A Recovered Literary Snob

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A Recovered Literary Snob

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Dec,2012
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My name is Marlie and I’m a recovered literary snob.

Years ago, my shelves were filled with books from the literary trade paperback section of the bookstore. You know the ones; somber stories of lost dreams, heartbreaking rites of passage and souls crushed by life’s challenges.

These were books for serious people. People who read the New York Times Book Review. People who listened to NPR radio. People who watched documentaries. Yeah, that was me!

As an avid reader, I devoured one to two of these critically acclaimed books per week. And over time, I found myself feeling slightly morose, lacking the strong sense of hope I had carried in my heart and soul for years. Was life really so gray and hopeless?

I had not read a romance in many, many years. At that time, I don’t think I could have named one. But one day I was in an airport, traveling for work, and picked up a book that appealed to me just because of its cover.  It was Breathing Room by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I honestly didn’t realize it was a romance. I didn’t really pay attention. I just liked the cover and the blurb.

I started to read it on the plane, and in the taxi to my hotel, and then read while eating my room service meal. Wow, this was romance? It was smart and snappy and serious, too. I fell in love with the genre.

SEP must have had an uptick in sales that month as I devoured everything she had written to date (and still do!). Amazon suggested “similar authors” and I was off and reading everything romance, my usual one to two books a week.  From mainstream romance to the paranormal, I read it all. And found that no matter how dark the story or how challenging the circumstances for the characters, the happy ending made me happy; gave me back my hopeful outlook.

Sometimes in the reality of our everyday lives, we have to replenish the inner well with goodness and hope. That is what Romance does for me. That is why I read it. That is why I write it.

Thank you, SEP.

About the author

Author
Marlie Bridges
You Belong To Me by Marlie Bridges Available on Amazon

19 Comments so far:

  1. betsy says:

    I love this. Although I go through different genres (stages), (HORRIBLY written line, but) I love romance the most. I’m tired of defending romance. I just read what I like, and always have, thanks to six older sisters, and a mother doing the same. 🙂 I may go through a true crime stage, (love Ann Rule, and actually met her. She’s so cool), every Jane Austen ever, funny Janet Evanovich stories, sometimes just the dictionary, Sookie Stackhouse, and every other thing that may interest me, it always comes back to romance. It’s where my heart is. I’ve always been a reader girl. As my youngest son always says, IDGAF what anyone else thinks.
    Goodness and hope. Perfect. 🙂
    Loved You Belong To Me. Please keep writing.

  2. You have hit many nails on the head with this post, Marlie. While it is wonderful to challenge one’s brain with literary fiction, those stories can be so gloomy and depressing. Romance fiction is the perfect antidote to the blues (and the blah’s). I say, read a little of everything!

  3. I’ve stayed in the historical column for most of my reading experience, but a few months ago I found this amazing author who I am now working with on critiquing exchanges with him. He writes romance, but it involves Zombies, Werewolves, and Vampires. I have found a whole new world and must admit to be enjoying it now. Of course, pulling him into my histocial west stories has opened his world as well. My boss writes SciFy and I have also started reading hers as well. Sort of nice to open myself to new worlds.

    • Marlie says:

      Paisley,

      I love your latest historical! And like you, I’ve ventured into reading of Vampires and Werewolves, to my great enjoyment. Breaking out of old cages – especially when they are self-imposed – is a good thing.

      Thanks for posting!

      Marlie

  4. Misty Dietz says:

    Hi Marlie! If I wanted sadness and trauma with no HEA, I would just turn on the evening news. I’m with you…I’ll take romance any day! 🙂

    • Marlie says:

      Misty,

      Isn’t that the truth! After the latest political storm, and the latest Super Storm, isn’t it nice to sit back and read a good romance?

      Thank you for your post!

      Marlie

  5. Angela Adams says:

    I read and write romances for the HEA ending. I’m glad you discovered romances! Thanks for the post.

  6. Marlie says:

    Thanks for stopping over, Angela!

  7. ana morgan says:

    I discovered romance in a similar way, Marlie. My business flight was delayed and a bookshop sales clerk recommended Bertrice Small. I was hooked. She was poetic, exciting, sexy. My bodice-ripper concept was shattered. I kept reading, and came across some disappointing romances. I decided “I” could write a romance… and I’ve been learning how ever since. It’s a fun ride!

  8. Marlie says:

    Ana,

    I love Bertrice Small – and she was an early read for me, too.

    Marlie

  9. Hi Marlie, There was a time I thought reading a waste of time if you didn’t learn something from it. That was my snobby self-help book phase. One day before a flight, I borrowed one of my mother’s romances. Enough said. I was devouring a romance book a day after that. I love the HEA. And who says you don’t learn things from romance novels? 🙂

  10. Marlie, you are a smart woman. My first crush 0n a romance book was Marjorie Morningstar by Herman Wouk. Never looked back. Though I read all kinds of books today, my go to group is contemporary/romance/suspense. I like to travel with Kindle…no one knows what we’re reading these days, tee-hee!

  11. Marlie says:

    Rolynn,

    Yes, the Kindle has freed us up to read any book, regardless of the cover, in any location! Haha.

    Marlie

  12. I bet I could outsnob you because I majored in English literature. Still, the dismal endings in literature often depressed me. I want a book that will deliver a satisfying ending. My husband reads science fiction, and is often angry that the authors feel no need to tie up theloose ends for the ending. Romance writers work harder because they have to have internal and external conflict, and a tidy happy ending with an option for a sequel.

  13. Marlie says:

    Morgan,

    English Lit! Yikes! Romance writers do work hard! And readers have come to expect that everything is worked out in the end. Still love my HEA’s.

    Marlie

  14. […] time – I used to be a literary snob (see my post on marliebridges.com about this). Now I read three times as many romance novels as any other kind. […]

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