I just took a survey about the npr book page. Sure enough, when I finished the survey, they put up a list of books I might want to read. I think there was a category about dog-grooming, but certainly no romance.
I know it's a dead horse.
I know it's a dead horse that's been beat to death.
I just want to know why romance is a genre so maligned? Jane Eyre and Sense and Sensibility? Both romances. The Thornbirds and Gone with the Wind? Uh, romance. Moreover, if you've been reading romances since the late 80s, you've seen the quality and intelligence of the books increase dramatically. I can't speak to some of the categories from the 60s and 70s because I didn't read them, but I think women's fiction, in general, has increased in quality.
To include science fiction, fantasy, mystery, and thriller, but to dismiss romance is a slap in the face. Wake up, npr. Smart people read romances, too. All too often, "literature" includes an unhappy ending just for the sake of having an unhappy ending. Just because I like to read books about relationships that end happily does not make me a simpleton.
Besides, optimists live longer.