No need to call it a guilty pleasure

I remembered a recent blog post by author Matt Haig last night. It’s called 30 things to tell a book snob and you can read it here. In the post, he talks about people fearing enjoying certain books because they’re told they’re not good enough. I like his first point the most “People should never be made to feel bad about what they are reading. People who feel bad about reading will stop reading.”

The reason this post came to mind was that I finished a book yesterday that I loved. It’s called SLAMMED by Colleen Hoover and  it was one of those books that grabbed hold of me and didn’t let me go until the last page. I even shed a little tear at the end. SLAMMED is a story about a girl called Layken who moves to a new town with her family and falls for her dishy neighbour Will but a shocking revelation halts their romance and they have to decide whether to fight for their love or let each other go. It’s got romance but also deals with tragedy too and all of it is wrapped up with slam poetry. I can’t even explain why I enjoyed it so much and for me that means it’s something special. I don’t really want to think about why I like something or why others don’t – I just want to feel it.

Each chapter in book has lyrics from The Avett Brothers and this one stood out for me:


I love books that make me feel something. They don’t have to be considered high-brow or be literary masterpieces, they just need to make me feel something – happiness or sadness or just that feeling when you question life and love. Sometimes the books that have kept me turning the page feverishly have been panned by critics and I’ve realised that doesn’t matter. I loved them anyway. The same goes for music and films and TV shows or even art – anything creative really. Some of the things I enjoy might be  critically acclaimed or popular or neither, it should’t matter if you find something to enjoy in it I don’t think.

As a writer, I long for someone to feel something after reading my work. I’d love them to read the last line of a book that I’ve written and feel they just read something special. To just enjoy my book. Because that’s what all creative things should be about – yes they could make you think, make you question things, show you something new but really what it’s about is making you feel an emotional connection to them.

So I’m not going to call things a guilty pleasure anymore – if you enjoy something there’s nothing to feel guilty about.

Have you ever been made to feel guilty about liking something?



13 thoughts on “No need to call it a guilty pleasure”

  1. Oh yes. I had somebody always laugh at my book choices. It was funny though because it was someone who exclusively read young adult romance and young adult fantasy and I was reading I suppose you’d say, more literary type books. It’s funny because normally the positions of laugh-er and laughed-at would be switched.
    Exactly! If you enjoy the book then who cares what kind it is!

    1. It’s annoying when someone criticises your choice but probably hasn’t read any of that genre anyway. I like it when people have opinions about books but not when they make you feel bad for liking what you like.

  2. All the time. I’m afraid to tell people I like certain books because a lot of the time, they say something to the effect of: “You’re not a teenager anymore… you shouldn’t still be reading YA.” I’m slowly trying not to care what they (or what anyone else) thinks.

  3. Yes. I want to cry, laugh, cheer, and be afraid with the characters. And i hope the readers feel something when they read my work. It means I did my job. =)

  4. I feel guilty about the fact that I was obsessed with the Twilight books when they first came out…possibly also Nicholas Sparks books, but that’s more not me feeling guilty because I think they’re great, but just knowing people will judge me for it, lol.

    1. I loved Twilight when it came out – as did the majority of my school! And I felt bad afterwards when all the backlash came about, and yes they aren’t structured well or written great, BUT I have read much much much worse novels that deserve more hatred than Twilight.
      I just think that anything liked by teenage girls (in general, I realise other people like them too!) are automatically picked on by everyone else.
      Just let us enjoy our books, chances are we see the faults and like ‘better’ things too but don’t care!

  5. Reading a book is the same as starting a relationship with someone new. You make eye contact, spend some time together, and there’s chemistry or there’s not. Sometimes the book makes you cry, sometimes it’s needy because you can’t go anywhere without it, and sometimes you’re just using the book because you need something new to keep you company for a while.

  6. Great post! You are so right about guilty pleasures. I’m just going to call them “things I really like and no one else has to”. I love Taylor Swift. You don’t have to. You can have reasons you hate her music. It doesn’t diminish how much I enjoy it. Same with a great book or a wine. Taste is everything but it’s so subjective. One person’s delicious is another’s blah.

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