“Bodice ripper books should be read in the privacy of one’s bedroom and never in public.” The nice older woman who whispered that to me would probably be equally shocked that I don’t wear a girdle. I’m not sorry to disappoint her about either.
The main difference between paranormal romance and urban fantasy is the quantity and quality of the sexual content. Both categories are violent. If sex and violence is all they were, they would only be read by teenagers. Their aisles of the used book warehouse prove a much more diverse fan base.
These genres are overwhelmingly populated by characters whose lives were Grimm instead of Disney. They are flawed and scarred, but they are survivors who live and love boldly. The characters are thinly veiled metaphors for every diagnosis in the DSM and the plots are flat out finger pointing about prejudices. The sexual content isn’t the best part of the books. It’s sometimes absurd with womb clenching and the lie of simultaneous orgasms. The characters and world building are what draws in readers.
Reading isn’t performance art. It doesn’t impress anyone when you claim to “only read the classics.” I don’t care what you’re reading. You shouldn’t care what I’m reading. Well, unless our fandoms overlap. Then, we can talk each other’s ears off with book and author recommendations. The “I’m too busy to read” people need to keep all of their criticism to themselves.
Read what makes you happy. Read what speaks to your soul. Read the funny stuff. Read the books that bookstores like to shelve in young adult sections. Read in bed, on the couch, in the car, on the bleachers, in a waiting room and anywhere you go. Just read.