A five year old walks into my room. Out of the corner of my eye, I see his head tilt, face wrinkled contemplatively.
"Mommy, why is that man standing in a lake with a sword on his back and no shirt?"
I look around and see a trade-sized romance book on my
bedside table. Ah, crap, I usually turn them over. Think fast. Think fast.
"Ummm, well, the story is....eeerr.....about a knight and hheeeeee has to battle a sea monster."
Five year old, a budding Lancelot at heart mixed with a large dash of padawan enthusiasm, nods. "Oh, okay, that makes sense."
I smile. Phew, that was a good save, I thought, mentally patting my own back.
"Can you read me that story at bedtime? It sounds good."
That was a true story, one of the many reasons I am now ever so grateful for my ereader. I love the gorgeous e-covers, too, but personally I'm fine with them remaining out of sight. In the old days, BMK (Before My Kindle), I would typically turn the book cover over if it was a passionate clinch sort. While I enjoyed the man-candy, I wasn't terribly eager to re-visit conversations where I was forced to explain to a preschooler why the big dark-haired man was so mean he tore the fainting lady's shirt. Or why the lady was only wearing her bra and panties when there were three gentlemen standing around her in a barn. After all, my DD wasn't allowed to run around outside in only HER panties; it wasn't fair. A few of those and I either resorted to shoving it behind the bed between readings or flipping it good-side-down.
Now, however, I don't need to worry about a cover requiring me to come up with a 10 minute bedtime story about shirtless knights ("He lost it when the three headed monster LUNGED for him and tore it from his back as he struggled to get away through the murky water!"), leather pants ("Yes, he made them himself from the skins of the...uummm....man-eating wildebeest he slayed."), strategically placed gowns ("No, the shoulders of your Cinderella costume are not supposed to be around your elbows! I don't care how the lady on my book wore it!"), or why the people were naked in the shower together ("Uummm, I don't know. Hey! Do you want ice cream? Yay!") I don't think these explanations would fly anymore as both kids are tweeners and not as naive as I wish they were.
I love my ereader and miss nothing, really, about the BMK days of a paper book other than the sentimentality of it. I can read a burn-the-sheets
erotica novella and delete it off the device, if I wish, rather than figure out how to concealing it between sweater stacks from curiosity seeking 10 year olds until I want to read it again. I can read a Gabaldon-esque gigantabook without acquiring a case of carpel tunnel. I can take 500 books in my purse on a plane. I can hoard....errrr, I mean, COLLECT *cough*....books all I want without hiding my walls and aggravating my allergies.
Sure, I miss my flip back man-candy covers, but then they tend to get me leering or disdainful glances from neophytes anyway. This way, I can thoroughly enjoy my books, revel in the adventures and romance, delight in the escapist virtues of the genre while the rest of the world is blissful ignorant and thinks I'm modern and trendy.
AND I don't have to explain why Mommy's novel has two shirtless cowboys and one, apparently, feverish miss on the cover. ("They should give her Pedialyte, Mom. That's good for fevers.")
Heather Bennett was an avid reader of romance novels long before they were considered 'appropriate for her age'. She eventually transitioned her passion for reading into an affinity for editing where she met the wonderful author who became her business partner. They now co-own a quality fiction epublishing company, Decadent Publishing--which is known for their feverish, bare-chested man candy covers. Find them all at www.decadentpublishing.com