So, we’ll start at the beginning –
Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner wrote a post in August that resonated with me – I Got The Message Loud & Clear: Reading Isn’t Cool. I’m sure at some point in every Book Geek’s life they’ve faced the odd looks, sniggers and maybe even bullying over the fact that they
like love to read. Thankfully, the notion that reading isn’t cool seems to wear off as we get older, these days people practically admire the fact that I enjoy reading and studying (or maybe I’m just comfortable enough with my hobbies not to care what others’ think anymore).
Following on from this idea that reading in general isn’t cool, there has been a flurry of posts over the last few months (including The Reading Police Do Not Exist, Yes, I’m Reading A Romance, So? and Life’s Too Short For That) discussing “guilty pleasures”. Guilty pleasures are basically defined as:
- The books you wouldn’t want to be seen reading in public.
- The books you don’t want admit you love (or even own), and/or
- The books you hide away on your lowest shelves in the hopes no one else will ever find them.
People who don’t even read themselves will look down their nose at others for reading romances, erotica, YA and children’s books, to name just a few. But worst of all, fellow Book Geeks do it too! Can’t you just feel the judgement?
Where am I going with this?
Quite a while ago I discussed some of my favourite childhood books on this blog, and mentioned how annoyed I was at myself for giving away full sets of children’s and YA series when I hit my awkward teen years, because reading wasn’t cool anymore/I was sure I’d never want to read them again/I was far too old and mature for those stories now *delete as appropriate*.
It’s only when I got back into reading again a few years ago, and started blogging, that I realised I missed having these books in my collection (now that I actually have what you could call a collection), and I missed having the opportunity to read them. So, after much persuasion and encouragement from fellow bloggers, I tracked down a 15 book Roald Dahl set for £15. The collection included most of Dahl’s popular books, with Quentin Blake’s original illustrations (the best, in my opinion). The set was brand new, I got some discount off and free delivery. It was a steal.
A good friend came to my house last week (who also reads, but not at Book Geek level), spotted the set and said something (jokingly) along the lines of, “Are you being serious? It’s getting a bit out of hand now.” Shamefully, I told a bit of a porkie and said the set was for my Nephew for Christmas! I’m not usually the type to be phased by other people’s opinions, especially when it’s a friend, but for some reason the judgmental tone made me feel really embarrassed about my reading choices! Now though, I kind of feel bad for not growing a pair and proudly declaring them as mine, and I feel like I should buy my Nephew a set so it wasn’t technically a lie (if only he was a reader!).
Have you ever felt that you had to deny ownership of any beloved books? Have others ever made you question your reading choices? And do you keep your “guilty pleasures” hidden, or do you admit to them loud and proud?? Share your love for the weird and wonderful in the comments, and get liberated!!