Guilty Pleasures

Have you answered this weeks Booking Through Thursday Meme?

It’s my question! I’m so pleased they liked my meme enough to use it. In fact, I’m positively delighted that they used it! (Which is why I’m urgently sharing my news with you now!)

My question is:

What book(s) have you read that you’re secretly ashamed to admit?

Some of you already know my answer… but for those of you who don’t here’s a re-blog…

Book Swap Guilt

I don’t read chick lit. I’ll read just about anything: fiction, history, thrillers, sci-fi, the occasional biography, anything, except chick lit.

The first time I noticed this particular book in the book swap area I sniggered, then shuddered. I wondered “Who would bring that in?” Personally I’d have donated it to charity shop rather than publically confess a penchant for romantic tosh. But that’s just me. I’m an action-flick kinda gal.

I pass the book swap pile daily and frequently skim the spines for new titles. This book has been there for several weeks now. No one has touched it. Even the spine is un-creased. (Perhaps its previous owner didn’t read it after all).

Each time I passed it I would inwardly shake my head and think “Urgh! No-one is going to take that. They’d be too embarrassed for a start”. Even the picture on the cover makes me cringe. Then yesterday, inexplicably without any warning, a little voice in my head said “Oh go on then”.


Where did that come?!

I was mortified the idea had sprung from my own brain. I checked left and right to make sure no one had seen it reflected in my face. I walked away quickly and sat at my desk. Fingers on keys. Eyes on the screen. I told myself no. NO. I have never, ever, wanted to read anything by this author, popular as she is.

I have never, ever, wanted to read this particular book. I don’t want to read it. I don’t. I really honestly and truly don’t.

(Deep breath)

But I’m going to. I didn’t decide that right away. On my journey home last night I found myself thinking: If I do take it I can’t let anyone see me take it: I’ll need something to hide it in. Perhaps I should wait until the office is empty… But what if people see me acting suspiciously? They might think I’m stealing! What if I’m subjected to a handbag search? How could I not look guilty?

! ! !

Where were these thoughts coming from?

Again I checked around me in case someone was monitoring my facial expressions. I’d clearly lost my senses. What was wrong with me? Was I seriously considering taking and reading a book that makes me wince at the thought of it? I took a few deep breaths, considered it for a while then reasoned that I might as well.

It is right that I should feel embarrassed? It’s only a book for goodness sake! I don’t even know what the book is about. Do other people feel this shame about chick lit?

Is this normal?

I feel a need to conduct some experiments, to give me a reason, an excuse for reading it: Perhaps I should take it out in public areas, on a train or in a café, just to observe how other people react to it. Will they snigger? Will they judge me harshly on my dubious choice? Will they smile at me but ooze pity from their eyes? More to the point, could I bring myself to be seen with it in public?

As I sat in the canteen I wanted to air these questions: Share my dilemma and consider the responses. I couldn’t. Our book swap is anonymous. I don’t know who the donor is and I couldn’t risk making them feel uncomfortable if they overheard me. I’m grateful other people are willing to swap books. I really am. I certainly wouldn’t want to scare anyone off. So instead I’m sitting here quietly, biding my time.

Tonight, when the office lights dim and most people have gone home, into my pre-prepared black plastic carrier-bag I’m going to slip a pristine copy of a Jilly Cooper.

All comments (and mocking) most welcome. 🙂


18 thoughts on “Guilty Pleasures

  1. I recognize this piece of entertaining writing of yours from before. I guess I must have read your original blog post. Now you have me curious how it turned out? Did you get the book or did someone beat you to it at the last minute? And have you read it yet, or is it just burning a hole in your bookshelf (or hidden at the back of the closet)?

    • Someone did actually beat me to it. Unbelievable! No one touched it for months but when I decided to take it someone else poached it first!

      It’s still on my ‘to be read’ list and I’m keeping an eye on the shelf still.

      Somehow I’m not ashamed (or at least not very ashamed) to admit I read the Twilight books and (shock horror) I’ve read the first Fifty Shades of Grey… I couldn’t help it! Everyone in my office was reading it – including the men! I mean it was compulsory reading just to keep up with their jokes! (Excuses, excuses. Lol.)

      • I never heard of Fifty Shades of Grey until this BTT post. As for Twilight I tried watching the first film but was just bored by it, so doubt I’ll be reading the books. Not saying they’re necessarily to be ashamed of, mind. To be able to pass proper judgement, I’d have to read them first! LOL

        • I hated the Twilight film when I first watched it. I was very bored by it too. I’ve no idea why I watched it a second time (in the background to reading perhaps) but I enjoyed it more that time. I read the books much later. (Blondie’s fault of course). So whilst I’m not a fan I enjoy winding up the Edward fans by telling them I’m ‘Team Jacob’. lol

          If you do read Fifty Shades come back and let us know. We can laugh about the atrocious story-telling together! 😀

    • Thank you Crystal 🙂

      It’s funny how most people’s answers have fallen in to one of two camps: Either people say they’re never embarrassed by their choice of books (and think I’m ridiculous for even suggesting we could be) or they’re embarrassed to have read Twilight.

      Why are people so embarrassed about Twilight?! So what if it’s a tween romance! It’s the bonkbusters that make me blush. (Thank you Tilly for adding that to my vocabulary 😉 )

  2. I have to say, some of my tastes in books, music and films are absolutely appalling, but everyone’s allowed to have their guilty pleasures. I was convinced right until the end that you were referring to a Mills and Boon Novel 🙂

    I’m grateful for having a Kindle nowadays, no it’s not got the same feel and smell as a normal real book, but it does have the saving grace of nobody knowing exactly what I’m reading, so if I want to be a 30 year old Man reading Harry Potter I can do so without embarrassment (at least on the outside!).

    • You’re not the first person to think it was going to be a Mills and Boon. 🙂 I don’t think I’ve ever read one. My Nana used to read them when I was a kid so I always associated them with ‘old people’. (Of course now I’m older I realise she wasn’t ‘old’ at all).

      One of my friends told me it’s really easy to get published by Mills and Boon – She said if you contact them they’ll give you a topic and key areas to cover and Boom! Hit your word count covering those areas and suddenly you’re a published writer!

      It’s probably not that simple… But I’m half tempted to try it out…

      I’m grateful for my Kindle too. The quantity and variety of books I’ve read since getting one is incredible. I spend more on books (real and e-book) than ever before. I will always love real physical books that I can treasure and I dream of having a library of my own (or perhaps a bookcase concealing a hidden room…) but the convenience of an e-reader is unbeatable.

      Love your blog by the way… I need to start eavesdropping so I can contribute!

  3. Amazing question and answer Sammy Dee, I love the way you described your relationship with this book, like some shameful affair that you don’t want anyone to know about : )

    My answer is quite similar, like you I like almost anything but always snigger when I pass the chic lit isles and see the droll titles about juggling love, facials and careers! (I’m so judgemental) and yet I LOVE the Shopoholic books by Sophie Kinsella, absolutely love them. Wasn’t every planing to share that info but you were so honest!! I love Sophie Kinsella!

    • I absolutely refused to read the Shopoholic books – They didn’t appeal to me in the slightest. There was no way I could be persuaded to read it, no matter how many girly-girls told me they were fantastic. (I’m not girly as you know so they just made me resolute).

      I picked one up off my mums bed, read a page at random expecting to scoff at it and put it back down. I did scoff, but I also found myself reading chapter after chapter. I had no intention of reading it, ever, but when it was open I couldn’t put it down. There you go – another shameful admission. 😉 I’ve read one Shopoholic book.

  4. When I go away on holiday I generally get something fairly trashy to read – I just can’t be doing with anything that I have to think too deeply about. When I’m lounging by the pool or beach, I just want something that I can easily read in short bursts (in between requests for ice-creams from the kids, or being dragged into the water). Last year I bought a (don’t judge me) Danielle Steel book to take with me, well if I’m honest it was actually a 3 book box set (now you can judge me). While on holiday I really enjoyed it, it exactly fulfilled what I needed, but then as soon as I got back home, I found myself unable to finish the final quarter of the book I had left, I tried, but I just couldn’t do it, it suddenly held no interest at all for me!

    • I won’t judge you for reading Danielle Steel. 🙂 I read a few of her books when I was about 13-15 years old (My Mum pretty much owned every book she’d ever written). They’re not the kind of book teenagers normally read but at the time I couldn’t put them down. I don’t remember any of the stories but I remember having tears streaming down my face whilst reading them.

      Its funny how they don’t hold any appeal for me now and I could never sit through a movie adaptation.

      Hmm, with all these confessions it appears I’ve read more Chick Lit over the years than I’d realised!

  5. I’ll do my best not to mock! 😉 I teach adults, and it has amazed me that, when they’ve finished a test/have free time/whatever, some of the women will get out and start reading Fifty Shades of Grey! In class, no blushes. Imagine the male equivalent: Hustler or something…

    • Lol, that is the argument isn’t it. I’m amazed that so many people on trains are still reading. We must be near full capacity now, surely?

      I wonder what the next cringworthy book will be.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s