Jul 3, 2014

Posted by in My Life's Quirks | 10 Comments

My Life’s Quirks – Paperbag Books

I am a lucky woman.  I live in a small village about 40 minutes away from the closest city.  There is no bookstore where I live.  BUT my husband works in the city and there is a BIG bookstore near his work.  I often send him to the store after work to pick up a title or another. Maybe less now that eBooks are so prominent but I still like my print copies so to the bookstore Jason goes.

I remember one of the very first times Jason went to the bookstore for me very vividly…and I will remember it always.  That is the day he came home and gave me so much shit, it made me giggle.

The year was 2009.  I had just discovered Romantic Times Magazine’s web site and erotica books.  It is not my most favorite genre but sometimes it’s fun to read something well written yet nice and dirty.  I did a search on RTs site for what they would consider one of the best erotica books out there.  At the time, the book with the highest rating that I could find was Sweet Persuasion by Maya Banks.  So that’s the book I wanted.  I immediately called the bookstore and had them put it aside for Jason to pick up when he was finished his shift.  I thought I was being smart by telling the person on the phone that it was for ‘Jason’. You know, that way Jason won’t wonder whose name I put is under.

Before we continue, let me show you the cover:


So picture this:  I’m in the kitchen.  I see the car pull up into the driveway and am super excited because my book Jason was home.  But instead of being all happy when he came through the door, I get embarrassed/angry Jason.  He literally whips the book out from the bag and says “Are you kidding me with this?!”  I was shocked.  I did not know what his problem could possibly be.  Then I saw the cover.  The bright pink cover picturing a woman deep in the throes of passion.  I smiled then.  Then he looks at me, right in the eyes and says “It was under my name.  The girl behind the counter thought it was for ME!”  I lost it then.  I’m sorry but he was so worked up, it was cute and funny all at once.

This is the worst reaction he’s had to bringing a book home from the bookstore for me but there have been others that were not so severe.  He still is not a fan of going because “God knows what the hell I’m picking up.”  He claims people look at him.  He’s this big, somewhat intimidating 6’2″ of a guy picking up ‘lady’ books.

Yeah…I know your giggling now too.  See, funny!

There are also moments when I ask Jason to bring a book to work to give to Carmel’s husband to pass along to her.  Jason claims that sometimes he needs a paperbag to bring those books in – the kind you use to transport horrible amateur porn or really strong, and possibly illegal, liquor.  *snort*

I was shy about what I read once upon a time but now, not so much.  But I know there was a time where I would have had trouble leaving the store with a particular book if I did not have it in a bag to hide the lusty image on the cover from all of the people who looked at me as I left the store- because they do.  People don’t have anything better to do than watch me leave the store.  (Oh the things we convince ourselves of lol)  Even the book titles embarrassed me a bit!

Now, erotica books have new more subtle covers.  A simple men’s tie or a piece of fruit.  Even Sweet Persuasion has a new cover!


Don’t know why they went with cherries but…*shrugs*

Or, if the cover is still too intimidating, you can get a cover from Hide a Cover or Hide a Book.  Cute and fun covers you use to hide the original artwork on your books!  Changing the artwork or hiding it all together is all done in an attempt to make it easier for us who read smut to walk around with our dirty books without feeling bad about it.

Now even though I am more comfortable with what I read, that doesn’t mean I am willing to parade with a book depicting something best saved for the porn industry.  Mostly naked chicks tied up and ball gagged are still not things I want to flash in front of the old ladies at my grocery store.  So yes, I suppose I could use one of those paperbags too once in a while.

But that’s just me.  Maybe.  Is it you too?

Paperbag books.  Just another one of my life’s quirks.


  1. LOL. I read (And write, too!) a lot of erotic romances and I was really happy to get my Kindle. This story is fun. Poor guy.

  2. Marijah Sroczynski says:

    Love this!! Can’t wait until the next time my hubbie complains about picking up my “smut” from the local library. In my haughtiest voice I’m going to correct him and inform him they are more properly called “paperbag books”!!

  3. Lady books!! I can imagine the scene when they gave him the book… Poor Jason… RFLMAO!!

  4. Lol I don’t really hide my romance covers. I was once scared of what everyone would think when there is a hot half naked man or woman on the cover but I no longer care. I like what I like and I don’t really care if people take offense to it. I almost want people to see I’m reading “trashy” romance novels because I like seeing the shock lol. I’m evil I know.

  5. Lol, thanks for the laughs Julie! I don’t care what people think of my books, I take everything I read with me to the office. They already know my taste, as I have a big bulletin board behind me with bookcovers and bookmarks out of my beloved swag collection.
    And even though I don’t read erotica, the half naked guys on my covers are a feast for my eyes when the job is demanding too much.

  6. poor Jason 🙂 When I was reading paperbacks, especially at work, I used the larger post its to hide the covers. I wasn’t ashamed of what I was reading, it just got annoying to hear everyone’s “opinions” of it. The Kindle has been a fabulous reading “evolution” 🙂

  7. I show my smut and proudly so. The covers don’t bother me. LOL

    My co-workers now thing that EVERY audiobook I listen to is smut. They’ll hear me snicker and then ask me what book I’m listening to. I’ll tell them and they have blank faces then I tell them the plot and they will say oh it’s not one of “those books”.

  8. I think I’m lucky I’d barely dipped my toe into “chick lit” before the advent of Kindles / e-book readers. Because in my case, the cashier woulda been right, the book woulda been for me to read.

    The comments get old after awhile. This way, people don’t know if I’m reading Jim Butcher or N.A. Alcorn unless I choose to tell them.

    Probably the only PRO in my opinion to Kindle not making e-book covers into dynamic screensavers in place of the dozen or so defaults.

  9. I am definitely immature and still get completely embarrassed by some of the books I read. That’s why I’m so, so happy for my kindle! Nobody ever knows unless I trust them enough to share with them. 🙂

  10. Rinda – 🙂

    Marijah – Yes they are! lol

    Bookaholic Cat – And now you see why I will never forget it lol.

    Alexa – It is kind of fun sometimes to watch people’s reaction lol.

    aurian – I would love to see your work space!

    erinf1 – That’s the thing! Hearing other people’s opinions! And most have never read it! Kind of annoying…

    Jennifer – “not one of ‘those’ books” LMAO!

    Iain – I can totally see how having a Kindle would make things much easier for you!

    Lizzie – I don’t think it’s immature to still get embarrassed lol!

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