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Monday, 12 September 2016

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Desperate Reader

You already know my guilty pleasures... I think most of mine are deplorable self indulgence with maybe a bit of defiance thrown in - being able to indulge in them sometimes is one of the few things I like about living alone. I wouldn't say they chip at my image of myself, but they don't always match the edited version of myself that I choose to present to the world at large. By edited I'm not even really thinking of hiding things, but more as you suggest just not having everything on the surface.

Harriet Devine

Like you, I have a rather modest and most people would think rather boring life. I have no guilt about enjoying cop series on TV, but a little perhaps about the rather cheesy series I easily get addicted to - just discovered Poldark is on again, and I have the whole two seasons of the pretty ghastly Outlander which I'm gobbling up in my spare time. And I'm one of those people you mention here - supposedly gluten free and avoiding too much dairy, but gobbled bread butter and cheese in large quantities during my summer hols. But honestly life is too short to be guilty - so let's enjoy breaking out of the mould sometimes.

Helen

Hayley, maybe I went a bit too far with the chipping at the self-image bit? I think there is something to be said for guilty pleasures representing an embrace of our opposite, and then a rejection of it, but it's just a theory perhaps inspired by the overexcitement that accompanies the overconsumption of coffee. I think you're absolutely right that we present an edited, even subconsciously, version of ourselves to the world - and it's sometimes nice to come home and shut the door, as you said in your original post, and let the guard down.

Harriet, I shall pretend to accept your claim that you have a modest life while persisting in my belief that you are in fact a daring international spy. ;) I keep forgetting that Poldark is on again, perhaps this is a good thing. I like the sound of Outlander though - pretty ghastly sounds perfect guilty pleasure territory!

Jenny @ Reading the End

Oh, the construction that a guilty pleasure chips at our own image of ourselves is very very good, I think. That would explain why I used to read romance novels on the sly and now am quite open about it -- I shifted my image of myself to accommodate the reading of romance novels and it made them not a guilty pleasure but a perfectly permissible one. Very insightful, madam!

Also, today I learned that you and I would be incompatible tourists. I cannot understand vacationers who want to dash about and see literally every thing available in the place to see. I will love a place better if I make myself a small routine there, and yes, I am afraid that in most cases, that involves spending hours sipping coffee at a predictable location or two. :p

Stefanie

Ten years ago I would have said graphic novels are a guilty pleasure but not anymore. I don't generally eat potato chips so my guilty pleasure is sometimes having chips and if I really want to go wild I have onion dip with them. I know right? How can it get any crazier than that? ;)

Lory @ Emerald City Book Review

Well of course it's the non-readers who look down at your reading children's books! Real readers (at least the ones worth talking to) know better.

Potato chips would probably be #1 for me, but that's so boring. I like your one about traveling alone. I think a number of guilty pleasures are those that involve pleasing only ourselves and not having to be social and accommodating.

TraceyAnn

I'm with you on the tourist thing..
One of my guilty pleasures is standing in the fridge door, slicing tiny slivers of leftover apple pie (or any kind of sweet pie) and stuffing my face with them..Why I don't just cut a large slice, plate it and sit down I don't know!

Helen

Jenny - how interesting! Do you think that your shift in perception re romance novels, which made them permissible, was entirely positive, or did you ever miss the 'guilt'? Or did you develop a replacement guilty pleasure?

I am sorry that we can never holiday together! I remember once I went on a holiday with a group of people, and they all just lounged about all day having fun and I had to too (I should add that we were FAR from the nearest Place of Cultural Note) and I was truly amazed that people should spend their time like this. But also, it was the first holiday I'd ever taken from which I returned feeling rested rather than in need of a second holiday... :)

Helen

Graphic novels have undergone a simply amazing rehabilitation, haven't they Stefanie - except it isn't even really a rehabilitiation since they were never really inside the pale (unless you count mediaeval stained-glass windows, which is quite a jump). Fantasy novels too.

One can count on the book bloggers to have the wildest of guilty pleasures!

Helen

Lory - that's such a clever and interesting point about guilty pleasures being solitary, and now I'm wondering if that's a gendered thing because women are more accustomed to being social and accommodating whether they want to or not than men are. I think we are often more self-critical too.

Do men even have guilty pleasures? Men?

Helen

Ha ha, TracyAnn, that's a brilliant example of a guilty pleasure and not committing yourself to being the sort of person who scoffs apple pie!

Delighted to find a fellow tourist!

Krysta @ Pages Unbound

People who judge others for reading children's boos always bother me. A good story is a good story, period. And whether a book is labelled YA, MG, or adult often has more to do with marketing than with anything inherent in the story itself.

Helen

Hello Krysta! You are absolutely right. And you know, maybe people aren't always as judgy as I think. In fact, sometimes they are certainly quite pleased to admit a love for certain children's books at least.

Carol S

My guilty pleasure-cum-comfort reading used to be Elizabeth Goudge! Her name drew a blank to most of the people I knew although a few had come across The Little White Horse. I have a collection of battered secondhand hardbacks. Now in the past couple of years she is being discussed, read, regarded.
And I find them hard to reread. Perverse?

Helen

Oh Carol, that seems just like me and Georgette Heyer, a former guilty pleasure whom I just don't seem to like very much any more. Does that make us perverse? Perhaps.

Their time may come again; on the other hand, you may need to move on to a new guilty pleasure. Miss Read? Flora Thompson? Mary Stewart?

Natalie

Among my guilty pleasures are sleeping in and eating too much. But my essential one is that I cannot and will not reveal to people how much I love good poetry: from Wordsworth to Browning to TS Eliot and back to Shakespeare. People don't get it. The most intelligent people I know believe that reading poetry is something like believing in a flat earth or qualifying for full-time admission to an insane asylum. People scoff; people sigh.

I know that it's a bit pathetic to label something that was once intellectually respectable a "guilty pleasure" is odd, but there I am! Thank you for the opportunity to speak.

Helen

Goodness, Natalie, how utterly depressing that people can't believe someone might read poetry for pleasure. :( Maybe you're right and in a few years we'll all be proudly displaying our copies of Fifty Shades and keeping The Four Quartets stuffed in our bedside tables. I do hope not.

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