An age ago I was tagged by someone to list my guilty bookish pleasures. I have thought long and hard about this one and how I would answer it. It turns out to be a semi-complex answer, which deserved a full blog post.
Initially this idea stumped me. What did I consider a guilty pleasure? A guilty please is termed as something that one enjoys despite feeling that it is not generally held in high regard. I’m as far from a book snob as you could possibly be, so nothing really came to mind as something that I wouldn’t hold in high regard. I’m a firm believer of reading whatever it is that makes you happy, whether that is slogging your way through Russian literature, reading the most recent Mills & Boon book or reliving your childhood with old favourites, you should never feeling guilty about what makes you happy! I would only advocate for occasionally stepping outside your comfort zones and trying something new and different, you never know what you might unexpectedly enjoy!
Eventually it came to me, there are some types of books I generally prefer to not read out in public, at my favourite coffee shop or on the beach. Lets be honest here, as readers we all have that secret enjoyment of reading a book in public with the idea that someone might casually glance over and be intrigued by what it is that we are reading. That you might come off all cool and mysterious if it is something unusual, out of the ordinary, intellectual or indie. Lets admit, we are all guilty of it. Conversely, I would never look at a stranger, see what they are reading and judge them negatively for it (positively yes, the saying that seeing someone reading a book you love is seeing a book recommending a person is very true, read a favourite of mine and I’ll fall in love with you) so I don’t know why I still avoid reading a certain genre in public, betraying it as my guilty pleasure.
Long introductions aside, I came to the conclusion that my guilty pleasure are young adult fantasy series. I love these books, they are addictive, predictable in some aspects (love triangles, always), are often filled with kickass women who are positive role models and completely transport you to another time and place. I never fail to become hooked on these books and devour them particularly if I am feeling tired, exhausted and want something to read with a familiar feel, a comfort blanket of sorts. Tamora Pierce, Sarah J, Maas, Claudia Gray are just a few that I look to in these times. I never get sick of rereading them either (my copies of the Songs of the Lioness quartet are actually falling apart form so much love).
Please don’t mistake me for insinuating that these books are not held in high regard. In the bookstagram community some of the most passionate fans are those than read young adult fantasy fiction and I would be quick to defend this genre to those than look down on it. There are positive role models and some great life lessons to be gained from these pages. Plus, you should never apologise for what gives you happiness! In response to this revelation, I pledge you this: Next time I pick up a YA fantasy (I have Empire of Storm and A Million Words with You on my self ready to go) I will go out in public to my favourite coffee shop and read it with pride.
What is your guilty pleasure? And will you stand with me and publicly declare your affection?