In a poll this week on whether their readers read romance novels, MSNBC has shown itself to either be blatantly biased against the best-selling fiction genre, or that its reporters desperately need a course in logic.
The question reads: "Do you read romance novels?" and the answers are as follows:
* Yes, yes, yes! Bodice-rippers are my ultimate escape.
* No way. I don't touch those books.
* Sometimes, while on vacation or at the beach.
OK, let's think about this. If you read romance novels while on vacation or at the beach, then by definition, you read them. Therefore, the answer should be "yes."
But splitting this into two categories just reinforces the idea that we should be ashamed of reading romance novels (as does posting an excerpt from Danielle Steel's latest...wow, that was painful), that it's something we should be reading hidden away at home.
I live in a town where people read the most pretentious cr@p while they're riding the Metro. Seriously. I'm not sure whether they truly enjoy this stuff, or whether they just read it to show how smart they are. And I admit it. I used to choose the books I'd read on the Metro by whether their covers would embarass me or not.
But I got over that. Screw 'em. I know I'm smart. I don't need to prove it by choosing the most boring esoteric reading material possible. I do enough dry reading in my day job...I'd rather escape and enjoy myself when I read for fun.
Anyway, what about you? Do you enjoy escapism in your reading material? There's nothing to be ashamed of. After all, 70% of the respondents (as of the time I'm posting this) agree that escapism is a good thing.