‘Tis the season of love, as I imagine William Shakespeare once said (it sounds like something he would say). And so, what better time to pick up a good old book of romantic literature and settle down in a comfy chair to digest the biggest mystery of all?
There is no better time. Now, I imagine you all know I’m somewhat of a romance cynic- not because I don’t believe in it, but because I am of the opinion that romance is great in small doses, but gets sickly if read too much (let me just offer a quick apology to my boyfriend here: this does not apply to the same degree in real life, promise). But it’s Valentine’s Day, so there literally is no better time to celebrate the humble romantic novel- and here is why we should be appreciating it some more.
- Because they teach us things about human nature
Why has Mr. Darcy stood the test of time where countless other heroes haven’t (despite being played twice by Colin Firth)? Because we see ourselves in our romantic leads. We learn things from them: the good, the bad and the ugly of falling in love. We can sympathise, empathise and learn from their experiences. In fact, we should be doing it more! (I certainly should, as I would have skipped some very embarrassing experiences in high school.)
2. Because it’s nice to feel squishy things now and then
Let’s face it. A straight-up thriller is great, but it’s missing something. That something is a bit of romantic tension. Watching the good guy systematically go through all of his enemies and then retire to drink a whisky by himself just isn’t as satisfying as seeing the two romantic leads put aside their differences and finally admit that they’re right for each other. It’s nice! Embrace the squishiness.
3. Because it’s universal
Falling in love is the most human thing you can do, and we should be celebrating that more! Romance novels have often enjoyed a less-than-stellar reputation: people tend to look down on them. Why? We all fall in love. In a sense, this is a genre that should appeal to everybody, because everybody can relate to it.
4. Because they can be funny and sad and interesting
Romance books don’t have to be schlocky and saccharine (though those books also have their place). No, they can also be wise and funny and profound: Holly Bourne’s novels are a case in point. Whilst maybe not strictly romance, books like How Do You Like Me Now? are undoubtedly all about relationships: the good, the bad and even the ugly. There’s such a huge variety out there. You can read historical romances, chick lit, high-brow romance… no excuses!
5. Because it’s Valentine’s Day!
A tad obvious, maybe, but come on! It’s Valentine’s Day. There’s no better time to get started than today. *starts reading*
What are you reading for Valentine’s Day? What’s your opinion on romantic lit? And what are you looking forward to reading?