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."


Joel Monka said...

This demonstrates that despite it being the most often repeated cliche in human history, we do in fact judge books by their covers.

Jamie Goodwin said...

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!

LaReinaCobre said...

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.

Anonymous said...

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.