade, God bless my optimistic soul,