Books Women Read When No One Can See the Cover by Katherine Rosman

The Wall Street Journal (March 14, page D1) has an interesting article about what women read when there is no lurid cover on the book to embarrass them. Electronic readers, and the reading privacy they provide, are fueling a boom in sales of sexy romance novels, or "romantica," as the genre is called in the book industry. As with romance novels, romantica features an old-fashioned love story and pop-culture references like those found in "chick lit." Plus, there is sex—a lot of it. Yet unlike traditional erotica, romantica always includes what's known as "HEA"—"happily ever after." Kindles, iPads and Nooks "are the ultimate brown paper wrapper," says Brenda Knight, associate publisher at Cleis Press, of Berkeley, Calif., a publisher of erotica since 1980. Mainstream publishers are launching digital-only erotic labels to feed demand. At the end of the month, HarperCollins UK will launch Mischief Books, with the tag line "private pleasures with a hand-held device." Read more about it at:


As a public librarian, I'm disappointed to see that you seem to have mistaken having an invisible cover with having privacy. Having "reading privacy" means no one is tracking what you're reading, and in the world of ebooks, that is not true.

Many people don't really care if Amazon knows that they bought a certain book. But these same people may be uncomfortable reading a romance book with a trashy cover on the subway. This is when many people care about privacy.

If I walk into Joe's Books and buy a copy of a book with my credit card then Joe's Books know what I have bought. They have my information and my privacy is as gone as if I purchased an ebook from Amazon.

by asking you to comment on your purchase, or rate your purchase, or show all the other trashy books you should buy each time you walk into Joe's store:
"Would you like to rate, Skank Ho Orgy? Others who purchased Skank Ho Orgy also purchased Stud Lovin' Mama."
But yes, Amazon would do that each and every time you sign into your account. unless Joe does that, too. I've never been to his store.

If you are really buying Skank Ho Orgy and titles like that at Amazon there is a simple fix. Have two Amazon accounts. One for your interesting purchases and one for your tame purchases.

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