Okay people, grab a coffee and let’s start the rant.
Why this title? Over the past few years, paranormal romance and erotica authors have sprung up like peed on parsley. There are just too many of them, some are really good and others not so much. The fact remains that there is surely a market for all of these writers. Now I have to ask, what has led to this overflow of writers in this genre? Has there always been a market for this genre or is it a recent fascination? Hardly, I read Bram Stoker’s Dracula what feels like centuries ago. And who didn’t read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein? Of course vampires and werewolves are no longer what they use to be, they are now alpha males that most women (and some men) fantasize about sexually. Is this what has brought the genre to the spotlight?
I think about my own experience as I rant on this topic. It’s simple really, today, without too much embarrassment I can admit to having been an extremely prejudiced twit when it came to books. When did it change? After I received my kindle then I just became a hypocrite. I no longer include myself in the hypocrite category, but how many more hypocrites are there (we’re only talking books here people, not every other reason you can come up with!)
Anyhow… before kindle I wouldn’t be caught dead reading certain genres, erotica was definitely off my reading list and so were books with semi naked male specimens on the cover, no matter how drool worthy they were. I didn’t even consider reading these books, it was just too embarrassing. Having a kindle gave me freedom to explore other literary genres, and while authors like Bram Stoker, John le Carré, Daniel Silva, Amin Malouf amongst others hold their place in my heart and on my bookshelf and will always remain my absolute favourite authors, I do now indulge in other entertaining literature and have added more favourites to the already existing list.
But even then, reading authors like R.G. Alexander whose books I really enjoy, I didn’t dare leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads… just imagine if someone I know saw my name on a review related to that kind of ‘rubbish’? Hypocrite? Hell Yes! Idiot? Definitely!
So what changed? I have no idea, I just know that I no longer care what people think about my book shelf. There are genres that I enjoy and others that I stay the hell away from, but at the end of the day it’s my choice and personal taste in literature rather than other people’s opinions on what I should and shouldn’t read. Fortunately by the time I started reading paranormal and urban fantasy books I didn’t care anymore so authors like Ilona Andrews, Patricia Briggs, J.L. Murray, Alexandra Ivy and so many more already saw my reviews and ratings. If I like a book I make a point of leaving a rating and a review regardless of the genre.
To find my favourite authors in these new genres I had to read a lot of crap, it was quite an eye opener and I keep the “not to read” authors’ list next to my computer to avoid future mistakes and wasting my hard earned money. While I don’t mind an explicit sex scene (between consenting adults) in a book, I do want a well written book with a plot, a story that actually makes sense, with a beginning, middle and end. Character development is essential and editing of course.
When all the commotion regarding the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy hit television and the internet I looked it up and read the blurb. I was slightly disappointed and found that it didn’t seem all that interesting, on the other hand there was so much talk about it that I did what every clever person in doubt does, you wait for your friends to read it. Four friends read it and three of them didn’t even finish the books. The complaint was the same, too much sex and not enough of a story to go with it. At this point I figured that if it was about the sex I could always get the Kama Sutra, and it comes with illustrations (right there you can see the benefits of the Kama Sutra). I don’t know if this trilogy is good or not as I still haven’t read it and it still hasn’t made its way to my “to-read list”.
While we can determine that e-readers gave people more freedom in the genres they choose to read, did it have an added value for the authors? Do these people support authors by leaving a review and a rating regardless of the genre? If you are one of these people that have to hide what they read because of comments from others, then you have my most profound sympathy and I hope that you will one day you will free yourself from the self-inflicted prison of useless opinions.
Just remember that the next time you see someone with an e-reader, maybe… just maybe you are looking at a hypocrite.