Have you ever chosen to read something on your Nook instead of in hardcover because you didn’t want the person sitting next to you on the train to know what you were reading? Attempted to hide the latest tawdry romance, YA vampire drama or memoir by a C-list actor in between more “respectable” books when you’re at the library, hoping the title and author get ignored in the mix? Yeah, me too.
We all indulge in a little junk every once in a while, whether it’s Doritos or trashy reality TV, or even a poorly written but thoroughly enjoyable book. We gobble them up and then feel the need to read a New York Times bestseller, as though one can cancel out the other. But why should it? I read many award winners and bestsellers; some live up to the hype and some do not. Just because a critic gives a book their stamp of approval does not automatically mean that everyone who reads it will love it, and the opposite is also true; as they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
Instead of judging what others are reading, I say Bravo to those who read, period! I think I speak for my fellow bibliophiles here at the LPL when I say that reading in any form is beneficial for your mind and your soul. Each of us read for different reasons: to gain knowledge about the world and or/ourselves, to laugh, to cry, and simply to escape. As long as you are getting what you want out of a book, then it’s worth the read.
As for myself, I will admit that my particular guilty reading cravings are of the celebrity memoir type: Tori Spelling, Melissa Gilbert, Jason Priestly, Ricki Lake, and Chelsea Handler. I devour these with varying degrees of glee and disappointment (some really are as bad as you would think). I happily own every Chelsea Handler book and peek in them when I need a good laugh. I’m disappointed that I have not yet gotten to the Rob Lowe, Melissa Joan Hart, and Candace Cameron Bure memoirs; I’ll just add them to my Books to Read board on Pinterest.
A special note to those adults who read YA: Do not feel ashamed! I am a firm believer that some of the best fiction out there today falls under the YA category. Laurie Halse Anderson, Suzanne Collins, John Green, David Levithan, Rick Riordan, and Rainbow Rowell (just to name a few) have been praised in recent years for writing complex stories and authentic characters.
So, keep reading Fifty Shades of Grey if that’s what makes you happy. It’s perfectly okay to be fifty years old and reading Divergent. The people who judge you for your reading habits have forgotten how it feels to read for pure, good-old-fashioned-fun! In fact, you should check out this Buzzfeed list of 30 ‘Guilty Pleasure’ Books That Are In Fact Awesome for some new “guilty” picks.
Before I leave you for today, I want to know this: What are your favorite guilty pleasure books? Let’s take away the shame!