Up Close and (un)Conventional Bookish Babble
Welcome to this week’s Up Close and (un)Conventional Bookish Babble. This is where we discuss whatever we feel like. It can be something about books or the bookish community, or it can be about something else entirely!
In the last few years I’ve been noticing a distinction in the romance world. I think I get what the classification is supposed to be accomplishing but it’s having a negative effect on me. So I thought I’d get y’all’s take on it.
I’m talking about the distinction or labeling of books as “clean” romance. When it comes to romance, I don’t steer away from anything. While I do like a story with the steam, I don’t shy away from any steam level. That means I’m happy with everything from simple sexual tension to graphic depictions of sex. However, seeing a novel distinguished as “clean”…well, it makes me feel dirty. It makes me feel as though there’s something wrong with me not having an issue with any degree of steam level. And I’m therefore much less likely to purchase something labeled as “clean” because I feel as though I’m being shamed.
I think a friendlier way to market romances to those readers who prefer no steam or just a little steam without offending other readers would be to label novels by their steam level. But maybe it’s just me? How do y’all feel about this labeling? Does it bother you? Does it affect your desire to purchase a book? I’m really very curious. 🙂