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WASTE WATCH: Nearly $1M in Tax Dollars Spent on Romance Novels Documentary--Mikayla Lewis

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A love project is costing you nearly $1 million. The government is spending your cash to partially fund a documentary about romance novels. Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) released his yearly government "Waste Book", questioning The Popular Romance Project.

 At Bookman/Bookwoman in Hillsboro Village, they sell a variety of new/used books like romance novels. When some people think of romance, Fabio comes to mind, but the genre encompasses much more. Regardless if you like romance novels or not, taxpayers helped pay for a new documentary that explains every aspect of the romance industry.

Heaven Matlock is just one of many romance novel fans in the country.

Heaven  Matlock said, "When you read a book it takes you away from reality and you can use your imagination."

There are a variety of romance books other than the teen ones that 13-year-old Matlock is allowed to read. An upcoming documentary called "Love Between the Covers" studies the history of the genre, which includes everything from "Romeo and Juliet" to mature stories like "50 Shades of Grey".

Following everything from the writing process to fan conventions, the popular romance project and website are funded in different ways like a Kickstarter campaign and also $914,000 from the National Endowment for Humanities, which is tax payer dollars.

Ben Cunningham, with the Tennessee Tax Revolt added, "We are going bankrupt and we are still spending a million dollars  on excuse me...Crap like this."

 Ben Cunningham with the Tennessee Taxpayer Revolt questions the U.S. government's $17 trillion debt and the nearly $1.4 billion romance industry.

Cunningham explained, " The romance novel business is fabulously profitable. It is ridiculous for them to come to the taxpayer and say we need more money."

Novelist Eloisa James is on the film's Board and calls The Popular Romance Project an investment.

Eloisa James said, "You're going to have more people who get to know what this industry is and it's not an industry that has a big barrier to entry. This is something like Avon makeup that people can do all over the country in whatever little town."

Some agree, like Heaven's grandmother, who buys books for her.

Elizabeth Matlock said " I don't think anything is a waste of money that will get any person no matter what their age to read. If they like reading then I think it is money well spent."

Love Between the Covers will premiere next February, after about 5 years in the making. The documentary will travel across the country, making stops in places like the Library of Congress.

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Follow Mikayla Lewis on Twitter @MikaylaFox17

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