Not including food, blogging or television, my most guilty pleasure (this includes chocolate would include reading romance novels. Something which I will not tell my close friends also. In the beginning, I used to be rather condescending to this genre of books. Primarily, because I thought they catered to the imaginations and fantasies of women (and probably men too) everywhere. And I felt I did not need that sort of stimulation. Secondly, because of the hype on academics and good literature, this type of reading does not go down too well in your status. And I used to pride myself as being beyond all such “common” temptations to the physical senses. I used to abhor them publicly but in my heart, was not so proof against it.
I used to feel tempted by those lasvicious pictures of guys and gals on the front covers of romance books, I see in libraries and in book shops. The pictures were beautifully drawn, with the protagonists being in various states of undress. Wild disorder. Exquisite faces. Beauteous dames. Handsome hunks. After resisting temptation for a long time, though must say with barely controlled hands, itching to hold these books, I finally succumbed.
I started reading these books. I let my ego and intellectual pride go out the window. I let myself wallow in these books. I found I quite enjoyed being a human rather than an overstuffed egoistic ass. I enjoyed the mush, the sentiments, the unbelievable settings, how perfectly imperfect people can be, the impossible situations. I enjoyed the near eroticism, barely covered in tastefulness. And while some of them, espoused something I was not sure, I espoused ( physical attraction leading to mental compatibility) and in the details(which were sometimes too graphic), yet they gave me a lot of pleasure, in their read. But what I genuinely loved was the passion of the writers for their craft, the pain they took to research their stories, the flight of imagination which was let loose by them.
After being a consistent reader, I have even started understanding the mind of the authors/authoresses.
At the end of the day, I have come a long way. I have finished many romance books. And though I still feel the twinge of guilt, whenever i secretly indulge in one of the many romantic books, I genuinely appreciate these books for allowing me the freedom to explore the vistas of human fantasy and imagination.