In defense of guilty pleasure reading11:09 AM
For the longest time I was against guilty pleasure reading. But it wasn't always like this. I used to be an avid detective novel reader. One day a guy asked me what I was reading and I answered “A detective novel”. He rolled his eyes and said: “No, seriously. That’s not reading.”
It’s sad to say but that was when I stopped reading detective novels. Then I got to college and my intolerance towards guilty pleasure books became worse. Books were supposed to be serious, challenging and well... difficult. No detective stories, no best sellers, no “but this is Madonna's favorite author right now!”.
I still think this “Literature major” way of thinking is ok, as long as you don’t substitute guilty pleasure reading for other, worse, cultural guilty pleasures.
And that’s exactly what I did.
I was so scared while reading Macbeth I couldn’t read it at night. I also couldn’t read the other books on my list because they are too demanding to be read half an hour before bed.
So, I watched Tv. But I realized a little guilty pleasure reading was better than hours of The Office.
Sure, I wouldn’t be learning as much from my detective stories as I would from Dostoyevsky or an Art history book but I’d definitely be learning more than from sitcoms.
Now, I’m not saying let’s all indulge in our guilty pleasures for life. There are some pretty bad books out there, books that are incredibly popular, mind you.
It’s all a matter of choosing the better of two evils. We need some entertainment and it’s better getting it from a good book than from Tv shows.
However, not every book we read must be entertaining. Even though pleasurable books are exciting and page turners, we must remember we’ll miss out on a lot if we stick only to books that are fun and easy to read.
I now read my Nero Wolfe novels before bed, but you can also alternate between one serious reading and a guilty pleasure one.
I’ve learned that even guilty pleasure books can help you increase your vocabulary and improve your grammar. Plus if you choose well they can also expand your horizons and stimulate your imagination. Why shouldn't books also serve as fun and intelligent entertainment?
What do you think of guilty pleasure reading? What are your favorite guilty pleasure books?
Image via FYReading
Image via FYReading