Having recently attended the Australian Romance Readers Convention (ARRC2013) in Brisbane, I’ve found my love for reading has grown even more insane than ever before (if that was possible) especially when it comes to the genre of romance novels.
One of the things the recent ARRC2013 (Australian Romance Readers Convention) convention brought to light was how readers through organisations such as the Australian Romance Readers Association (ARRA) were able to bring the romance genre to light within Australia. In ARRA’s six short years of existence it has drastically changed the world of Romance writing and reading in Australia by bringing the genre to the fore front of people’s awareness and expressing a love for a topic often thought of as taboo, while helping fellow readers show their love and appreciation to their favourite romance authors and novels.
This organisation (ARRA), with the help of booksellers such as booktopia are fighting against the prejudices that live on in this country in regards to the genre of romance novels, romance writers and their readers, by helping to remove the negative connotations and stereotypes associated with such novels. Although the negative connotations haven’t quite disappeared in recent years, the acceptance of the romance genre in Australia has already come a long way, with readers no longer having to disguise their books when in public for fear of ridicule and public embarrassment. Society as a whole is becoming more accepting of the genre (especially after the world wide phenomenon of E.L.James’ best selling Fifty Shades trilogy); now avid readers are lying in wait for the day the publishing and book industry catch on and therein make romance books more readily available to readers.
Inspired by the many charming authors I met and listened to over the weekend, I have decided to make up my own reading challenge for the remainder of the year. I am now challenging myself to read at least thirty- forty novels this year that can be classified as romance in what I am going to call my Romance Appreciation Challenge (RAC2013). Although I will be reading international novels as well, I am setting myself a stipulation that requires at least half of these romance novels to be written by AUSTRALIAN authors. These books will be read across the entire year and only books that have been read from cover to cover in 2013 will be counted and all sub-genres of romance can and will be included. Thus here I have my own personal reading challenge.
Romance Appreciation Challenge 2013
Criteria: a pre set number of romance novels to be read throughout the year. At least half of these books must be written by AUSTRALIAN AUTHORS and any sub-genre of romance will apply (romance; historical romance; paranormal romance; romantic suspense; erotica; rural romance; category romance, Young Adult romance, fantasy and sci-fi romance etc… the possibilities are endless).
My personal challenge will be 40 books in 2013
This is something I have been thinking about all week since returning home from Brisbane and the ARRC2013 convention and I’m really looking forward to carrying the challenge out. In 2013 so far I have read a grand total of 15 novels in under three months, 13 of which I think apply to this challenge already, thus I’ve upped my challenge count to 40 books for the year, although I plan to read more and do tend to read more novels with romance as a sub-genre already.
With the launch of Penguin’s Destiny Romance electronic Line and Random House Australia’s launch of their Random Romance ebook line I believe this challenge will not only help me discover a number of new authors and voices, but experience and enjoy a new range of novels. I simply can’t wait to start.