If you read historical romances, then you have seen the term bluestocking before and know that these beloved heroines are intelligent women that love books and usually have an opinion on things going in society and the world. These women are usually made fun of and shamed for their love of books and learning and this is something that still goes on today for book lovers.
Us modern day bluestockings are now called bookworms for our love of reading and treated a similar way by people that don’t understand our love of books. Many book loving ladies hide their love of books, especially romance books from people to avoid the comments and at time shame people will put on us just because they don’t understand.
A few things we hear are:
“Nothing like that happens in real life.”
This can come from non-readers or people that don’t read romance, but might be hardcore fans of another genre. My answer is always you never know what could happen in real life.
“You probably have high, unrealistic expectations because of the books you read.”
This is usually applied to historical romance readers and is based on an old stereotype of the hero is always perfect in books. Which isn’t true anymore as most heroes are no longer perfect and come with their own problems that make them more real. Yes, they can give us higher expectations, but it’s usually in a good way.
“You need to join the real world.” Or “Get a real life.”
This is usually aimed at all readers for many reasons, but usually because you are different from the person saying it. I have heard it because someone reads a lot and prefers it to partying, because of the books you read, or because the person doesn’t get to read as much as they would like.
The last one can be the worst and make us feel shame for loving to read no matter what the genre we read is, but yet the person can’t explain what they mean when asked usually. I know personally romance readers get hit hard with all of these and more. I say be proud to be a modern day bluestocking and show it off. It’s cool to be a girl gamer and should be to be an avid book lover, no matter the genre, not just what’s on trend.
I know some ladies that are single will hide their love of romance and sometimes reading all together when meeting someone new because of the fear of negative comments or the worst case scenario that they will no longer be interested. It’s a bit like peer pressure to party and do things that you have no interest to do, but to fit in you do it anyways out of fear of what might happen. I use to hide my love of romance and stand off a bit on how much I read and love to read when talking to a new person. Especially guys because some can be more judging of my modern day bluestocking status, which includes more than reading, but then I decided to show off my true self and not worry about it because if they will be negative about it and not kind at all then that’s not someone I want to be around. If someone goes to my social media pages it clearly shows all the authors I friend and follow, the book themed and wild conversations we have, posts about books, and all my reviews.
I am a proud modern day bluestocking!