The Next Best Book Club discussion

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message 1: by Michelle♥ (new)

Michelle♥ | 129 comments This may seem naive and perhaps a little judgmental of me, but does anyone ever feel embarrassed to be reading a certain book?

Let me expand on this...I have never been embarrassed to read, because I absolutely love it. But recently I was in a bookstore and I saw some books that I thought would be awesome to buy and read. So I picked them and was reading the back cover and I see another person, of the opposite sex, very masculine, start reading the exact same books in the aisle with me. At first I thought this was a joke, (just so you know they were the Sookie Stackhouse books) but he seriously just wanted to read the books. We began to talk about the books and he said he loves and can't get enough of them. Based on the conversation we had, it seemed like a genuine interest in those books.

Now, after this stint, I can't imagine how much teasing and joking he must get with all his guy "friends" and possibly other females. Picture this huge, muscular, deep voiced masculine man, who was straight as an arrow and kind of reminded me of Claude...but anyway, that kind of person reading Sookie.

I guess I have been embarrassed reading a book or two, but I think it was the setting I was in. Like I was reading Hiroshima: Memoirs and the book was in my bag and I don't know. I feel like people look at you funny. Or maybe even the ones that I love the most WWII and the Holocaust. Some people just flat ask out "why would you read something so depressing and that happened ages ago?" It's like how dense can you be?

But I don't think I have ever been truly embarrassed for reading. Just like an awkward situation here or there.

Does anyone else have a story to share where they felt ashamed, embarrassed, or weirded out by someone else or perhaps yourself reading a certain book? Or am I just being too judgmental? Excuse me if I am! I hate to make assumptions and I guess I literally did judge that guy by his cover and not his book. (I swear I'm not a bad person!)


message 2: by Eliza (new)

Eliza (Eliza_Morgan) | 151 comments I definitely experience book-shame. I always know it's bad when I can't post my "currently reading" because I'm too embarassed! I'll admit it...I'm reading Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea right now.

Also, if we're being honest, I do judge people for what they are reading. I judge popular fiction very harshly, and I especially hate Oprah's Book Club picks. I don't know why that is, because I do believe that ANY reading is a good thing. I just don't personally respect some books.

I do realize, though, that I am a hypocrite. I have a secret obsession with the Twilight series, but I keep it very, very secret.


message 3: by Beverly (new)

Beverly Taylor (goodreadscombeverlytaylor) | 2 comments I don't think I've ever seen a "trashy" novel listed on Oprah's Book Club. Back in the 80s, Jackie Collins was #1 on my list (she and Sidney Sheldon). I saw her a few weeks ago on Wendy Williams show promoting her new novel.


message 4: by Ashley (new)

Ashley (Affie) | 371 comments I totally know what you mean! When I lived in Washington DC, there were some books I wouldn't take on the Metro with me, because I didn't want people to judge me for reading them! I try not to do it too much, but you can't really avoid that initial first impression- It's just kinda there!
I was reading a book recommended to me by someone that I know called Going Bovine. It's a YA book about a boy who is diagnosed with the human version of Mad Cow Disease and his experienes with that as he realizes he is going to die. The cover photo is a cow on two legs holding a garden gnome. I am sitting next to a middle-aged professional looking man on my way home. The narrator of the book (Cameron, I think) has a really funny voice, so I laughed out loud at one point (on the Metro, that's bad enough...) So, he asks what I'm reading... Try explaining that one...


message 5: by Jess (new)

Jess (jessilouwho22) I generally don't believe in being embarrassed by what I read, but on the occasion, I have been a bit embarrassed by liking certain books. I always defend myself, but I still feel a bit goofy. Prime example: Twilight--I thought the writing was crap, but I was hooked on the story, so when I can't put a book down, to me that's a good book. But to risk going off on a rant (lol), that's the only thing I ever get embarrassed about.


message 6: by MissJessie (new)

MissJessie | 1282 comments "Judge not lest ye be judged" is what I aim for--what I succeed with is another matter.

I have discovered that book covers work REALLY well in public places......


message 7: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 310 comments I have had "secret books" in the past, books that just get marked read when I'm done, never "currently reading". Mainly the Sleeping Beauty trilogy by Ann Rice. Trashy fun, but strictly for home reading because all my covers seem to have naked ladies on them.


message 8: by Adrienne (last edited Jun 05, 2010 01:52PM) (new)

Adrienne (A-Town) | 308 comments I fell in love with Ella Enchanted and I have read it at least twenty times (probably not exaggerating). I always feel embarrassed about reading it because it is so girly and romantic, but I still love it anyway. I'm known among my friends to ridicule almost evreything having to with romance so this is the one thing that I can't tell them about. shhhhh. ;) I often don't judge people on what they read though, or at least I try not to. Sometime I feel like I judge people reading pulp fiction or romance novels a lot harsher than I judge others though. I really try not to though because some of my friends really enjoy those books.


message 9: by Mary (new)

Mary (madamefifi) | 358 comments The bookcases in the living room--the very first room you come to when you walk into my house--are chock-full of "important" books--prize-winners, nonfiction, or what I would consider "serious" literature. I admit that this is on purpose. Downstairs, on the other hand, are the bookshelves with the complete works of Stephen King, Jonathan Kellerman, and Douglas Preston/Lincoln Child, among many, many others.

On the other other hand, I have rarely been carrying any book in my bag that I was embarrassed to whip out and read while standing in a queue. Hey--at least I'm reading.


message 10: by Liz (new)

Liz (arcanepenguin) | 285 comments The bookcases in the living room--the very first room you come to when you walk into my house--are chock-full of "important" books--prize-winners, nonfiction, or what I would consider "serious" literature. I admit that this is on purpose.

I don't know if this is funny or not, but I'm actually trying to figure out how many bookshelves to buy for my next place and where to put them on this same system.


message 11: by M. (new)

M. Clifford (MCliffordAuthor) | 31 comments I think it's so funny when I see people (usually guys!) on the el or subway reading books you can tell they're embarrassed to be reading. You can always tell because if they're hard cover, they'll take the paper cover off and just have the linen binding showing --- but you can always spot the Harry Potter readers because of those special little stars at the top of each page! :) LOL


message 12: by Kaion (last edited Jul 14, 2010 12:39AM) (new)

Kaion (kaionvin) If I'm enjoying the book, then hells no I'm not shamed. Good is good, genre or not.

I am however, embarrassed if I happen to be hating it. How will I answer if someone asks me about it? "Yeah, I like wasting my free time with books that probably won't take a right turn into good any time soon", or "You know, it's not like there's anything more important or interesting going on in my life"?

I'm not prudish or ordinarily embarrassed by sexual stuff. But, I took The Captain's Verses on vacation last year and it's just so personal and visceral. It felt almost voyeuristic reading it in public... I admit I sometimes felt a little paranoid before I reminded myself that the people probably didn't care/couldn't tell.


message 13: by Alex (new)

Alex We got into a discussion about ttyl a while back and someone dared me to read it, and I was like hell no because a) it sounds terrible, and b) what would you think if you saw a 35-year-old dude reading that on the subway?

And I was a little self-conscious about Heart of Darkness.


message 14: by Sue (new)

Sue | 168 comments I'm never self-conscious about what books I carry around with me. I carry books proudly and figure the more I carry a book around the more people will see the book and think of reading and go get a book themselves - well you see the circular logic by now I think. Except I have been totally embarrassed a time or two when I've bumped into someone while walking and reading. But, embarrassed by the book? never!


message 15: by Julie (new)

Julie (readerjules) M. wrote: "I think it's so funny when I see people (usually guys!) on the el or subway reading books you can tell they're embarrassed to be reading. You can always tell because if they're hard cover, they'll take the paper cover off and just have the linen binding showing
I always take the cover off when I am reading a hardcover (unless its from the library and taped on). Not because I don't want anyone to see what I am reading but because it is annoying to have it on. It always seems to slip and move around.


message 16: by F1Wild (new)

F1Wild | 484 comments Eliza wrote: "I'm reading Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea right now."

How is/was it, Eliza? I've noticed her Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang on the BS list, but have no idea what her books are like.


message 17: by F1Wild (new)

F1Wild | 484 comments Thank goodness for my Kindle - for I may be sitting in a doctor's waiting room reading The Wall Street Journal, a best seller or porn for dental hygienists (is there such a thing?) and no one will ever know, but me!! ;-)))


message 18: by Judi/Judith (last edited Jul 18, 2010 10:48AM) (new)

Judi/Judith Riddle (judipatooti) Julie wrote: "M. wrote: "I think it's so funny when I see people (usually guys!) on the el or subway reading books you can tell they're embarrassed to be reading. You can always tell because if they're hard cov..."

I also take the cover off because of the same reasons. My daughter does too. We have similar reading tastes and we are always swapping books. Our conversations go something like this when we are returning. "Have you got the cover?" No, you must have the cover." "I can't find the cover so you must have it."

One time we absolutely never found the cover to some new book for about 2 or 3 months. We both decided that it was permanently lost. One day I gave my daughter a plastic bag filled with magazines and she was looking through them and guess what she found...The cover! Ha Ha Hee


message 19: by Emily (new)

Emily  O (ReadingWhileFemale) | 142 comments I've never read a book in public that I've been embarrassed to read, though I did get some funny looks when I was reading Cunt: A Declaration of Independence in the dining hall. And I was a little embarrassed to be seen carrying V for Vendetta (good), Watchmen (gag), and Stardust (eh) out of the library.

To be honest, I have accidentally judged strangers on what they're reading before. I felt bad about it afterward, but when I see something like Twilight or the Left Behind series it's pretty hard not to, just for a split second. Then I remember what stupid stuff I've read when I was bored, and I try to stop.


message 20: by Shay (new)

Shay | 62 comments I never feel embarrassed, and I do read a lot of what most people would consider "garbage". I read a lot of cozy mysteries. My mother used to say that it was better to read crap than to watch it.

I think that I probably read more non-fiction, classics, "real" literature than most people do. (I read about 700-900 books a year.)


message 21: by Eliza (new)

Eliza (Eliza_Morgan) | 151 comments F1Wild- Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea was terrible. I seriously hated it. If you are in the mood for comedic biography, go with The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee by Sarah Silverman. Talk about being embarrassed by a book...I had to call the library to find out when my book, THE BEDWETTER, was available.


message 22: by Lisa S (new)

Lisa S (kasey_k_fan) Nope, I've never been embarrassed.


message 23: by F1Wild (new)

F1Wild | 484 comments Eliza wrote: "F1Wild- Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea was terrible. I seriously hated it. If you are in the mood for comedic biography, go with [book:The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redem..."

Haha - I wondered why Chelsea's books were on the 10 book lists...maybe we are just needing more comedic books to challenge hers?


message 24: by Andreea (last edited Aug 03, 2010 01:22AM) (new)

Andreea (andyyy) | 117 comments I once saw a middle aged man reading a Mickey Mouse magazine on the train. He probably bought it for his kids and ended up reading it out of boredom or something of that sort, but it made me smile so much. People who read mysteries and Harlequin romances make me smile a lot too. I just picture them as super-romantic book characters who live in cosy little apartments above used books stores, day dream all the time, drink loads of tea and have at least five cats.

I dunno, the only possibly embarrassing books that I've read were Doctor Who novels, but I'd love it if somebody saw me reading and then came up at me and started a geeky conversation about sci-fi books/tv shows. Oh and this one time I was reading Leonardo's Judas (awesome book, by the way) on the train and a random middle aged guy (who I suppose was really religious) assumed that it was something along the lines of The Da Vinci Code and gave me a lecture on God and the nature of sin. It was really odd.


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Books mentioned in this topic

Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea (other topics)
The Captain's Verses (Los versos del capitan) (other topics)
Heart of Darkness (other topics)
ttyl (other topics)
Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang (other topics)
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