A shift is needed…

I’m starting a new segment here at The Paradigm.  I’m calling it “Why Does This Exist?”.  It’s where we explore things in this world that do exist, but probably shouldn’t.  It’s so we can ask ourselves “Why?”  What’s the propose?  What’s the reason?  Who was the idiot who decided that this would be a good idea.  So, without further ado….

Why does this exist?  The “Teen Paranormal Romance” section in a bookstore?

Teen Paranormal Romance Section?!

So, as you’re walking through the store with your tweenage to teenage daughter/sister/friend/significant other, you hear a loud squeal of glee.  You quickly turn around to see what has caught her attention.  And this is what you see.  The somewhat new “Teen Paranormal Romance” section.

Why does this exist?  What, the normal teen section wasn’t good enough?  You needed to take up more store space for books about boys and girls who fall in love with paranormal creatures?  WHY?!

I find it sad that in the wake of the Twilight Saga, a myriad of books rose up about teens and paranormal creatures like vampires, werewolves, angels, and other such creatures.  Now, I know that when a book becomes super popular, it always spawns look alikes and other books that are similar, and that’s fine.  But enough to make a whole new section out of?  Come on!  I also know that Twilight was not, by any means, the first paranormal romance novel.  But let’s face the truth here, Twilight is what spawned the popularity of that style of story as we know it today.  But again, enough to give it it’s own section?  This is ridiculous.

I’m all for people reading whatever they want, it’s the reader’s prerogative.  However, this many books about this kind of trash is a shame!  Personally, I’m concerned about this.  There are better books people could be reading…with romance in it!  What are these books offering tweens and teens that other books are not?  So much so that it warrants it’s own section in a bookstore now?

So tell me, why does this exist?  Because, I sure as heck can’t.

P.S.  A shout out to my friend Mike, who took this picture on his phone.  He’s a professional photographer, you know.

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Comments on: "Why Does This Exist? – Teen Paranormal Romance" (14)

  1. You Know Who I Am. said:

    Simply put…Its popular right now and popular=money. That’s it.

  2. Michael Haberlein said:

    Shouts of GLEE are my favorite!

  3. Actually before Twilight the Atwater-Rhodes books were actually the first big vampire/paranormal romance novels. For the longest time they completely dominated the teen/romance shelves. But sadly have been replaced. Sad too because her books were actually good and I’d love to re-read them.

  4. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Andrew Ronzino, Andrew Ronzino. Andrew Ronzino said: My new blog post, as well as new segment: https://greaterthanknowledge.wordpress.com/2011/01/28/why-does-this-exist-teen-paranormal-romance/ […]

  5. Marketing…. this is a financially viable segment of the market right now.

    I was listening to a radio interview yesterday about teenage girls and the their increased obsession with body image since 2000, and the woman being interviewed said that this is in large part due to the continued segmentation of the teenage/tweenage market.

    The more you cut up the market, the more direct the marketing can be. The more direct the marketing, the more specific retailers are with whom they target for books such as this.

    Ten years ago, you would have seen these sorts of books blended right in with the rest of the teenage fiction section, but now, more money is at stake. Remember, shelve space is expensive. B&N obviously sees this is a strategically viable marketing ploy.

  6. hahaha this is funny, I agree, it is a bit ridiculous. I would rather read romance between two HUMANS!

  7. […] a criticism of a particular author’s writing style—it gives me pause. In a blog segment called “Why does this exist?” one writer declares, “this many books about this kind of trash is a shame!” It’s not the […]

  8. The shelf for Teen Paranormal Romance exists because the books do. The real question is – why do these books exist? What is it about them that drive teenage girls to spend mega money and hours upon hours buying and reading love stories between humans and otherworldly creatures? I think it has to do with the idea that teens strive for uniqueness, originality; and what’s more unique than being in a relationship with a supernatural creature? One that doesn’t really exist (and shouldn’t exist according to the norm group).

    And reading these romances is safer than than actually participating in real romances. Feelings can get hurt in the book, not in real life. The guy (usually the supernatural creature)always loves the girl, understands her, rescues her, defends her, and so on, which apparently isn’t happening in the teenage reader’s real life. Plus, the herione finds her own strength and assertiveness, which I feel all girls are looking for during adolescence.

    Plus, these books are simply fun! I’m a 42yo female and I enjoyed the Twilight series, the Evernight series, and the Immortals series. Even at my age, I still long for someone to understand me, rescue me, defend me … you get the picture.

    ~Tracie

  9. So here’s a real teen’s opinion on the matter. Paranormal romance is all about the fantasy. Sometimes we just want to escape the asshole-y boys we have to deal with and pretend we live in a world with perfect men. Also, girls our age want to feel special, and a normal human-human relationship is anything but.

  10. Thanks for writing this blog! This ‘section’ was brought to attention today through a FB posting, and my immediate question was the same as yours “WHY a whole section based on this nonsensical trash?”

  11. So, Twilight was, admittedly, badly written and had some quite dodgy attitudes. However, not all of the stuff in this genre is as bad- for example, the Immortals books are actually pretty decent. It’s popular because it combines the thrill of ‘dark’ characters (without being as distressing to read as strait horror fiction, which is the other place to read about vampires) with the sweeping, uplifting story-lines of your standard historical romance. It’s a pretty simple formula, and it seems to be popular. Whilst I’m not a massive fan (my main love is horror fiction, actually), I do enjoy this kind of thing as light escapism. The real issue is that ‘Paranormal romance’, a genre that’s been pretty successful since the eighties, is now being marketed exclusively at teenagers, and I think the quality is suffering as a result: compare Anne Rice’s stuff to a lot of the recent examples and you’ll see what I mean.
    In short, it’s not as trashy as a lot of people seem to think
    I’m a strait guy in my mid-twenties, for reference.

  12. The right question is why this has tweaked you.

    Girls have always loved the paranormal romance genre. If you were my age, 44, you would admit you saw and read all the V.C. Andrews books of the 1970’s and know they were the biggest paperback hits of the decade.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V._C._Andrews

    Please back slowly away from making posts like these. They’re usually the first sign of becoming Republican.

  13. I write. I write fanfiction, and therefore make no money off it. I was never seeking popularity for it, although that did come, and it just happens that most of what I write would fit in this category.
    Watch yourself, because not everyone who writes about romances between mortals and immortals are terrible writers just because it’s their preferred subject. I know that I write it (and my fans read it) because there’s a definite appeal in watching an immortal being fall in love with someone whose life is barely a heartbeat to him. If you’re so adamant against this subgenre, then you must absolutely hate Jane Foster in Thor, and admit that it’s automatically a stupid, unrealistic relationship designed solely for popularity. This genre exists because it is endearing and can even be comforting. I didn’t even realize until recently that I’ve written and planned a total of 5 fictions that would fit into this category. That should tell you something: writers don’t write to fit a specific genre, new genres are created to categorize books for easy browsing. Having a false sense of superiority based on hating and discrediting a specific genre of fiction (and I’ll assume you do the same with music) is tacky and lame. You’re not even judging the book by the cover on this one; you’re judging the book by the name of the shelf it’s on.

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