Why Romance?

A few months ago, I was in my local Barnes and Noble. As I stood, innocently browsing the stacks in the (rather pitiful) Romance section, a man came from the in-store Starbucks, wife/girlfriend in tow. He walked up to me, laughed, and said, sneering, “Romance? Why Romance?”

I promise you that this actually happened. It was a moment.

The encounter, although undoubtedly rude, did raise a couple of questions in my mind and I’ve been mulling them over since then. Here they are in a nutshell:

  1. Why romance? Specifically for me, but also what is so appealing about the romance genre? What makes it the best selling genre out there?