Why You (Yes, You) Should Read Romance Novels

Romance novels and rom-com novels get a bum rap and are often considered as “trash,” or as “guilty pleasures”– the books one should be ashamed to read. Typically romance novels are shoved in the back of a closet or are quickly discarded after they’re read, not displayed on bookshelves for guests to see in a home library, in other words. And this, quite frankly, annoys me. Because romance novels can and do offer so much to readers and writers alike.

to read if you're a writer

What to Read if You’re a Writer

As someone who founded a book club called the Egalitarian Book Club, I would never dissuade anyone from reading a bit of anything and everything by a diverse array of authors. However, if you’re a writer, you might want to be a bit more decisive about what you read on a regular basis… at least eighty to ninety percent of the time.

Here’s a short list of what you should read if you’re a writer.

woman reading

Lessons in timely reading

Have you ever experienced the pure serendipity of reading a book at the precise moment you needed to read it? Perhaps you started reading a book about characters learning to grieve, as you were learning to grieve. Or you read a book with a protagonist overcoming an obstacle that you were also attempting to overcome. Regardless of how it comes about, the impact of timely reading can be life-giving, sometimes life-changing, even if it’s in the subtlest of ways.

reading children's stories

Writing inspiration from children’s stories

I’m currently reading T. J. Klune’s The House in the Cerulean Sea. It’s unlike anything I typically read, or that I’ve ever read before. And I mean that in a good way. While the book is intended for adult readers, it incorporates elements of storytelling that are traditionally incorporated into children’s stories, which is much more difficult than it seems at first. And it’s made me realize that gleaning inspiration from children’s stories so that you can write for adults will not only challenge you as a writer but reintroduce you to the underlying magic of storytelling in general.