Saturday, August 12, 2006
Books and their Covers
Probably my first clue that something was amiss was when my mother-in-law asked with enthusiasm what I was reading. My mother-in-law reads chick-lit and a lot of other things, but not mysteries. When I told her the book was a murder mystery, she smiled politely and changed the subject. As Margaret Maron's really excellent mystery series about Judge Deborah Knott is set in North Carolina and my mother-in-law is a North Carolinian, I've reccomended these mysteries to my mother in law before, but mysteries aren't her thing.
The question made me take a good look at the book jacket, pictured here. With its white writing on an aqua background, graphic of bells (the mystery is about a murder that happens shortly before the judge's wedding,) the novel really could be a romance of some type.
CC reading a romance? Please. I read "The Thorn Birds" and "The Bridges of Madison County" when I was in high school or so. Since then, nada.
I was on the subway with theCSO and his folks, but no one was really talking, so I'd pulled out my book. A few minutes later, I noticed that I was a bit more turned away from everyone else than usual and held the book a little lower.
I guess I'm a snob. And an irrational snob at that, because when I see someone reading a romance novel on the subway, I don't make any negative judgments about them. (That said, when I see someone reading one of my favorite books, I often think "what a discerning person!" and talk to them.)
Who mentioned this to theCSO, who said "I wondered why you were reading a romance novel, but I figured hey, whatever."
Posted by Chalicechick at 8/12/2006 09:33:00 PM
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This demonstrates that despite it being the most often repeated cliche in human history, we do in fact judge books by their covers.
One of the most intelligent, meaningful people I have ever met - who happens to have one of those super stressful jobs - loves romance novels, and she says the sappier the better.
She calls it her escape from seriousness. I myself cannot stomach them, although, speaking of covers, some of the covers are pretty hot!
I have a number of very intelligent, very independent female friends who read Nora Roberts as a respite from all of the social justice, feminist, anti-racist, political and cultural theory books they're generally reading.
But like Jamie, I can't stomach them. The writing is just SO bad to me. I would rather read something that is better written. But I will play World of Warcraft, so maybe that is my "zoning out" thing.
I don't think I've ever read the kind of Romance Novels you are thinking of. I have read romantic novels -- mostly historical novels -- as you say, in between the serious stuff as a respite. But mostly, I read Sci-Fi as respite.
But mysteries don't tempt me -- except Dorothy Sayers.
Oh, wait, I have read some (or one) Romance Novels back in the 70s -- a Georgette Heyer given to me by a friend while I was in the hospital. It was called The Foundling and it was hilarious.
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