Romance… I’m not loving it right now

11 January 2022

 I know the post title probably gives it away but I still don’t know how to say this. I’m not loving romance right now.


I know! I have been reading romance pretty much exclusively for the past few years. Pre-pandemic I would be able to read 5 romance novels in a week and still be eager for more the next week. They might not all have been the same romance sub-genre but they could very easily be placed in the romance section at the book shop… if UK book shops had a romance section (that’s a grumble for another day). I needed the strong romantic plot within my books to give me the HEA/HFN I craved and any book I read needed to have that subplot even if it wasn't a romance book. I would read fantasy and get bored if it was obvious I wouldn't be seeing a decent romance playing out. It was a rarity for me to comment about a romance in a book being a negative thing. But now I'm really struggling.

That's isn't to say I'm not reading any romance. I have been reading some. I've even included them in my favourites post. But I have noticed that one of my go-to romance genres is becoming a real struggle to read and I thought it was just fatigue from reading so many books in that one genre but I'm beginning to question if it's not something more.

I'm really struggling with reading contemporary romance. I know mentioned it a little in other posts when I popped back into blogging for a second there last year, but I really have been leaning into reading more fantasy type books rather than contemporary stuff. In fact, I am very actively avoiding picking up contemporary romance unless I force myself to read them and that approach really gives mixed results.


At the start of the pandemic I know why I struggled with contemporary romances, I just couldn’t read books set in a world I wasn’t seeing right then. We couldn’t go out and see friends, meet random people and just date. It was all about staying home, wearing face masks and keeping the soap and hand sanitiser companies making an insane profit. As such, a romance where a couple was going out to work and seeing people just wasn't an escape for me. I know for some people it was great to see that normal world they couldn’t experience but, for me, it just felt like another reminder of what I was missing out on when I was stuck at home alone and could only see my family either on video calls or at a safe distance when exercising outdoors. To be fair, I went through many a reading slump during that time as well so I wasn’t really reading anything, but I really started to actively avoid contemporary romance. I didn't want to read them and whilst I kept buying them I knew they were for a later date when I was in a better frame of mind.


But we’re almost two years into this pandemic now. Things have changed. So many of us are vaccinated and governments are doing more to help keep people safe (or some of them are). So why do I still struggle to read contemporary romance? I’ve always been a mood reader but I’m finding myself being so critical of every book I pick up to read in that genre. The cute things which I used to think were swoony I now roll my eyes at. I know I'm putting down books I would have loved two years ago. And I want to say I've just put them to one side but I'm not, I'm marking them as DNF and putting them on my 'never going to read' shelf. It's a little upsetting when these are books by authors I love or they're books you guys have raved about and I want to join in the fun but it's like my mood reading is stronger than ever and it has it out for contemporary romance.

My reading lately has definitely been more fantasy, urban fantasy and paranormal leaning. It is very obvious the books aren't set in the real world and I seem to be better at reading those. The stupid thing is, I know bookish worlds aren't real but there is something that is stopping me from reading contemporary romance right now. I very much hope it's something that will pass but how long can you not be in the mood for contemporary romance? I may have read a few recently but I've definitely been forcing myself to read them with mixed results. 


Maybe I still need that sense of escape to other worlds? I know the world is not the one we knew at the start of 2020 and who knows how long it might take to feel normal again. I don’t know why my reading has changed so much but I miss contemporary romance, even if I still can’t seem to read it. I'll still keep trying, my mood reading has definitely gotten worse and that might be because of the reading slumps I've been through but I'll figure it out.


How has the pandemic changed your reading? Has it led you to different genres or has it just changed how much you read? And what were your favourite contemporary romances of the last year so I can try them out and get back into reading them?

Post Signature
© A Fool's Ingenuity. Design by FCD.