Make mine extra fluffy

Cover image for "Book Smart"You would probably have to tie me to a tree at the edge of a steep cliff and tickle my feet with a feather to get me to admit that I read literary “fluff”. Why is this so hard for me to disclose? I think I am afraid of being judged – “proper” librarians only read high brow literature, right?

Well, that’s a myth, and today I bravely stand up in this circle of book addicts to say:

Hello, my name is Oneder and I may, on occasion, indulge in trashy reads.

I need to make it clear, however, that I am not an addict. Most of my book choices would  meet the approval of the Literary Snob Society. But every now and again, I find myself craving a predictable plot with simple characters, your usual kind of humour and a dash of mushy romance. In other words, when things get a bit too dark and heavy in the world of contemporary fiction, I need my fix of light and fluffy.

At the moment I am reading Katie MacAlister. Her writing is very formulaic, full of clichés, and some of the love scenes  are so cheesy they are almost vomit-inducing; I know the book is silly but I love it anyway. It’s fun and it doesn’t take itself too seriously.

This doesn’t mean I want to be seen with it in public, though. I might get teased. So I go to great lengths to hide my guilty pleasure. I bury my trashy reads under a stack of prize-winning literature on my bedside table. I use the self-check machine so my library colleagues won’t know what I’m reading, looking around me to make sure nobody is watching before hastily stuffing it into my handbag. And if I can’t fit it into my handbag, I carry it in a way so people can’t see the cover or easily read the blurb on the back (why is it that these books always have covers that scream trash, so they can’t be mistaken for anything else?!)

Maybe I shouldn’t be so embarrassed about some of my reading choices. Maybe people won’t point and laugh at me like I fear they might if I opened one of my trashy reads on the bus or in the staff room; they may not even notice, or care. I’m not ready to take that risk yet, though…


Confession time:  Are there books you don’t want people to know you read? What are they?

13 thoughts on “Make mine extra fluffy

  1. Jenny 26 April 2010 / 2:57 pm

    You could always make a nice book cover to hide the trash! No more walks of shame 🙂

    For example:

    I read most of my trashy books electronically on my Sony Reader so my shame remains secret. Much less embarrassing than hauling out a Jilly Cooper or Jeffrey Archer on the bus!

  2. absolutelyobvious 26 April 2010 / 3:16 pm

    I read the De Vinci Code and loved it.

  3. absolutelyobvious 26 April 2010 / 3:32 pm

    Though (obviously) I’ve just admitted it, so I’m not that ashamed. Can’t tell you about the ones that I am really embarrassed about! (just kidding)

  4. all1s0n 26 April 2010 / 3:46 pm

    yes, Jenny is onto it. I just got back from Japan and absolutely everyone uses a book cover. Very sad for me because I wanted to see what people were reading 🙂 I’m sure the whole nation isn’t reading trash?!

  5. Joycie 26 April 2010 / 3:48 pm

    Oneder, I feel your shame! When I was at Edinburgh University I’d buy a copy of The Scotsmen newspaper to conceal my lovely, gossipy Hello magazine. A clever bit of flim-flam eh? I also remember hiding Lucy Walker Mills and Boons under my bed when I was 14

  6. onederccl 26 April 2010 / 4:33 pm

    Ha, I love the idea of the home-made book disguise, Jenny! If only I enjoyed sewing…anyone want to make me one? 😉

  7. Laraine 27 April 2010 / 7:40 am

    Long before Harry Potter came out I was reading children’s books in the bus, mostly fantasy–IF I could find any, that is. I didn’t give a hoot what other people thought. In fact, it probably didn’t occur to me anyone might be interested.

  8. Jane keenan 27 April 2010 / 3:22 pm

    Do we of dubious reading matter need a support group?

  9. Cather1ne 28 April 2010 / 8:43 pm

    I once had to read a Mills & Boon for my book group. I chose the dodgiest title possible and then put it on my husband’s library card to avoid the shame.

  10. joyciescotland 29 April 2010 / 12:55 pm

    I love Mills and Boon titles:
    Duty, desire and the desert king
    Pleasure, pregnancy and a proposition
    The rough and ready rancher (I kid you not!)

    I’d be proud to read these evocative titles on the No 20 bus.

    • mj 30 April 2010 / 12:40 pm

      Dodgy titles indeed …
      The Greek tycoon’s convenient bride
      Promoted– to wife and mother
      The brooding Frenchman’s proposal
      Oh-so-sensible secretary
      Hot Westmorland nights
      What comes first, the story or the title?

      • bronnypop 30 April 2010 / 3:32 pm

        Oy! Stop it! My in-laws live in Westmorland!

  11. Lynne 2 May 2010 / 3:20 pm

    I used to laugh at elderly ladies who would come into the library and ask for “nice” books “the ones without sex and violence, dear”. Now I find myself looking for these too; I have become my own grandmother.
    On the other hand, I try to read “worthy” books about serious subjects, but often have to give up because the subject matter is too depressing. I have become a moral wimp as well, it seems. And some “worthy” books are just a waste of time. Did anyone who read “The life of Pi” understand it or enjoy it. Apart from French intellectuals, that is.

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