Sunday, January 4, 2009

What Guilt?

According to the New York Times obituary for Julia Child, “Whenever she was asked what her guilty pleasures were, she responded, ‘I don't have any guilt.’”

I feel that way about my reading. I don’t read to prove anything to anyone – what on earth is there to feel guilty about? Maybe if I were reading white supremacist propaganda, then I’d feel guilty. But romance? Where people fall in love and live happily ever after?

I don’t get why that would make me feel guilty.

Is it a puritan thing? Like, this is too much fun, I should be mortifying the flesh instead?

Eh. Fuck that.

Assuming your responsibilities as an adult (or student, or whatever) are largely done – read what you want. Read something that makes you feel good, whether that’s brain-bending philosophy, seat-of-the-pants suspense, canny-make-me-rich investment books, cry-in-your-hanky drama, improve-my-life self-help, or happily-ever-after romance.

Feel guilty if you’re not reading. If you have kids, feel guilty if you’re not reading to your kids. But for reading?

Don’t have any guilt.

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ps, this post was written for the Bookworm Carnival, theme "Guilty Pleasures." Check it out!

13 comments:

Stacy~ said...

Amen. I guess if I were to ever say that reading erotic romance was my guilty pleasure for example, it's not really about guilt, but more about being a little naughty and not reading strictly for the romance. I don't feel guilty about it, more like I'm getting away with a delicious secret ;)

I've never really gotten people who don't read. I know they're out there, but it's hard to relate to them. I thank God my mom was a reader and passed it on to me.

Erin said...

Amen! No need to say anymore - you said it all.

Kara said...

I have to say "Thank You." At times I do tend to feel guilty about reading romance and erotic romance - especially reading all the literary blogs out there. But after reading your post - this year I will be guilt free - LOL!!!

wcvamp said...

Read "first Blood", basically for Erin Mccarthy & I am always listeneing to you talk about M. Brooks, so I read her story also, great reads....

Anonymous said...

I'd feel less guilty if the covers and titles were less cheesy.

Nicola O. said...

Stacy & Erin, thanks!

Kara, you're welcome! I'm happy to be an enabler....

wcvamp, yay, a convert! I haven't read the one in First Blood yet, but wait til you read a full-length book. It'll blow you away.

Nicola O. said...

Anon, I missed you in there -- is that guilt or just embarrassment? LOL.

Anonymous said...

You called it, nicola - it's embarrassment!

Let's be honest - with the man-titty/asscrack/'pecs ahoy' covers, the upteen billionth (yawn) title variation of "The Greek Billionaire Tycoon's Nearly Jailbait Virgin Secretary's Secret Baby" (just mix and match) - unfortunately there's plenty to be embarrassed about! I swear, in the genre's search for credibility and respect, we can be our own worst enemies.

I subscribe to the Blaze series - LOVE the books! - but would I carry one onto, say, an airplane? Read one in a restaurant? Nope. My face would turn as red as one of the (loud, obnoxious, pecs-ahoy) covers. They are mailed directly to my house in an anonymous brown cardboard box - like a sex toy!

I'm writing my first paranormal romantic suspense MSS right now, and my worst nightmares have me selling it, but being saddled with a cover or title so heinous I'm embarrassed to be associated with it.

Carolyn Jean said...

Great post! I'm with you. I used to read for edification more, and I'm so glad i don't now. But too many people do, and I think that's why book reading is going down. People, it's for FUN!!!

RIP Julia Child!

Carolyn Jean said...

Anonymous: You will likely have no control over the cover. It's a marketing issue.

Anonymous said...

Exactly. And that what scares me.

Cherie said...

Yay! Guilt is an old antiquated emotion with no real use in our lives anyway. :)

Ladytink_534 said...

Great, great post! I don't have any guilty pleasures either. I read what I want when I want!

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