Do you announce your guilty pleasures online? Do you update such books on Goodreads or Bookstagram? Recently I came across a discussion on social media about this. As expected, a majority accepted that they don’t, for the fear of being judged.
Do we read books that we want to read or the books that we should be reading?
We often limit our choices by picking books we should be reading. There are moments when we pick books because everyone else is reading (and loving) them. And occasionally, they do not work for us. Case in question. Good Omens. I had heard great things about the book but struggled to get through it. If it wasn’t the book club pick, I would have probably DNF-ed it. Post that, I avoid picking up over-hyped books unless they are recommended by people I trust.
Does that make me any less of a book lover? NO.
Why feel guilty about something you enjoy?
We are hardwired to believe that books need to be educational and uplifting. That there is no point in reading a book if there is nothing to take away from it.
As much as I enjoy reading human stories, most Booker Prize winners don’t always work for me. They are often a hit or miss. I read books to de-stress. If I come across a book on the army way of life. I have to pick it up. I enjoy reading young adult fantasies. At any point of time, I have a light read or a chick-lit on the list. They are perfect for when I want to read escapist stuff. Come Holidays, I love watching those cheesy Hallmark movies.
Am I embarrassed by the fact? NO.We often limit our choices by picking books we "should" be reading. Of Guilty Pleasures and Feel Good Books. #BohoPonderings #MyFriendAlexa Click To Tweet
Don’t apologize for what you like to read
Romances are trashy. You are not a feminist if you read those Harlequins. Young Adult genre is not for grown-ups. How can you read a Chetan Bhagat book?
As a teen, I wasn’t allowed Mills and Boons. But I gorged on my grandmother’s collection of Barbara Cartlands (they were apparently more chaste). Sandhya Menon’s books are my go-to if I am in the mood of a pick me up. If you haven’t read There’s Something About Sweetie yet, you need to check it out. Jill Shalvis and Varsha Dixit are my other favorites.
Is there anything shameful about reading romance? Of course, NO.
So go ahead and read the books without the fear of being judged. Cheesy romances. Feel good books. Escapist thrillers. Trashy novels. And all those fun books that you actually want to read. If you like Chetan Bhagat books, by all means, read them. There are too many books out there and too little time to spend on reading books that don’t work for you. Don’t let judgemental opinions affect the way you enjoy books. Let’s take the “guilty” out of guilty pleasures.
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Image by congerdesign from Pixabay
September 20, 2019 @ 7:29 pm
It feels you are reading my mind. I mean how come? It is so relatable and looks like you are just sitting in front of me know everything which only a magician can know. I admit I also have the fear of being judged and I often feel guilty for reading a book that works for me. You have written a wonderful article.
September 20, 2019 @ 11:31 pm
Hocus pocus 🧙♀️!! Jokes apart, I’ve been there. I would often pick books that I should be reading and then go into a reading slump. Now I know better. Thank you for your kind words, Srishti. I am glad the article resonated with you. 🙂
September 21, 2019 @ 12:19 pm
Hi, I liked the theme of your post and totally relate to it. Reading should always be a personal choice decision and not about following the herd. Social Media doesn’t do any good to change that mentality. Reading is an experience and a form of self-care so we better read what our heart desires !
Thanks for the lovely post 🙂
September 24, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
Thank you for your kind words, Narinder. I completely agree about social media and the pressure to read the “right” books. Reading is a personal experience.
September 21, 2019 @ 5:37 pm
Although I am a bit saddened that you didn’t like Good Omens, I completely agree. Man Booker Prize is no bench mark or even the most reliable indicator for the best books. And YA is not just for young adults. Everyone can and SHOULD read YA books. The one thing I genuinely hate is the trash talks and the shaming. Not every book works for everyone. Everyone has different tastes and preferences. That’s why there are so many books out there! Be your own person and read the kind of books you like. And be proud of that.
September 24, 2019 @ 7:05 pm
Ditto on everything you said. I am appalled by all the shaming that goes with reading chick-lit, and even YA to some extent. I have met a lot of new readers who gave up because the “right” books did not work for them.
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