Do we fall in love or lust after a book cover?

The new face of fantasy in literature.
The new face of fantasy in literature.

I WATCHED REALITY pass by this morning.

Don’t know where it was headed.

Don’t know if it was coming or going.

Do know it was in a hurry.

Doubt if it’s coming back.

I used to be well-grounded in reality, but that was before reality was squeezed out by fantasy, and whether we like it or not or whether we know it or not, we’re living in a world of fantasy.

Fantasy has always been an important realm of literature.

I don’t like it.

I don’t read it.

I’m not against it.

Some of the greatest writing and most memorable tales in history fit snugly into the fantasy genre.

Homer’s Odyssey.

Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.

Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels.

And J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter.

And that’s not even talking about Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast, Alice and Wonderland, and Peter Pan.

We have always had our pages crammed with the images of ghosts and goblins.

Monsters and dragons.

Witches and wizards.

Hobbits and things that go bump in the night.

Then again, maybe Tarzan had the first erotic cover.
Then again, maybe Tarzan had the first erotic cover.

Fantasy has frightened us, taken us to places that never existed, transported us to worlds beyond our imagination, and made us fall in love.

Fantasy at times was married with romance or horror or science fiction and often at the same time.

But one thing was infallible.

All took the reader on a grand and glorious adventure.

But that was then.

This is now.

Literature in today’s world has a brand new sense of fantasy.

I’ve been looking at book covers.

I can’t help it.

They are everywhere.

Mostly they are painted on the covers of romance novels.

They are exotic.

They scream erotica.

I see women who don’t exist.

Well, there may be a few of them out there.

But I haven’t run across any at Wal-Mart lately.

They are raving beauties with bosoms that make the Grand Tetons hang their heads in shame, shameless goddesses wearing low-cut blouses and sometimes no blouses at all.

They have been around for a while.

They remind me of what a friend long ago told me about Playboy Magazine. He said he read Playboy for the same reason he read National Geographic. It was all about exotic places he would never visit.

Women have always been the ones to strut and draw the stares.

They’re not alone anymore.

Now I look at those book covers and see men who don’t exist.

Well, there may be a few of them out there.

But they don’t shop at Wal-Mart either.

They are tall with hair falling like a mane on a thoroughbred stallion running the Kentucky Derby, shoulders as wide as the Grand Canyon, and just about as brawny, muscles in places that God overlooked when he made the rest of us, and six-pack abs that look for all the world like washboards – only with a better tan.

Men have fantasized for a long time.

I guess that now the women have their turn.

There used to be more good-looking women on book covers.

Now there are more good-looking men.

I guess it’s because more women are writing about romance in its nefarious forms.

I know more women read them.

Maybe they’re interested in exotic places they’re never visit, too.

Sex sells.

Always has.

I guess it’s all right to sleep with a book cover.

We’ve all gone to bed with a dream and sometimes awoke with a nightmare.

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