Heard about Don Quixote? [link] Basically he's read too much stories, and his view of the world is... seriously flawed. I think you could probably learn something, but to be an expert one needs to practice, something which you can't do by just reading. At least unless you're seriously altered/high.
As with all genre-savviness, outside your genre you're still a no-one, and whatever you read is likely not "examples from real life" as a genre.
No, it wouldn't work. I have a friend (he's a guy) who thinks that reading girls' books will help him understand girls better (he doesn't discriminate which books he reads, he reads EVERYTHING). The argument I used for him is the same I will use here, with you:
What happens in stories are just that: stories. They're not real. These sort of things don't happen in real life. The author's purpose is to make money and, in relation to romances, to make readers feel good about what they have read. Things don't always turn out so happily. If you read too many romance books, you'll forget what is real and what isn't in the world of dating, and you'll end up worse than before. By reading so many of those books, you'll get sucked into their fake world and when you finally see the reality, it'll be worse for you than it would have otherwise been.
I think by reading a lot of romance, you can at least make a difference of what's real, and what's not. Because it's fiction, you can fairly say, it's not ever going to happen to a regular girl or guy (nevertheless, that's exactly what happens in the books). There is some wisdom in flimsy romance books though, which you can use in everyday life. How the people on those books, who are said to read that exact same kind of books, can still be like "oh, I had no idea that's what will/can happen", is a mystery though. Because I'm 21, and the girls in those books are about 30, and must have read even more books than I have, and still, they don't get it. But it's a book, right?
To everyone: Sorry if I have offended you in some way but I'm just asking your opinion and appreciate that. For me, I have this notion that romance writers usually writes about love they want. So if they like the mysterious type then their guys are going share traits with the stereotype. Don't worry, I don't stereotype real people. I only use the knowledge in fiction stories and no further. (I'm usually happy-go-lucky with relationships anyway) thanks for sharing your opinions, peace!
That depends on the subject. For example knowing how someone's brain worked to a point you could manipulate them with several small variables into liking or acting in a certain way (basically the way you would move away from pressure without knowing the pressure was there and making you move), is very possible to be done without experience. You can call it shallow romancing or simple psychology (what TWOGK kind of centers around with the whole dating sim...).
But you can't know how to do things that require your body to do something. Like riding a horse or like Neo waking up saying he knew Kung Fu, with only the knowledge obtained from books. You would have to practice and train your body to do what your brain wants it to.
It is almost one of those unfair questions because there is more to consider then just what is being asked. I believe it also depends a lot on the specific individual in question.
When I was a kid, I was madly into 'horse books' and I had this fantasy where I'd find a riderless horse and from my knowledge gained from The Saddle Club, be able to ride him and find and rescue the rider. But I don't think it would work like that. Same with relationships.
Somebody could learn 'tricks' like what the person likes from their taste in romance novels. E.g. If a girl is really into teeny paranormal books, the guy could read them and then figure out that he should let her catch him staring at her across the classroom, bump into her randomly, say mysterious things, then dissapear. And then tell her how bewtiching she is... and how he just cannot... stay... away... Soz, getting off topic, but I think I've got a funny idea for a story now.
I suppose you could, if you were really analyzing what people liked and looking at it objectively, figure out how to apply those lessons IRL. I've read a lot of material from Pick-Up Artist (PUA) blogs and online communities, and some of them will actually look at the patterns in romantic literature women tend to like and draw some insights from that. But that community is also working within a pscyhological/self-help framework and probably all the "experts" would say practical application is necessary to get good at picking up women IRL.
In short: it may give you some insight into what turns people on and who they desire, but along it wouldn't make you an expert. For that you'd need repeated practical application. Just observing a behavior won't get you there.
That's an interesting one. I admittedly have written things about subjects that I only know about from research. I've written stories set in cities I've never been to but have read a lot about. I wouldn't apply knowledge from books, especially in romance, to real life, but I do use knowledge gained from books for writing.
Haha true. I have to admit, I didn't write much involving romance before I had one myself. I just didn't think I had the experience to tackle the subject. Instead it was lots of yearning and best guesses.
Not saying that there has to be, just that it's not uncommon. A story doesn't have a romance and still include that stuff. People IRL have desires and sex/love lives, I don't see why literature shouldn't reflect that. Heck, even Moby-Dick's got some subtle homoeroticism.
Doesn't change the fact I'm handicapped, I'm afraid. I've mapped an analytical chart in my mind as to what most situations mean in terms of appropriate responses and questions, but it's not the same as talking to a normal person by a long shot.