Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Good Housekeeping

I’ve been working on a thrilling project that involves spending time in a basement and riffling through old magazines and journals.

Fortunately, I have plenty of time for my mind to wander, and I’ve been thinking a lot about Good Housekeeping.

Now, stay with me.

I haven’t picked up a Good Housekeeping for several years, but there was a time when the magazine included condensed novels. As a preteen, I would sneak the magazine into my bedroom and devour these stories.

I am positive there was nothing salacious or naughty about any of these excerpts, but reading grown up books from a grown up magazine made me feel—well, grown up.

In fact, there was a large gap in my young adult reading. I read children’s and young adult novels until I was about 12 and again in my 20s. But as a teen, I almost exclusively read adult books.

My mother had a large collection of paperbacks in our basement. I would smuggle these books up to my bedroom to read—as if I was doing something illicit and shameful.

And perhaps I was. During this time, I was first exposed to romance novels. I remember reading several by Janet Louise Roberts (The Dancing Doll, La Casa Dorada, and Ravenswood).

Looking back, I know they contained some seriously adult content (meaning s-e-x) and terribly domineering and unhealthy male-female relationships. At the time, though, I skipped over the naughty bits and enjoyed the “romance.”

I’m sure I was so mature—or at least thought I was—that I could not bear to read anything age appropriate. Fortunately, I don’t think anything I read permanently scared me—or maybe I was and that’s why I’m still single. Curse Good Housekeeping.

1 comment:

notaconnoisseur said...

Gosh. I think I have got to look into those romance novels. I don't remember if I read any of Robert's books. Or did I just not notice the sexual content? Obviously it is time to clean out the basement. I did give another daughter a pile of Emilie Loring books to sell on Ebay. If she makes anything she can put it in her cookie jar. I wonder what will happen to them. Maybe the Bookrater will sell them instead.