Monday, July 25, 2011

Judging a Book by its Cover

I didn’t major in English in college. I majored in French. And no, it wasn’t four years of conjugating irregular verbs. After learning to speak the language, we read its literature and poetry.

While my English major friends were reading Dickens and Shakespeare, I read Hugo, Flaubert, Balzac, Rimbaud, Baudelaire, Zola, Stendahl, etc…

When I wasn’t reading for class, I read literary fiction. None of that genre stuff for me.

Fast forward twenty years and I admit I love genres. Give me a romance, a paranormal, or a steampunk.

Call me shallow, but I don’t want to read about angst-ridden dysfunctional families. Sorry John Irving, John Updike and Jonathan Franzen, but I want something to actually happen that culminates in a happy ending.

What I don’t want is a witness. Call it pretentious. Call it foolish. Call it what you want. The thought of being seen with Angelina’s Savage Secret (two points if you can name the movie that engendered that title) fills me with shame.

My Nook has solved that problem. For all anyone knows, I’m reading Until I Find You (which I really liked), Rabbit is Rich or The Corrections.

And, I’m not the only one. Romance has seen a marked increase in sales since the advent of e-readers (different websites give different percentages – I like 27%). I bet the same it true of paranormals. And, I’m pretty sure I’m not the only adult reading YA on my Nook.

I read A LOT and I skipped whole genres for decades based on lurid covers.

The next the publishing industry decides to saddle a well-written novel with a half-dressed woman clasped to a glistening chest, they might think about me. ‘Cause if it’s too lurid, I don’t even want it on my Nook.

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