Put this youtube video at 3:05, play and read while it continues:

I’m about to travel a barely touched route here at Book a Week with Jen, one lined in bare chests, billowing hair and Fabio: I’m going to read a few romance novels.

I say that, of course, in jest — well, the chests, hair and Fabio bit. Romance novels aren’t your grandmom’s smut anymore, as I hope to show.

But why the romantic bent? Because I’m writing not one but two articles about the Romance novel industry, which sells over a billion dollars worth of books a year. In fact, one of every four books bought is a romance title. And I’m not lying about those numbers — I wouldn’t make that up even if I were the bad guy who broke the heroine’s heart at the start of a book that ends in lots of sex and a ring by the final chapter.

So while I finish the first title on my list, let me ask you: What do you think of romance novels? Do you read them? If so? If not, why not? Or do you have a favorite memory? I remember the first one I read, as given to me by my grandmother. I was shocked at the language — shocked! And, OK, a little bit intrigued.

Oh and check out www.smartbitchestrashybooks.com for more on the biz in a tone that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Seriously.

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Jen Miller

Jen Miller

Jen A. Miller is a an author and freelance writer. Her memoir, Running a Love Story, was a Philadelphia Inquirer best book of the year. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, SELF, Buzzfeed and the Guardian, among others.

1 Comments

  1. Kathy on January 10, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    I’m intrigued by this romance assignment of yours! What else is on your list? On a dare/whim, I spent all of 2008 reading only vampire romance novels, but the only series I would recommend is now being bastardized by Alan Ball on HBO. I hate that dude.

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