DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!
Jul 15 2011

ShareReads: Guilty Pleasures

by ShareReads

ShareReads appears on the DCPLive blog on Fridays. Each week, a different person will share a little about what they’re currently reading, and why they like or don’t like it. The heart of ShareReads will be responses from blog readers, and the window of opportunity here is wide. Feel free to respond and discuss the book or author being mentioned, ask or answer a question, or even take the conversation in a different direction: mention what you are currently reading, and how you feel about it. The point of ShareReads is to have an ongoing discussion about books and reading. Remember: posting a response also counts as an activity for the Summer Reading for Adults program.

After reading Amanda’s ShareReads post last week about the disturbing plots of some teen novels, as well as traveling a good bit on MARTA recently, I have come to the conclusion that I am ashamed of my reading habits.  Yes, I read some books only in the privacy of my home where there are no witnesses.  Yes, I have been known to take a book jacket off, so as to not be judged by the cover art and title.  And, yes, I have even been known to rejacket the book with the cover from the hip, literary sensation that everyone is buzzing about.  I am guilty of reading books that cause feelings of embarrassment and that I don’t want to be seen reading; but, I just can’t resist these books and secretly love to read them.  What exactly are my guilty reading pleasures?  Teen books, including ones with disturbing plots, but my true loves are cheesy, romances where the biggest sources of angst are “Does he like me?” and “Am I going to flunk bio?”  Ah, the simpler, halcyon days of being a teen; these books are my true escapist pleasure!

One such book I recently finished is The Cupcake Queen by Heather Hepler.  An enticingly covered (how can you resist cupcakes with pink frosting and sprinkles?) story with the basic plot of new girl (Penny Lane) in a small town (Hog’s Hollow) who butts heads with the most popular girl in school and who longs to return home to the big city and her old friends.  It was a cute, fun read to get lost in, and I thoroughly enjoyed Penny’s rediscovering herself and her family in a new setting, as well as her adventures with new friends who challenge the popular clique in creative ways that I only wished I had thought of (and had the courage to do) when I was in high school.   But, I didn’t really want to be seen on the train reading a book with cupcakes on the cover that was written for a 15 year old, so I happily devoured this one sans jacket and with minor guilt.

OK, fair and tender readers, what are your reading guilty pleasures?  What books can you not resist, but don’t necessarily want to admit to reading?  I promise this is a judge free posting.  And, if you’re still not ready for a public declaration, you can post anonymously!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Ronnie B. July 15, 2011 at 10:44 AM

After a certain age, you find you no longer have any shame about some things. Oh the freedom of not caring if someone sneers at my literary choices – or tv, food, or friendship choices. Nowadays I no longer take myself, others or the world so seriously and so I read what I enjoy. I do admit to a twinge when the doctor asks me what I’m reading (while I’ve been waiting for him in the examination room for 45 minutes) and I must show him the cover with a woman standing on a windswept cliff, a gloomy castle looming behind her. However, other folks, with even more lurid, graphic or offensively sensual choices/covers , have no shame so why should I? Speaking of covers, I was in a Christian bookstore the other day and was vastly amused by the different covers you can select for your bible; a “guilty” pleasure?

Phoenix P. July 15, 2011 at 4:23 PM

I agree with Ronnie; once you reach a certain age you don’t care. Having said that, I always read two books simultaneously: one “guilty” pleasure book (a thriller, a cozy mystery, etc.) that doesn’t require much thought and one “literary” book, which I enjoy and am not ashamed to take out in public. If I find myself in a bind and having to take my guilty pleasure book out, I have plenty of book covers. If a stranger persists in asking, I give the name of the last literary book I finished. I don’t care what they think, of course, but if a stranger asks, he or she is obviously interested in reading and because I like to talk about books, I’d welcome the chance to talk about the literary book with someone I don’t know.

Greg July 19, 2011 at 1:20 PM

I don’t know if I have a guilty pleasure when it comes to reading. I do know that I’m sometimes made to feel as though I should feel guilty because people will ask what I’m reading and then seem disappointed when it isn’t a book that they’ve heard of or are interested in. Similarly, people might see me reading and say, “Oh, you’ve probably read all of the Stieg Larsson books!” Then I get to feel guilty again when I say I haven’t read any of them. I think my taste in books runs counter to the best seller lists.

Kay September 7, 2011 at 1:46 PM

I admit, my guilty pleasures are “cozy” mysteries. This summer, I caught up on the last few in the Deborah Knott series by Margaret Maron. Judge Knott is a North Carolinian and the only daughter of a former bootlegger. She has 11 brothers. Each story features her sleuthing as well as her family life. I also reread several of Dorothy L. Sayers’s Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries- the ones where he meets, falls in love with, and sleuths with Harriet Vane. I also discovered a new (to me) writer, Robert Harris, author of The Ghost, and other thrillers. The movie based on The Ghost is The Ghost Writer, about an author who gets more than he bargained for when he agrees to “ghost” write the memoirs of a former prime minister. All these books, and the DVD can be found in your DeKalb County Public Library collection.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: