QOTD – What’s Your (Guilty) Pleasure?

I have a confession to make and it isn’t going to be easy.  I really hope I’m among friends here.

Preemptive, interesting sidebar – the term guilty pleasure is almost a misnomer.  The “guilt” one feels, most often, in a guilty pleasure is actually a fear of other people finding out your secret, sordid, or embarrassing activity you find enjoyable.  A pleasure you should feel guilt over would be supporting a company who uses its profits to exploit third-world and minority workers- being a man who loves listening to Taylor Swift’s catchy ass music is something to feel embarrassment over.  But, alas, until I am elected dictator of the world we will continue to have misleadingly coined phrases running amok.

Everyone, every reader, has his or her “go-to authors” — that author whose books you will buy whenever you see them on the shelf.  You may or may not have the entire collection, but you certainly know that if that author has a new book out you will most likely buy it as soon as you see it.

Myself, I have almost every word Chuck Pahalniuk has written (and had published in a novel or non-fictional account of Portland).  I used to be much more aggressive in my collecting of his work, but then I got a little fatigued by what felt like his desire to make things as disgusting or disturbing as possible simply because he could.  Haunted was difficult to enjoy- but I did.

If Brian Michael Bendis is writing for a comic series, I will give it at least an issue or two to get hooked.  And usually do.  Even his painfully repetitive New Avengers arcs (Luke Cage needs to quit to be with his wife, they need Luke so he stays to perform his duty to keep society safe, Luke Cage needs to quit to be with his child, Luke needs to stay with the Avengers to keep society safe for his child, rinse, repeat) kept me purchasing at a ravenous pace.

A lot of people love John Grisham.  Stephen King puts out a book a week and can’t keep up with demand.

But these are all acceptable forms of bibliophilia.  No shame.  No guilt.

I have a confession to make and it isn’t going to be easy.  I really hope I’m among friends here.

I have a guilty pleasure.  I …

I enjoy reading Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon novels.

It has been an exercise in will-power that I have not yet purchased Inferno.  Just typing that sentence gives me an itch to get out of this chair and go grab a copy at the B&N across the street.

They are so horribly written.  There is not a sentence to be found in the thousands of collective pages that is well crafted.  The plot is so formulaic it becomes easy to predict what page the female character is going to help him escape murder/arrest/certain death and in which chapter the would-be villain is shown to actually be working on the same side.

Yet, just sitting here typing this I am growing more intrigued about what happens in Inferno.

This is my guilty pleasure.  Maybe it’s because the books are so poorly written and so formulaic that I am intrigued.  In a sick way, maybe it’s like watching an author paint himself into a corner and then fight his way out with a toothpick in a knife fight. (horrible mixed metaphor courtesy of the Dan Brown School of Writing)

I mean, how can he possibly pin another tail on this same beaten horse (donkey?) skeleton?

Everyone has their guilty pleasures with literature, some people read trashy romance, some of us read Sue Grafton, my wife will read any YA novel with a paranormal romance (what does that say about me, I wonder?).

QOTD – What’s your guilty pleasure with reading?  Which author or which genre do you love to read, but hate to admit?



  1. kalabalu

    When is guilt a pleasure ? Mostly , when you want to do something not approved by others or by your moral values..that does makes us ” bad” like no control on our whimsical actions. Now. after that if we share,that guilty pleasure with a sinister lining..will it not be promoting that actions..like I did it and some will say.. then why not me 😉 leading people to enjoy guilt..sort of sadistic..like killing your inner voice and enjoying it too..wicked satan ..new name for anyone who indulges in this pleasure..self inflicted.

  2. alise

    if this counts under this question, and it seems like almost anything can, I reread books over and over again. i reread Harry Potter so many times i lost track. i grew up with the magical story and it will never lose it’s magic in my heart. also, it pains me to adore something so mainstream, but i’m no hipster. i have recently gotten into Palahniuk myself. almost done with “Survivor” and “Haunted” is sitting under it on my desk.

  3. ssrae

    I still love to listen to my LFO cd and sing along with every stupid word. I really enjoyed reading the Twilight saga. I have read so many cheesy, smutty romance novels that scrolling through the pictures of book covers on my Amazon suggested e-book list is almost like surfing porn sites. I feel a twinge of embarrassment letting others in on these little secrets because I worry they will disapprove. No one else’s opinion is going to have any affect on how much I enjoy these “guilty pleasures” though. So, I say do what makes you happy and don’t worry about what anyone else thinks of it!

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