“Yikes! T.M.I.”


I read widely, including American history and literary fiction. But I also enjoy quick “beach reads,” books with covers like the one above. The photo usually has beach chairs, beaches, flowers or little cottages pictured. I can be sure to read a formulaic story about a man and a woman with various barriers keeping them apart, usually failed earlier relationships. In the end, or in later books in a series, I can count on a peaceful resolution.I picked up the book pictured above which displayed every indication of being such a book. Sometimes these quick romantic comedies help me fall peacefully asleep. (American history can put me to sleep also. That’s why I read it sitting up!)

When my daughters were teenagers I learned the phrase “TMI” or too much information. Of course the phrase was tossed around freely when I tried to relate my teenage angst to theirs. But the phrase came roaring back to me a few chapters into Mallery’s book. Suddenly I was being confronted with very specific, very graphic details of the man and woman getting together. Yikes! TMI! Why on earth was this included in this book? Did some editor think this would attract more readers? If so, readers looking for these details would be unlikely to choose a book with the flowery cover.

I am well aware of the specifics of physical connection.(I am trying to avoid using any words which would be searchable and attract readers looking for such topics.) I have never wanted to either read about other peoples’ behavior or witness it in a movie. My imagination and memories far surpass watching or reading about others.

I guess I need a rating symbol for my beach reads from now on.


15 thoughts on ““Yikes! T.M.I.”

  1. I am also surprised to hear that a book with such a ‘cozy’ cover contained graphic descriptions. Not that they would bother me that much, but as you say, people have come to expect certain things from books with covers like that. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.


  2. “(I am trying to avoid using any words which would be searchable and attract readers looking for such topics.)”

    This reminds me of a report I did many years ago. I was taking an advanced creative writing class, and while the vast majority of our assignments were creative writing ones (logically), we did have to do one “genre” report. The teacher had a set of books, each on a different genre of writing. We had to choose one, read it, and then write a report about what we learned. I chose romance writing. In addition to there being a really interesting tracing of how romance novels have evolved over the last century or so and what is desirable in the story’s love interests, there was also an entire chapter on the difficulties of what to call a certain portion of the male anatomy. Now every time I read one of these novels, I think back to that report and the linguistic gymnastics some authors must go through to tell their stories. 🙂


  3. I recall the top shelf of the library workroom where such books resided – requested by a borrower, or else ordered by the unsuspecting branch librarian on the strength of its two-line entry in that week’s Bookseller. Being in my 20’s and still fairly naive by today’s standards (in spite of having been married since 1972) I read one or two, but – as far as I can recall – they were pretty tame stuff.
    One of our library assistants was a published author of bodice-rippers, which were more funny than sexy, in spite of their author’s intentions. (I’d love to know who she did her research with.) We would always know when to expect a new novel, because she would be ‘off sick’ when her proofs were due for return.


  4. Ooh, I like the idea of a rating system. Then readers would be sure of getting exactly what they want. I never understood the graphic scenes in beach reads. The ups and downs of the characters’ lives is interesting enough.


  5. 😁 Right now ‘too much information’ means nothing. Daily ‘family’ serials teach children how children are born with all the gory details. You Tube videos meant for 2-5 year old children sell condoms or worse.


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