Romance versus Realism – Essay

The following is an essay I wrote back in 2007 as a student at Victoria University. It’s semi-literary, so a little unlike my regular posts, but still something I put thought and effort into.

The reason I have posted this particular essay is to point out that I am not what I define as a ‘stuck-up’ reader. I like certain books for certain reasons, and I refuse to judge others based on what they choose to read.

I personally don’t think something has to be a ‘literary great’ to be considered a ‘real’ book. I believe people read for two main reasons; one, for entertainment – and escapism. And two, for education. These two things can overlap, but essentially each individual reads for their own reasons, and no-one should feel they are in a position to judge this. As a librarian, I see how many people borrow Mills and Boon and Western novels, and it is a lot. Some of these borrowers openly admit they know these stories are repetitive and predictable and some feel the need to justify this choice, by saying the balance them by also reading biographies and other more serious books, and calling them ‘easy’ and ‘fluffy’ reads. I always inform them I need no explanations, it is their choice to read what they want, and it is not up to me to make judgements.
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