Last week, Dan wrote about vanity reads, but I’d like to talk about the opposite side of the coin. Have you ever found yourself reading a book that you were a little embarrassed to find yourself reading? Maybe even becoming so interested in the story that you added your name to the hold list and waited anxiously for the next book in the series (these books always come in a series) to arrive?
Yeah, me too. I’ve always been a voracious reader, and I do love a highfalutin literary classic, but sometimes your mind needs a break! Several years ago, I was browsing the fiction section of the First Floor New and Featured department when I came across a book that looked so out of my reading realm that I’m still not sure what possessed me to pick it up- vampires, the rural south, and mind-reading waitresses were definitely not interests of mine. But for whatever reason, I started reading Dead Until Dark and I was hooked! I found myself defending the story and characters in my mind, against imaginary critics. I angled the cover away from people on the bus. And of course, I waited anxiously for each new installment in the series. In the days before True Blood, there was never a very long wait after each new publication. Then supernatural fiction exploded, Twilight happened, and suddenly it was very easy to find fellow fans of the genre.
My latest “secret shame” is a series that includes elements of historical fiction, time travel, romance, 18th century Scottish men in kilts, and a plucky WWII nurse. It may not be a vanity read, but it’s definitely compelling! Of course, the fact that these “embarrassing” reads are so often on the bestseller list and frequently have hold lists that number in the hundreds shows that I’m not the only one enjoying these books. So what’s your secret shame? Have you read any books in a genre that you thought you’d never enjoy?