Monday, August 23, 2010

Guys and Books

Let's have a little chat, ok?

I know the majority of YA readers are female. I know there are a lot of guys that don't read for whatever reasons. The argument has been made that YA books aren't marketed to boys, and I can see that. Just take a walk down the YA section at any bookstore. What do you see? Covers colored in purple and pink, covers with girls on the front, etc. Books that a lot of guys wouldn't be caught dead reading in school. Something needs to be done about that, but that's not the main reason for this post.
I was looking around the blogosphere, and I saw something that made me stop. There was a teen guy giving short review of a book. He liked said book, but advised other boys to speed read through romantic scenes to get to the "good" parts. I know girls have a different mentality toward romance and love than guys do, but in the end, aren't we all human? Don't we all fall in love, and feel warm and fuzzy feelings? If you prick us, do we not all bleed? Sorry, went one too far.
Is there a reason that boys are so anti-romance? I get it if it's a book where romance is the main issue, and it talked about constantly (I'm looking at you Twilight). The thing is, this book wasn't one of those. The romance is there, but it's not presented in an overly "lovey-dovey" way. I honestly have never had a problem reading about romance and love, so I don't get what the big deal is. Can anyone explain it to me? I'd love to hear your thoughts, opinions, experiences in the comments.


  1. Oh I totally get what you mean Travis, my best male friends who read have the same issue. They seem to think that reading about romance, even at the smallest level, somehow makes them less of a man. Personally I think it's a negative stigma created by the idea of the "manly" man who plays sports and fixes things and yadda yadda yadda. Makes me sad. I tell them all the time you should read whatever you want!

  2. It's so strange to many men seem to find it makes them feel like less of a man to read such books. To be honest, I think it's attractive when I man doesn't give a crap what others think and just reads what feels right :)

  3. I dunno, I've found a few Tripple Bs (Boy Book Bloggers) and I know that a book like Shiver which I think is mostly romance some of them have rated higher than I have.

    I guess it just depends on the person. I think you are more likely to find book enthusiasts that are guys here on the blogsphere but I also know female readers who sometimes find the romantic fluff a bit tedious.

    It is true that there aren't as many guys who read, that's why I am always happy to find more Tripple Bs *strokes Travis* so that I can study them and learn their ways.

    Ironically, I think it is harder to find book bloggers who are not completely focused on YA than it is to find book bloggers who are male.

  4. Jessica: I was kind of thinking the same thing. Society (for the most part) views romance/love in a man "weak". We need to change that!

    Melissa: Maybe if guys knew that girls like it when they show a softer side, they'll stop being so worried about it?

    Keri: I was talking more about non-Triple B's. Most of the TB's I've seen are exceptions to this rule, although there are some (like the guy I saw that inspired this post) that are anti-romance.
    I do agree about the YA thing. Although when you have a blog, it's easier to focus on books that your target audience will like to read. If I do read outside of the YA spectrum, I usually don't put it on the blog unless I think that readers of YA would find an interest in it.

  5. I feel like guys are sometimes given a hard time for being romantic and liking things that are romantic. I think our society has this idea (which I totally disagree) with that men who are emotional are vulnerable, unmanly (not a word, but you get my point) and unattractive. Keri has a point that it varies among individuals, but I think guys and girls are all still guilty of buying into gender stereotypes. This seems totally stupid to me, as I prefer both protagonists and real men who have a romantic streak.

    Great post! I think this is an important topic in discussing YA lit, and one that deserves more attention.



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