This is my new Twitter avi. I’m going to print it out and put it on my wall at work. I might make it my background picture on my phone. It’s how I’ll reply from now on to anyone who says “Oh, I don’t read romance. I mean, it’s just too [silly/ridiculous/trashy] for me. I have to read serious books” or any of the thousand variants of that sentiment. I will submit it as a comment to every clueless, condescending blog post, news article or NPR piece that uses the term “bodice ripper,” or muses about how romance novels might cause women to be unsatisfied with their marriages or to yearn for unrealistically mind blowing sex, or just generally points and laughs at the romance genre in general.
And if they tell me they used to belong to Oprah’s book club, or they can’t remember the title of the last book they read, or they’re not reading anything at the moment, or they read Nicholas Sparks books, or they haven’t read any recent winners of the Mann Booker or Pulitzer prizes, I won’t repress the urge to say “Ah. So you don’t read serious books. You just don’t read romance.”
(And also, Nicholas Sparks is totally romance.)
Because really, it’s just unbelievably rude for people, including those who don’t know you well, to explicitly insult your taste and implicitly your intelligence, so why shouldn’t I respond in kind?