Guilty Pleasures in Reading

I talk about guilty pleasures on here a lot when I describe certain books I’ve read.  Just what exactly is a “guilty pleasure?”

Different people will have different definitions of their ‘guilty pleasures.’  What may be a guilty pleasure for some, may be  the norm for others.  It all depends on your personal preferences and how much of it you are willing to share with the public.

When it comes to reading, I usually go for literary fiction, certain contemporary fiction, and classics.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t like reading books that are not classified under those genres.   I also like reading random contemporary fiction, science fiction, fantasy, mystery/thrillers, graphic novels, etc., not all of which I would categorize as a “guilty pleasure.”

For me, guilty pleasure books are those I can just breeze through on autopilot, meaning, I don’t have to think too much about the plot, the characters, hidden meanings, and its impact on society.  These are books I read to pass the time, or when I’m in-between books, or when I don’t have better titles in mind.   I won’t have any regrets when I suddenly have to stop reading these books for another one.  That’s not to say that these books are inferior or that I am ashamed to be caught in public reading them (though it’s true I won’t be advertising them either).  These are books that I enjoy too much, which usually have deliciously intriguing plots or gory, graphic imagery with accompanying violence;  these are books I read purely for fun.

As much as I would love to read nothing but guilty pleasure books, I believe that too much of a good thing can be harmful, and to keep my mind sharp and prevent my brain from atrophying, I usually keep my “guilty pleasure” reading to a minimum.

Genres I would file under my “guilty pleasures” are thrillers and mysteries in the likes of Dan Brown (I know, I know, that’s why it’s under my “guilty pleasures!), Michael Crichton, Alex Grecian, James Patterson, etc., romance by writers like Judith McNaught, though in all honesty, I have not read one since I was in high school (Once and Always by Judith McNaught was one of my favorites).  I also enjoy the occasional Young Adult, but I don’t read enough of it to even include it on my guilty pleasures list. Fantasy, sci-fi, and graphic novels don’t usually fall under my ‘guilty pleasures,’ because they can be quite compelling and thought-provoking, though I will list mangas (and anime) as guilty pleasures.

Some of the books I’ve blogged about on here that I would classify as a guilty pleasure would include:

and the most recent, the Gentleman Bastard Series by Scott Lynch, starting with The Lies of Locke Lamora.  

Those are just some of my guilty pleasures in reading.  I know, it probably wasn’t the kind of books you were expecting…I realize now that they seem all too tame to be categorized as guilty pleasures.  Oh well. Of course I have more guilty pleasures in other aspects of my life, but that’s another story…

What about you?  Do you have any reading guilty pleasures (genres and titles)?  I’d love to hear about them….I promise I won’t tell!


13 thoughts on “Guilty Pleasures in Reading

  1. Yeah, The Hunger Games was definitely a guilty pleasure for me! Although I generally make a point of not feeling guilty about reading, because it’s one of the few things I love unreservedly. Most YA are my “guilty pleasures”, I think!

  2. I think Song of Ice and Fire is a bit involved to be classified as a true guilty pleasure, but I know where you are coming from. I call these kinds of books “brain candy.” My personal brain candy includes the Discworld books and page-turning thrillers. Which reminds me, I need to get around to reading Gone Girl since the movie is coming out soon.

  3. My guilty pleasure as of late is reading local contemporary romance novellas. They’re my go-to books every time I want some reading break, they’re quick and easy to read, and they never fail to take me out of a reading rut. 🙂

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