Friday, July 19, 2013

Randomly Random: Oh you're a "romance" reader....tsk tsk

If you've been by the blog you know I love my romances. All types. From the sweet and sassy to the dark and twisty. Simple kisses to full out menage and any and every kink you can throw at me. I love them all. 

And I'm good with people knowing what I read. I take my paperbacks with their half nekkid covers out in public and will chat with pretty much anyone about what I read. I don't really care if people don't "get" my books. They're my release, my entertainment, my way to relax from the stresses of every day life and I'm not harming a single person reading them.

Where's all this going?

Well, earlier tonight my easy going, laid back reader girl self snapped just a little bit. All because of a post that was up on B&N's blog for about 7 hours--before they decided to quietly take the post down after a not so positive response from romance readers out there. [For yall outside the US B&N (Barnes & Noble) is I'd say our biggest book retailer with actual stores.]

A post that while "trying" to get the message across that you need to be careful about your NOOK's security instead pretty much slapped readers and writers of romance/erotica with being close minded and, well, ignorant. Because really... liking a sexy read automatically makes you brainless and in need of some intervention.

I usually just roll my eyes and move on when someone puts their foot so gloriously in their mouth but like I said. Reader girl that I am kind of snapped and decided and decided I had some things to say about the negative way so many people in the media and amazingly booksellers feel about the romance readers and writers out there. 

Readers that make up a huge portion of their customers and sales. 
And writers that make best seller lists all the time and sell like crazy.

Anywho. Guess you'd like to see the post that was taken down. Here ya go...

From B&N's Blog...
(I did edit the links and replaced the B&N ones with Amazon links but everything else is word for word what was on their blog.)
I was hesitant to buy a NOOK—I’m one of those readers who takes pride in collecting her wares and surrounding herself with them like they’re old friends. I enjoy forcing them upon passing them out to friends. I like the smell of a book. I like folding the cover back and spilling wine and spaghetti sauce on it. I like underlining and folding back the pages.
But I live in New York City, and my bookshelf space is extremely limited. When I started having to store books underneath my kitchen sink and in my underwear drawer (seriously), I caved and bought a NOOK. It didn’t take long for me to adjust. I could bring 100 books with me on vacation, all in one slender tool. I could hold the device perfectly with one hand, the other gripping a subway pole. I could read it on the Stairmaster with ease, turning pages with the press of a button. This isn’t an advertisement for the NOOK—to each her own. But I quickly wondered what had taken me so long to make the switch. I couldn’t find a single downside to owning all my books on one small electronic device.
Then my NOOK was stolen at the gym—I had left it on that damn Stairmaster. I didn’t worry about it or report it right away; I thought I might find it. Fortunately, I was awake and on my computer at six in the morning the next day when I started receiving email notifications. TIE ME IS NOW IN YOUR NOOK LIBRARY. SURRENDER YOUR LOVE IS NOW IN YOUR NOOK LIBRARY. By the time I registered what had happened, there were 30 books purchased, and they were rapidly piling on. I looked at my cat, who was sitting on my lap, and immediately suspected he had done something to my account. But remembering that Monty only loves historical fiction, and all of these books seemed to be erotica, with the words “bondage” or “lover” in them, I realized that at that moment, while I was sitting on my couch, someone had my NOOK in her hand and was on a shopping spree—and I was picking up the tab. Struck by a wave of unsettling discomfort, I panicked and called my credit card company to cancel the card that was attached to my account. Below, an incomplete list of the books that were downloaded onto my device before I could stop the madness:
Surrender Your Love, by J.C. Reed (“Meeting Jett was like lightning. Dangerous. Better left untouched. And better forgotten. But lightning always strikes twice.”)
Wild Orchids, by Karen Robards (“Prim mid-western schoolteacher Lora Harding is in for the summer vacation of her life when darkly handsome American Max Maxwell slides into her rented car in steamy Cancun, Mexico, and orders her to “drive” at gunpoint…”)
Alpha Bad Boys (7-in-1 Box Set), by Shayla Black, Olivia Cunning, Lisa Renee Jones, Lexi Blake, and Cat Johnson(“Brothers Gavin, Slade, and Dex fall hard for Gavin’s new secretary, beautiful Hannah Craig. The oil executives know they must give her time to get to know them before she can choose one…who will seduce the virgin and keep her for his own?”)
Tie Me, by Olivia Cunning (“His heart is tied to his past… Her heart is tied to her work… They’re bound to become entangled…”)
Heart Of The Billionaire, by J.S. Scott (“Can two people with so many years of hurt between them learn to trust each other again?”)
Sweet Persuasion, by Maya Banks (“For five years, Serena has run Fantasy Incorporated and has devoted her time to fulfilling her clients’ fantasies. Never her own. Until now…”)
Their Virgin Hostage, by Shayla Black and Lexi Blake (“In the wilds of Alaska, the three men try to pry Kinley open, only to discover she’s both stronger and more innocent than they imagined. Her sweet beauty melts their suspicion and steals their hearts. Together, they awaken her passion and brand her as their own.”)
Innocence Defied, by Lainey Reese (“When business brings him to New York City indefinitely, Gage Hollister is sure that somewhere in this massive city, there must be a woman whose need to be dominated matches his thirst to dominate.”)
Going Cowboy Crazy, by Katie Lane (“If Faith wants to avoid heartbreak, she’ll have to show a certain ruggedly handsome cowboy that this crazy-impossible love is worth fighting for.”)
Anything He Wants, by Sara Fawkes (“Lucy Delacourt’s temp position isn’t quite her dream job but it pays the bills. The highlight of her day is riding the elevator in the mornings with a handsome stranger. Tall, dark, and sexy as hell, Lucy knows he’s way out of her league, but a girl can look, right?”)
If you can learn a lot about someone based on their library, I knew everything I wanted to know and more about the person that had stolen my NOOK. Except for who she (presumably she) was! I wanted to step all over her, with the powerful thighs I had earned stepping on that Stairmaster while reading Lord Of The Flies! Who was this woman? In addition to these books, she had downloaded several free books, including His Voice, His Command, by Vonna Harper (why?) and, surprisingly, a subscription to the New York Times (I hadn’t taken her for a Times girl).
After a phone call with B&N Customer Service (this is before I was employed by B&N), the books were deleted from my account and I received a full refund, except for the New York Times subscription, which I kept. (Thanks, NOOK caper. I didn’t even know I could read the NYT on my Simple Touch!) So whoever had taken my NOOK still had it, with only the books that I had purchased before it was stolen, which were still on my account. I was bitter, but slept easier at night figuring the woman could stand to diversify her library a bit—it might do her some good to read Christopher Hitchens. But then I wondered if I needed to diversify, too. Maybe this whole debacle was a sign I needed to start reading Girls Only: Pajama Party. I guess I’ll never know. The worst part was that my recommended books became totally off-mark. (No, Barnes & Noble. I would not be interested in Mile High!)
This is not an advertisement for the NOOK, but it is a public service announcement. The B&N customer service employee alerted me to a helpful function on the device—you can protect your purchases with a password, something I advise everyone to do. Right now. Stop reading this and do it. I’ll wait.
Anyway, I continued to frequent the gym with an eye out for my NOOK, and for the person who was vile enough to steal from me, narrow-minded enough to not buy one true crime book (which I would have enjoyed), and stupid enough to wait to ransack my account till 6 a.m. Had (s)he started pressing the buy button at 3 a.m., when I was snoring in dreamland, (s)he could have spent hundreds of dollars more. (The final tab was $238.)
Protect your account, everyone, unless you want to accidentally diversify your library. The NOOK game is a risky one, but one that I’ve found is worth it.
Have you ever been a victim of literary identity theft?

Am I over-reacting? Eh, you know. I don't think I am. 

I'm tired of condescending individuals like this woman and so many members of the media and even people in the book industry thinking that just because I enjoy romances, or *gasp* books that use the word cock or involve a little bondage, oh hell, okay, a lot of bondage that I'm somehow less worthy as a reader and need them to show me the light to finding "better" books. 

I'm tired of them thinking they "know" everything there is to know about me because of the books I opt to put on my shelves. I'd love to hear what the author really thinks she knows about us romance readers by our book choices. I doubt she figures I own my own home, or even my own business. That I volunteer at the USO in my free time and have read many classics over the years. 

No, I'm just a silly romance reader who indulges in "mommy porn" as it's so lovingly been deemed by the media. *rolls eyes* And yes, I know I'm ranting on this one. But damn I'm sick of the whole attitude about romance books.

Love, sex, exploration and curiosity are a part of life. Finding true love... something I think most of us in life strive for and hope we'll one day find. So why should I feel bad for reading about people finding these things? People that have been through hardships and overcome them and found love in process? For enjoying the kinks and quirks, the smoldering looks and humorous moments that a good romance book brings to life?

Yes, B&N took the article down after a few hours. But simply removing the text from the screen doesn't erase the attitude behind it in the first place. And is not an apology in any way, shape or form for insulting the readers and writers out there. I get the point of the article but this was an epic fail in the delivery and they should be pretty ashamed letting one of their employees put it out there to begin with. 

The way I see it. If you can't respect the books I'm reading and my decision to read them you probably don't want my money for such inferior and scandalous choices either. While I can't say I agree with the thief's actions she does have some damn good taste in books. And I do believe I'll go pick some of them up and will be exercising my option to shop somewhere other than B&N.

And really my rant isn't just directed at B&N though they're what sparked it. It's directed at those in the industry that look down on romance as a genre, at the "serious" authors who take jabs at romance writers, at book sellers that make romance readers feel uncomfortable shopping in their stores and just people in general who feel the need to criticize what others are reading. That think romance readers are mindless and uneducated and can't seem to grasp that we're teachers and doctors, lawyers and mothers, scientists and business owners. 

So now that I've ranted my romance loving heart out I'm going to go pick up my current salacious read. So, to my lovely fellow romance readers out's to sweet romances and hand holding, to dirty talkers and kinky cowboys, to heroines with sass and the heroes that love them. Embrace what you love and don't let anyone make you feel guilty for enjoying it. 

~One reader girl who loves smutty books,
 naughty words and heroes that tie up their heroines 
now and again and isn't one bit ashamed to admit it.

What say yall? Have you ever had to deal with people's opinions on your reading choices?
Does it get to you or do you just brush it off?

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