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Cover to Cover By Billie Brown | Romance Novel TV

 

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    Cover to Cover By Billie Brown
  • Author:
  • Published: May 10th, 2007

I believe I was about twelve or thirteen when I discovered my first “romance.” As an avid reader I was always prowling through the fiction section in my school library, looking for something I hadn’t already read. I don’t remember the name of the book or author, but I still remember the vicarious thrill I felt when the hero swept the heroine up into his arms to give her a forceful kiss. There was no turning back. I had no more interest in Nancy Drew or the Bobbsie Twins, it was all romance all the time.

By the ninth grade I had discovered Harlequin Romances and Barbara Cartland. Through them I saw the world, visited exotic locations, and learned of foreign cultures, but most of all, I fell in love time and time again with suave and sophisticated alpha men. All of my spending money that I earned by delivering newspapers and baby sitting went to buy Harlequins or the latest Barbara Cartland.  These were books that were small enough to conceal inside other books, inside my jacket pocket, or even tucked inside the top of my knee high’s. I couldn’t get enough of them, but at the same time, I always felt embarrassed for other people to see what I was reading.

Romances were silly and frivolous and a cause for ridicule when I was caught reading one, so I began hiding them. I began creating my own book covers out of paper bags, making up some story about it being a borrowed book that I didn’t want to get damaged, which fooled no one. The paper covers gradually changed to cloth, plastic or leather, each one a little better than the last, but all purchased for the same reason—to hide the fact that I was reading a romance novel.

Thankfully, over the years the perception of reading romance novels has changed. It’s been a long time since I felt the need to conceal what I was reading. In fact, I have met a lot of nice people by talking about what ever romance novel we were reading. When my sister gave me a book cover for Christmas a couple of years ago, I tossed it into a drawer thinking it might be handy to use to hold coupons.

Now a days, if the girl ringing up my purchases at Wal-mart gives a little smirk when she sees a Harlequin in the pile, I boldly look her in the eye and dare her to comment, no longer ashamed or embarrassed about being caught reading romance novels.

So how many of you have a drawer full of book covers that you no longer need to use?

6 Responses to “Cover to Cover By Billie Brown”

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  1. Marisa
    on May 10th, 2007
    @ 5:36 am

    Billie – I never had a book cover. I just sat on the bus or the subway as bold as you please and read my book. I must admit, there were some covers that gave me pause – but as the saying goes; begin as you mean to continue. Now when ever any one asks me what I’m reading, I tell them – and if it is a great read I recommend it.


  2. Maria Lokken
    on May 10th, 2007
    @ 7:18 am

    I never had book covers, but I had extra ‘bags’ that I carried my books in. I would quickly pull my book out of the bag to read on the bus or subway, careful to open the book so no one would see the cover.

    Of course those days are gone forever – I proudly read my books anywhere, anytime!


  3. kim
    on May 10th, 2007
    @ 10:07 am

    No book covers for me either. Although I don’t read in public much anymore. When I read at work I would always leave my book on my table for the world to see:D


  4. Buffie
    on May 10th, 2007
    @ 10:29 am

    Sorry, no book covers for me either. Well, except for the ones I had in high school to cover my French or Algebra II books. And I only used them to draw on or write the name of the boy of the day I had a crush on.


  5. KeiraSoleore
    on May 10th, 2007
    @ 10:50 pm

    Among all these bold readers, there I lurk, one who used to blush if someone glanced at her book. Since I started writing my own a year ago, I stopped being shy about buying them or reading them.

    Buffie: You’re hilarious. You covered your Algebra textbooks, but not your romance novels.


  6. Buffie
    on May 11th, 2007
    @ 5:49 pm

    What can I say — that’s what I did!

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