I was a pretty good kid growing up. I was the oldest, so I was very conscientious of my influence on the younger children and I was (and still am for the most part) a people pleaser. I followed all the rules my parents had in place at the time; I stayed within the dress code, I listened to only approved music (usually instrumental), I didn’t go to concerts, and only attended the rare movie that was acceptable. I never lied to my parents about where I would be, or snuck out to attend a party. I never tried smoking, and I tasted my first alcohol after engaged to my husband and attending a friends wedding together.
I was a goody goody for sure. And pretty self-righteous to boot. But I had one vice, and that was reading. I read everything I could get my hands on. I would sit in the corner of the library speed reading 3 or 4 books (usually the ones I didn’t want my parents to know I was reading) and when it was time to go I would check out a huge stack of books to bring home.
My parents tried to place guideline for what was acceptable to read, and I even tried to follow them a few different times. But it seemed hopeless. Every time I would try to abide by the guidelines I found myself slipping whenever I was around books and suddenly found myself half-way through a Star Wars sci-fi novel. I read so many books it seemed impossible to wait for one parent or the other to find time to screen and approve each particular book I was interested in reading.
So I stopped trying. I read constantly, and never really felt guilty about it. I read sci-fi, I read classics, I read biographies. I read (and loved) approved books like Les Miserables and The Counte of Monte Cristo. And I read unapproved books like memoirs of different movie stars and Seventeen Magazine’s “A Girls Guide to Sex” (What a strange perspective on sexuality.)
That brings me to “The Princess Diaries”. Not officially vetoed, but I’m pretty sure that they would have been if my parents had known I was reading them.
I’m not sure what it is about this series, but I loved it. Yes it is light-fluffy-unrealistic-silly-reading. But I devoured them. I liked them so much that I even bought the first 4 books of the series.
I continued reading them even as I got “old and mature”.
I recently remembered this series when I came across the author at the library. Wow, book number 5 came out the year I was married (and subsequently completely forgot about the princess diaries) and I never read it! It seems the series has continued and there are now 10 books!
So pardon me while I go catch up on what once was my secret vice.