A recent article in the Washington Post was titled Reading will supposedly make you a better person. That’s not the real reason to pick up a book. In it, the author wrote:

If you feel that reading fiction has made you a more empathetic person, that’s to your credit. But I wonder whether the emphasis on achievement that comes with all these studies and reading prescriptions is more off-putting than encouraging.

I confess I find such articles rather irrelevant given that I believe firmly–firmly!–that reading for pleasure is the reason to read.I don’t mind being improved by reading but that has never been my motivation in picking up a book. I read for comfort, for the thrill of being transported into worlds and minds other than my own, to assuage my endless curiosity about the other. I read to experience the power of art, to let the glorious heft of beautiful language pour over me.

Nowhere is this more true than when I read romance. I read romance for the hope it offers–yes, love is possible, yes, happiness is within reach–and for the sheer fun of it. Romance reminds me to savor the passion, compassion, and care in my life and to see those things as extraordinary gifts. I read for joy.

How about you? Why do you read romance?

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