The Best Moments In Reading Are When You Come Across Something- A Thought, A Feeling, A Way At Looking At Things- Which You Had Thought Special And Particular To You. And Now, Here It Is, Set Down By Someone Else, A Person You Have Never Met, Someone Who Is Even Long Dead. And It Is As If A Hand Has Come Out, And Taken Yours.

Alan Bennett

The History Boys

Saturday, May 14, 2016

My Thoughts on “Guilty Pleasure” Books

What even are “Guilty Pleasure Books”?!

Hi Guys! If you’re a bookworm, you know your weekend plans are all already planned, (wake up, then decide to sleep in, if a book is in reach distance, spend another hour in bed reading, if getting a book results in you having to stand up, have breakfast first since you’re already up) I found myself in a situation like this, this very morning and the book that happened to be within reach distance was Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophia Kinsella. I never read book reviews before reading a book as they very often (even accidentally) tend to spoil it for me, however this was a rare case and I decided to read the review first as I have already read the book, therefore there was nothing really left to spoil. I was relatively surprised about how many times the words “a perfect/my favorite guilty pleasure book showed up in these reviews. First of all, I don’t think I’ve ever been exposed to the term “guilty pleasure book” before, and second of all my natural curiosity took over and I decided to investigate a little into this, for me un-known term. Of course I kind of deduced what it meant but just to be sure I Googled.

Except a few Buzzfeed links such as but not limited to: “30 Guilty Pleasure 
Books that are in Fact Awesome” This not only indicated that they thought “guilty pleasure” books are generally not awesome, but I was also surprised to find that a whole bunch of books were on there, that I really didn’t expect to be a guilty pleasure book at all. Divergent? Inkheart? The princess bride? Hmm… Doesn’t seem right… Also I discovered that there were certain books I realized I was not surprised to find on the list including Gossip Girl and the Vampire Academy series, which made me think that there were perhaps certain books that were different, but I wasn’t yet sure how. After more “research” many sites said they were books that were read more for their entertainment level than anything else. I vastly disagree with this, since aren’t all books used for entertainment? Why would you read a book if it’s not any fun? Why? This just made my task of simplifying the meaning of this phrase harder. In the end I decided that it was probably a book you felt guilty about reading. I don’t know what about you, but I doubt I have ever read a book at home or even in public and felt guilty or ashamed of doing so, just because it wasn’t a classic, or contained the word “vampires”. 

Also, the word itself is a little unfair to certain books as it indicates that they just aren’t as good as classics or other books. Bookism? Like Racism but for books? Then again, the word never seemed to be used in a negative way, in fact, most times it had a positive connotation. 

Concluding thoughts: The term “guilty books” is very mysterious, and while it doesn’t have a straight on definition, it indicates a chic flick sort of book which doesn’t give you any value as a reader from reading it. I don’t really like the phrase, as it indicates some books are lesser than others, and also that you don’t learn anything from them. If I learned anything from being a book addict for years, a phrase even more important to me than “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” is “No matter whether a book is big or small, whether old or new, classic or chick flick, you will learn something from it. At least one thing if not more, that will stay with you, or a quote that will speak to you, no matter how un-important or “guilty pleasure” the book seems at first.”

Whew, that was a long post! I think I kind of got carried away at some point. If you got this far thank you so much for having the time to read through! I’m kind of thinking about doing a mini-series about bookish words or phrases, so I’ll see how that goes, however I can’t promise anything, as you guys probably noticed that I haven’t posted in a long time due to end-of-the-year-exams. I really enjoyed writing it and I hope you enjoyed reading it just as much. In the comments down below tell me what your thoughts are! Do you agree? Or maybe not? Do you have any suggestions what the act of discrimination towards some books should be called? 

The Teen Page Turner,

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