guilty pleasure reads

Reasons Why I love a Good Guilty Pleasure Read

May 18, 2020 34 Comments

What does the term “guilty pleasure read” mean to you? I feel like to each of us, this means something different. To some readers it seems to have a bad connotation, and to others, it feels like the “right” kind of read to boast any mood. In the past, I feel like when I’ve referred to something as a guilty pleasure read, it’s taken the wrong way, or I’ve seen debates on other social media platforms about the term. Either way, it seems a good day to clear up what the term means to me as a reader.

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Of course, like anything the below reasons are subjective, but here’s some of my observations and what the term means to me.

Reasons Why I love a Good Guilty Pleasure Read. Talking about how I define the term and a *FEW* of my favorite reads in the category. Text © Rissi JC

Guilty Pleasure Reads As Defines Something to be “Ashamed” Of

In my experience, this is the number one defining term I seem to see. It’s almost as if those who read something like a “bodice ripper” or something they wouldn’t want their mother to know they read is how they define the term. This is perhaps the truest definition of the term, but in my mind, this isn’t how I would use the popular term.

Guilty Pleasure Reads As Defined by Wikipedia…

A guilty pleasure is something, such as a film, a television program or a piece of music, that one enjoys despite understanding that it is not generally held in high regard, or is seen as unusual or weird.

See, me and this definition don’t exactly see eye to eye. Although the line about something not being in “high regard” does apply to some of my favorite reads which I define as guilty pleasure enjoyment.

Guilty Pleasure Reads Mean to Me…

To me, this term – while in some sense the whole unpopular scenario does apply in part, means a story that makes me really happy. These are the kinds of books that I can pick up to read at night and not have to engage my mind to figure out who’s who, or keep track of complicated historical facts.  

Guilty Pleasure Reading: Why I Like It

This is precisely why I like “guilty pleasure” reads; it’s because of their ability to entertain and keep me invested in their respective stories. It’s for this reason that I like them so.

Guilty Pleasure Reading: A Few of My Favorites

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Some of the books (or more like tropes/genres) that I pin with this tag include The Selection (Kiera Cass); Nicholas Sparks books; Kasie West books; marriage of convenience and fake dating tropes; anything that’s a good contemporary romcom with a light heart; and young adult books that are not targeted to my age bracket. But what are you going to do? The reader heart wants to enjoy fun reads.


What about you? How would you define a ‘guilty pleasure read’? How would you define your version of other popular reader terms? Do you agree or disagree with these points? Comment all of your thoughts down in the comment section.

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Reasons Why I love a Good Guilty Pleasure Read. Talking about how I define the term and a *FEW* of my favorite reads in the category. Text © Rissi JC
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Linking up with That Artsy Reader Girl and Top Ten Tuesday May 19:  Reasons Why I Love [insert your favorite book title, genre, author, etc. here] *Reasons Why I Enjoy Guilty Pleasure Reads

About Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

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34 Comments

  • Dedra @ A Book Wanderer May 18, 2020 at 9:32 pm

    Great topic! I would say my definition agrees with yours. It’s something I enjoying reading, that I don’t have to think too hard about, but it may or may not be held in high regard. I think I’ve labeled Twilight and The Darkfever series as guilty pleasures. :)

    Dedra @ A Book Wanderer recently posted: Bookish News to Smile About
    • Rissi JC May 18, 2020 at 9:49 pm

      Ooo! Yes. I feel like “Twilight” would 100% be in this camp for me, but I never did read it all those years ago. :) ‘Darkfever’ is one that sounds familiar. Thanks so much the visit, Dedra.

  • Michelle @ Pink Polka Dot Books May 18, 2020 at 9:44 pm

    I love my guilty pleasure books!! I define them as Sara Shepard books or books like hers (like The Thousandth Floor, Ally Carter books, Gretchen McNeil books). I guess I call those my guilty pleasure books because they’re the kind of books that are pure fun and don’t go too deep. Plus, they’re kind of young for me. But even though I don’t go around telling everyone that I’m reading those books, I still really love them.

    • Rissi JC May 18, 2020 at 9:52 pm

      Ah, yes! I read “The Thousandth Floor.” I was disappointed in certain aspects, but can totally see that one being a guilty pleasure read – and I’d love to read some of Ally Carter’s books, too. I agree with your definition. Books that don’t require me to think are always favorites. :) Appreciate your visit, Michelle.

  • Anne@HeadFullofBooks May 18, 2020 at 11:23 pm

    I love this post. So honest yet factual. My TTT list today>

  • Greg May 19, 2020 at 1:16 am

    I like how you defined this. For me it’s very similar a lot of times- a guilty pleasure read can be something that just is comforting, like comfort food haha, or something that I don’t have to think too hard about maybe. Depending on my mood. Or at times it might be something that I don’t read a lot of anymore, a certain genre, and when I find a really good one it just feels awesome. :)

    • Rissi JC June 2, 2020 at 1:00 pm

      YES! Great way to say this; it does (for me) equate to a comforting read. :) I just enjoy these types of reads when I don’t want to be challenged with complications. Appreciate your visit.

  • Brooke Lorren May 19, 2020 at 2:00 am

    You have a decent definition. I would define it as a book I shouldn’t be reading because it promotes evil or something (like the Satanic Bible). Otherwise a book is a book and why would you feel guilty to read it?

    Brooke Lorren recently posted: Reasons Why I Love YA
    • Rissi JC June 2, 2020 at 1:01 pm

      Despite its title, I don’t feel “guilty” about reading those I define as this, but my definition is definitely a book that makes me feel happy, without asking me to overthink anything. :) Thanks so much for the visit, Brooke.

  • Marion @ tirilu May 19, 2020 at 3:08 am

    That’s a great post. I don’t really have guilty pleasure reads per se, or at least I cannot think of one at the moment, but you definitely describe the feeling I have when I watch the occasional Hallmark movie, perfectly. :)

    My TTT post

    • Rissi JC June 2, 2020 at 1:02 pm

      I watch WAY too many Hallmark movies. ;) They’re some of my favorites. Thanks so much for visiting, Marion.

  • An @ Traversing Chapters May 19, 2020 at 6:21 am

    You have a great definition. Personally, I don’t like the term “guilty pleasure”, because it implies we should feel ashamed for liking it. Although I have to confess there have been times that I was glad to be reading a bodice ripper as an ebook so people on the train wouldn’t see what I was reading… :)

    My TTT: https://www.traversingchapters.com/top-ten-tuesday-ten-reasons-why-i-love-fantasy/

    • Rissi JC June 2, 2020 at 1:02 pm

      LOL, I’ve heard people say this as well, An. Good thing we have e-readers now, right!? :) Appreciate your visit.

  • Lydia May 19, 2020 at 6:38 am

    Everyone needs a good guilty pleasure read sometimes. :)

    My TTT .

    • Rissi JC June 2, 2020 at 1:03 pm

      Right? 100% agree, Lydia. :)

  • Jess @ Jessticulates May 19, 2020 at 8:10 am

    Great topic choice! I tend to disagree with the term ‘guilty pleasure’ – I don’t believe in them. If something brings us joy then we should celebrate it, whether it’s held in high regard or not, and if someone else doesn’t like a book that brings someone else a lot of happiness then all they have to do is not read it. =)

    • Rissi JC June 2, 2020 at 1:03 pm

      True that; I don’t feel “guilty” about the books I define as “guilty pleasure,” but I like to use it in the way I define it, which is books that don’t ask me to overthink. :D Thanks for the visit, Jess.

  • Jo May 19, 2020 at 8:14 am

    I don’t really like the term guilty pleasure in general, as I feel like if you love something, as long as the thing you love isn’t hurting anyone else then you shouldn’t feel guilty about it. I did a whole discussion post about it a while back, but if you are going to define a guilty pleasure as something, I reckon your definition is pretty good.

    Jo recently posted: Top Ten Tuesday #264
    • Rissi JC June 2, 2020 at 1:06 pm

      Thanks for sharing, Jo. I don’t feel “guilty” about the books I define as this, but it is a term I use to describe the books that don’t ask me to overthink anything – and I love it! :)

  • Alicia @ A Kernel of Nonsense May 19, 2020 at 9:57 am

    I think there are a lot of issues with the idea of a guilty pleasure. Romance novels for example have been labeled a guilty pleasure, but I think it has less to do with its contents and more to do with people’s perception of the genre. I like the way you define it and I would probably call those more comfort reads than guilty pleasures. It’s just a place that makes you happy with no strings attached and we should all have those places to seek refuge in.

    • Rissi JC June 2, 2020 at 1:13 pm

      Well said, Alicia. I’d agree, sometimes it’s all in the perception. I would agree also with your definition of “comfort reads,” that fits very well. I don’t feel “guilty” about the books I define as such, it’s just a buzzy term that I suppose I’ve used because of its popularity. :) Thanks for adding your thoughts – they’re so well stated. :)

  • Dini @ dinipandareads May 19, 2020 at 10:17 am

    I totally agree with your definition of guilty pleasure. It definitely has that negative connotation but I don’t see it that way at all. It’s just something that I love to indulge in and something that brings me comfort and joy :)

    • Rissi JC June 2, 2020 at 1:13 pm

      YES! Gotta’ love those reads we can indulge in and enjoy even if they aren’t the most popular. :)

  • Deanna @ A Novel Glimpse May 19, 2020 at 10:58 am

    I love a good “guilty pleasure” read. I think most of my reads could be categorized this way.

    • Rissi JC June 2, 2020 at 1:14 pm

      Nothing wrong with this; I love to read all the “guilty” kind of reads too. Not the biggest fan of books that ask me to overthink. ;)

  • Louise @ Monstrumology May 19, 2020 at 11:29 am

    I personally don’t agree with the usual definition of “guilty pleasure” because there’s nothing to be ashamed of when liking something, but I do agree with your definition. If it makes you happy then there’s nothing really wrong with it :)

    Louise @ Monstrumology recently posted: Why I Love Monsters
    • Rissi JC June 2, 2020 at 1:20 pm

      I don’t either, but I use it to categorize those books that don’t ask my brain to overthink something. ;) Those are my favorite “wind down” kind of reads. Appreciate your visit, Louise.

  • Poinsettia May 19, 2020 at 4:01 pm

    I like your definition of a guilty pleasure much better than how people typically think about guilty pleasures! Here is my Top Ten Tuesday.

    • Rissi JC June 2, 2020 at 1:20 pm

      Thanks! It was fun to think about and put together. :)

  • Aj @ Read All The Things! May 19, 2020 at 7:58 pm

    I see no problem with guilty pleasure reading. I define it as a book I have fun reading, but I know that my college professors would hate. :)

    • Rissi JC June 2, 2020 at 1:23 pm

      LOL, this is so true! Our “guilty pleasure” reading isn’t likely what scholars would agree with. :)

  • Lindsey @ Lindsey Reads May 23, 2020 at 7:17 am

    Great post! I don’t normally like the term guilty pleasure, as like in the first two definitions you mention, it implies you should feel guilty about something because it’s considered not good enough by others, but I do like your definition! And following your definition, I definitely also love lighthearted rom-coms like Kasie West writes!

    • Rissi JC May 30, 2020 at 1:23 pm

      YES! All about the lighthearted rom-coms, Lindsey. I love them. Have you read any good ones lately? Glad to meet someone else who has a different definition of “guilty pleasure.” As always, glad to have you visit!

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