Aug 14 2014 7:04am

Throwback Thursday: When Did You First Identify as a “Romance” Fan?

Identity Crisis by Eliza DalyMaybe you knew as soon as you stole one of your mother's paperbacks. Maybe it took you longer, you just thought you wanted to read a good story. Maybe you were reading books that had relationships in them, and those were the best parts for you, only you didn't understand why you felt that way.

But somewhere, along the way, someone asked what you liked to read and you answered, “romance. I read romance.”

So when was the first time you recall identifying yourself as a romance reader? 

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1. lauralee1912
Years ago, we had to sort through my mother's books after she passed away. Since my sister-in-law is a college professor, there were a lot of books she and her university book club friends had read and recommended. Mom glommed on anything her favorite daughter-in-law did, so there were all these dreary books I would have never read as I like my reading with an HEA. I turned to Dr. Sis-In-Law and told her I preferred reading romances and the books all looked too serious and sad, so I wouldn't be taking any of them. I think that is the first time I said out loud "I'd rather read romances," even though I have preferred romances for years. I do read some literary fiction. Really.
Becca DuB
2. Becca DuB
I've been a voracious reader since elementary school, but it was usually science fiction, mainstream fiction, historical fiction, horror, mysteries, but never that ridiculous romance--that was for mindless women, right? Then in 1991 on a trip with my sister (who did read romance, btw), we listened to an audio book called THE DUCHESS, by Jude Devereaux and I really enjoyed it. However, it was abridged and I could tell something was missing. I told my sister that I was going to read the book to see what got left out. It wasn't a new book, and not easy to find. I haunted several book sections in my local stores trying to find it and couldn't. I finally went to a real bookstore, still didn't find it, but saw a book entitled SEPARATE BEDS (by LaVyrle Spencer). I wondered, "How can you have a romance book named SEPARATE BEDS?" So I had to buy it. That was it. I've read romance ever since and proudly proclaim my stupid prejudice was overcome by actually reading the books which are far from mindless, usually as riveting, emotionally engaging, and intellectually stimulating as any other fiction genre. I still do read other genres, but by far most of my reading includes some romance. And I finally figured out that most of the historical fiction I had been reading (Jean Plaidy, Victoria Holt) was actually historical romance, so I'd been reading it all along.
Susan Scherzlein
3. Susan Scherzlein
I've always been a reader, and I am a compulsive reader. Don't put me near a book if you want anything else done! In my younger years I read pretty much anything that fell into my hands. The first books that I would identify as romances, though, were when I discovered Georgette Heyer in high school. In the late 80s/early 90s I realized that other people were also writing Regency romances, and since then I've read as many as I could buy or borrow. Thanks to H&H (and Kindle) I've branched out a bit and play in other romance genres too, but my real passion is for, and the kind of romances I identify as being a reader of, are historical romances and especially Georgian and Regency romances.
Donna McManus
4. dsmac085
Books have always been my drug of choice. Since my first Little Golden book. My mom was a reader also so eventually around age 12 I picked up whatever she had laying around. That ended up being Fires in Winter which was fairly adult but I finished it :-) I dialed it back a bit withe harlequin, silouette & such for the next few years. Mom never sensored any of my reading choices which I am grateful for :-)
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