at her blog. She's a librarian, but
As a reader, I gave up on accessing my books from my library early on. I bought all my romances from newsagencies, supermarkets, second hand bookstores, bookshops, markets, online and swapping books with friends. As a romance reader I am not unique in this behaviour.This is because
Libraries have treated romance readers as “the devil” for they maintain a distance from them. We see this in librarians trying to improve the readers choice, cataloguers not valuing the books the readers choose. All this is reflected in the romance readers survey responses that the library is not a provider for their reading needs.
a few posts about zombie romance, or "zomrom" over at Undead Studies, including one which asks
Why can’t we love the undead? So many friends push aside the idea of a zombie lover completely (you guys can’t judge me! You read about vampire sex!) [...]
As discussed before [see this post], zombie romance is more romance. Sex never enters the equation. It’s about a relationship of souls (personalities), a coming together of two people.
But still zombies aren’t good enough! The rotting is either done away with completely or can be avoided with medication. The eating of people or brains is the same. So where is the problem? They are undead humans, as are vampires. With rational thought, being capable of emotions, moral agency and free will, why are the undead any less suitable as mates?And You Can Be My Sheikh: Gender, Race, and Orientalism in Contemporary Romance Novels" evidently prefers sheikhs. This summer
And you can read all about it here. She begins with an extended synopsis of/commentary on E. M. Hull's The Sheik (1), (2), (3) and (4).The top shelf of my largest bookshelf is stacked two rows deep with romances with titles like One Night with the Sheikh by Penny Jordan and Desert Barbarian by Charlotte Lamb. These books (and a corresponding set of binders full of photocopies from 1920s movie magazines) are the remnants of a research project on romantic Orientalism in the United States in the 1920s and 2000s which is currently on hiatus. [...] But now the blogosphere is in luck. This summer I’ve decided to set myself a lofty task:Read and review all of my sheikh romances and post the reviews on this very blog twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays. On Wednesdays I’ll post a scan from one of the many articles about how hot Rudolph Valentino is. Is this an overly optimistic schedule for someone who’s also finishing her thesis? I guess we’ll see…
Remittance Girl suggests that
Fifty Shades of Grey does an interesting dance with the explicit. It revels in the details of the taboo of BDSM while seeming to condemn it. [...] And many, many readers love this. They can masturbate furiously to the scenes played out in the Red Room of Pain, while waiting for the heroine to cure Mr. Grey of his perversions.
I am reminded of the masses who enjoyed the spectacle of the Salem Witch Trials or denunciations of heretics during the Spanish Inquisition.
"She consorted lewdly with the Devil!" the inquisitor proclaims, partly for the judges but loudly enough to entertain the masses. He lovingly details the proof of her perfidy. The women gasp and feel a quiver between their thighs right before they all scream, "Burn the witch!" [...]
I don't think a large portion of mainstream society has evolved much since then. And for erotica writers, who usually situate themselves firmly in the sex-positive camp, this is very hard to comprehend. We write novels about how erotic experience and the exploration of new sexual territories helps us grow as individuals. For us, sex in a doorway. Very often our themes are about revelation, completion, redemption through experience. Not through shame or rejection or closing down our sexual options.
The photo of "Zombie and Bride of the Zombie" came from Wikimedia Commons and was taken by Sam Pullara, who has made it available for use under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
The poster of the film of The Sheik also came from Wikimedia Commons, as did Martin van Maële's "Illustration de La sorcière, de Jules Michelet. 1911" which depicts witches dancing naked.