Reading Romance When Life Sucks

Everyone has ups and downs in life, it’s inevitable. The up times are awesome, we all know that. When you’re going through a down time it always feels like it’s the worse down time ever but you get through it and move on, hopefully to happier days.

Cry Sanctuary Moira RogersI discovered paranormal romance during a down time in my life. I think the reason I fell so hard for PNR is because it was so far removed from my reality. It was a relief to temporarily escape to another world that had nothing at all to do with the stuff that just plain sucked in the real world. Plus…it was romance. Awesome. Books like Moira Rogers’ Red Rock Pass series, Sookie Stackhouse and a gazillion PNR novellas took me away for just a little while.

There have been times when reading romance (or anything else) is a real struggle when life starts acting up. The inability to concentrate Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse #1) by Charlaine Harrismeans even my favorite authors or genre books can’t take me away. As an avid romance reader and blogger who loves to not only read, but also likes to talk about books, this is very frustrating for me. Reading is such a big part of my everyday life. Luckily these dry spells have been short lived and I have been able to resume my massive consumption of romance novels in both good times and bad.

There are many ways to cope with what life throws at you, but as a romance reader, how do life’s ups and downs affect your reading habits? Do you read more or less? Do you gravitate toward a particular genre when you’re feelign low? Do you avoid certain themes? Do you like extra emotional, angsty romance or light and fluffy when you’re going through a hard time. Or do you tend to just stop reading for a while?





  1. says

    I definitely read more when my life is in a downward spiral but don’t stick to a particular genre. Usually it’s whatever I can get my hands on! Reading tends to keep my mind off the bad which is good because I tend to dwell on things and get down on myself during those times (a so not healthy response, I know). So I keep busy by reading anything I can, and writing.

  2. says

    I discovered the Sookie books at a low point as well. They remain such a bright spot in my memory, at such a needed time.

  3. Amanda says

    I am an avid romance reader but there are times were I lose complete interest in them because of lives ups and downs. Its been many years ago but I think the worse time for me was when my sister and her husband split. It came as a shock to the entire family and I just didn’t even want to pick up a romance. Much more recently my family had to deal with some drama involving my teenage niece and her friend and it completely through me off the YA/NA kick I had been on.
    I do want to read even more than normal during these times but I have the desire to read something that I can’t really compare to the real life situations and that is why paranormal romance and urban fantasy is such a big draw .

  4. says

    I eat when life starts to throw bad stuff at me. That is what I turn to for comfort. Oddly enough, my reading habits never change no matter what is going on.

  5. says

    I can’t stop reading, as it’s often the only thing that gets me out of my head. What does happen is that I am leery–almost unable–to read anything entirely new. I may try something new from a well loved author, but when I’m really down, it’s impossible for me to venture into new author territory.

    When I’m in the throes of depression and anxiety, re-reading favorite books–sometimes almost back to back–keeps me sane.

    (Okay, relatively sane, but at this point, who’s keeping track?)

  6. Bernie says

    Not to depress anyone but romance story’s saved my sanity when my husband was going through chemo and radiation treatment for his always fatal cancer. God I would just shut everything out and live that happy ever after.
    So thank you romance writers you give people a escape from life’s hard times!

  7. Mandi says

    I read romance when I’m in all sorts of moods – I think I’m much more picky when I’m stressed or depressed. But either way I cling to books. (ok fine, I cling to reality tv too but still.) 😉

  8. Mzcue says

    Like others here, when the sads hit I go for my tried and true comfort books. Even better is when an author happens to offer a release from a favorite series right when I most need a good escape. Time spent with a great read can be as restorative as a good night’s sleep.

    Plus I had the same experience discovering PNR right during a drawn out bad patch. I’m way past teddy bear age, but found the cuddly shifters of PNR offered great comfort in my imagination. You gotta love all that escape with no side effects.

    Sadly, “post book let-down” hits extra hard when I’m blue.