A shameless confession.

A quick glance through my Kindle titles would reveal that my taste in literature has changed a lot since I’ve had children. Instant Temptation, Stepbrother Dearest, Saltwater Kisses, and Her Perfect Stranger, are just a few of the books I’ve read recently. My confession: I’ve become a romance novel junkie.

I can’t help it. When I get a rare half hour or hour break in the evening, I head to the bathroom to take a relaxing bubble bath. I don’t want to think too hard about anything. Or become depressed. Or educated even. My brain can in fact hold no more. Instead, I want a gratifying escape—to lose myself in a mindless, entertaining, sexy tale about small-town girl Emma LaRue, who won a vacation to a tropical island. She never had time to fall in love and often wondered if she was just meant to be alone. However, that all changed when a handsome stranger literally walked into her life while on the beach and sparks began to fly. 

I still read serious and noteworthy novels, but certainly not with the frequency with which I once did, before I had limited time to myself, sex-life-force-sucking children, and a growing being in my belly, which, according to popular belief, does cause the pregnancy dumb-dumbs, a period in which one enjoys lowered IQ, a persistent state of confusion and inarticulate speech, and the inability to keep track of necessary items, like keys, milk, credit cards, and sanity.

And so now I must run, off to enjoy a quick bath before lights out. I think I’ll take my Kindle with me, since it’s been over a month since I’ve read a proper book (writing this blog has taken the place of my most favorite leisure activity). I’ll probably start by browsing the most recent, notable titles—the award winners, and the editors’ picks. I’ll read through the synopses and the reviews and think to myself: Hmmm…this sounds really good. Didn’t I just hear about this on NPR? But…for some other time, maybe.

And then, I’ll go check out the Romance section instead and decide on something with a description that reads a little bit like this:

Christina used to be a happy woman with hobbies, joy, and laughter in her life. After being stuck in a dwindling marriage of five years, she has changed. Determined to find herself again, Christina finds herself tempted with the unthinkable: an affair—and this new man seems to have all the answers to her problems. It doesn’t take her long to decide on what she wants, but before she can finalize those plans, she receives news no one is prepared for. 

Now that sounds like something I can sink my teeth into. Remember, no judging here, please. I will respect your choice to read critically acclaimed novels, including—but not limited to—Pulitzers, Man Bookers, Nobels, and National Book Award winners, if you respect my right to choose books with titles like Open Wide, City of Pleasure and Rock Me. Happy reading, friends.

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