The decline of literature

October 17, 2012
This article was published more than 2 years ago.
Est. Reading Time: 2 minutes

By Sarah O'Connor


I’ve always found comfort in a good book and am a frequent visitor to Chapters, Coles and Indigo. And, now that I’ve started university, I also frequent Titles (god how I love Titles.) I find myself scanning the spines of these shining, unread books and allow myself to be momentarily lost in the story.

I don’t have enough money to buy them - that money was spent on textbooks that our professors assured us would be put to good use yet have never seen the light of day. But now I’ve noticed that my visits are just as frequent. That eagerness to escape into a story is slowly depleting and is now replaced with longing. Longing for a book that’s different.

It’s no secret that romance is a big thing in literature these days. You can argue all you want on how the big stuff are paranormal, supernatural or dystopian literature. But take a good look at what you’re reading: The Mortal Instruments, The Hunger Games, Divergent. Each of these books focus on a lovesick couple (that usually grows into a love triangle) that are more concerned with loving one another than saving the world from imminent doom (or zombies).

Current authors seem to have forgotten that the days of Jane Austen are over and that in this day and age, marriage or being in a relationship does not equal having a perfect life. A story cannot be simply dystopian, supernatural or science fiction, it must have a romance to be considered good literature. But why? Are we so behind the times that we assume every person has to get married or be in a relationship in order to have meaning in life?

I used to indulge in the paranormal romance myself and enjoyed it. But after reading romance after romance after romance I couldn’t help but see how all these young unpopular women (books now-a-days usually center on a female protagonist) suddenly became someone when they are in a relationship.

It disgusts me that the message of having a true meaningful life must come through marriage or at least being romantically involved with someone, otherwise your life is dull and meaningless.

Don’t get me wrong, I support marriage and would like to get married one day, but I don’t want the idea shoved down my throat every time I open a book. I’m only eighteen. And I can’t help but think of people who are perfectly happy being single. How can they relate to these books?

We have come very far in literature these days. Progressive literature is published and read by many worldwide.

One hundred years ago this type of literature would be burned and the author probably jailed. It’s now time for authors to focus a little less on romance and a little more on adventure.

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