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On Guilty Pleasures…
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On Guilty Pleasures…

I will admit that I am a snob when it comes to books.  I am much more likely to pick up a non-fiction book about some obscure science or history subject than I am to grab the new HOT fiction book;  about once a year I get into a mood for fiction, and I plow through a few notable titles and then settle right back down.  I don’t even remember the last time I read a mass market paperback… I don’t get into genre fiction that much.  Of course, I won’t say never because… well, I have been reading genre fiction over the past week.  Oh my gosh.

Back in September, I got kind of addicted to the new HBO show, True Blood.  It is about vampires and supernatural creatures and this barmaid named Sookie, all of them co-habitating in rural Louisiana.  I followed it each week and even spent some spare time speculating about the show (who is the killer?  what clues were in the previous episodes?)  Luckily, I was not the only one who was doing this, and I found a great community on Ravelry (Knit One, Dead Too) who was into the show too.  Each week we discussed episodes, and I found out that the TV show was based on a series of books.  Click. My birthday came around, and so did a gift certificate, and a few days later, I got the Sookie Stackhouse Boxed Set on my doorstep.  I waited patiently to start – the season finale of the show went off, and as the credits were rolling, I picked up the books…

I read all seven books in 4 days – Thanksgiving break.  When I entered the book store on Sunday night to find Book 8 (after reading all the rest in a marathon reading session) I felt like a strung-out drug addict looking for my next fix.  I stumbled into the Mystery/Fantasy section and there it was.  Waiting for me.  Luckily, it was in stock (they are bestsellers right now) and I had a coupon.  Sweet. (Photos above are me pouring over Book 8, From Dead to Worse – yes, see my wide-eyed enthusiasm and my dropped jaw?  I was into it…)   I had a small twinge of regret that I had read through them sooo quickly and here I was now purchasing the latest book in the series; setting myself up to wait until Book 9 is released in May 2009.  A whole six months?  And even longer before Season 2 of the show…  I guess this means I will have to get back to my science and history books… and wait wait wait… at least Thomas Friedmanand Malcolm Gladwell have some new books out too…

Lolly meets her guilty pleasure – who knew it would come in the form of vampire books?

…The irony of a peace-loving vegan addicted to vampire books is not lost on me…

No, I haven’t read Twilight yet.  (YET is the operative word there…) I did see the movie last weekend and I liked it… and now I am planning to read the books.  I have heard very mixed reviews, but at this point, I am pretty resigned to the fact that I have to read them because I just want to KNOW.  A co-worker said that she can give me her 13-year-old daughter’s copies.  Ha, yep, that’s me.  Reading what the 7th graders read :)   but I figure I am not the only one.  There is a reason these books are flying off the shelves, and it is not just tweens and teens reading them!

Hey, everyone’s got one (a few?) guilty pleasure, right?  I figure that if my diet precludes me from eating sweets and rotting my teeth, I can read vampire books that rot my brain…  I have a million justifications for my actions, but honestly, I don’t know why I care so much.  I read them because they are fun.  That is enough.

So, leave me a comment and tell me your guilty pleasure – however stupid or silly or frivolous it is.  I will pick a number and send you a skein of this lovely fingering weight yarn – Crash In to Ewe Jewel Collection.  Great orangey yellow with a real silver thread running through it.  Shiny!  sparkly!  glittery! just like Edward…

255 Responses

  1. KimW

    Well, I work from home as a translator, so I am on the computer most of the day, and then my daughters need it for homework after school, so that means I end up feeling a little guilty about the pleasure I derive from checking my favorite knit blogs. Even when there is a deadline staring me right in the face, I can’t help clicking around to check on everyone’s progress on their many amazing projects and beautiful photographs. I have to draw the line at logging in to Ravelry — I save that for weekends!

  2. Mandy

    I completely enjoyed the Traveling Pants books for young adults. I also love all movies about high school, which is funny because I was never that fond of high school while I was there. And I love any cheesy romantic comedy!!

  3. Genny

    The Lord of the Rings trilogy on DVD. I love the book, don’t get me wrong, but if I’m having a bad day/week/whatever, I stick one in the DVD player and watch. I know them by heart now, and often won’t even watch except for the best bits – this makes them perfect for knitting too!

    Although I feel guiltier about my preference for rereading old favourites instead of finding new books when it comes to fiction.

  4. Kathy

    Magazines! I love a chance to sit around and read magazines. Not serious newsy ones, but ones full of pretty pictures. I like Vanity Fair, Vogue, Bark, and all the cooking ones: Gourmet, Bon Appetite, Rachael Ray. Of course I love the knitting magazines too. I figure I am serious enough at work that my free time needs to be entertaining.

  5. Pam

    There are certain authors I won’t spend more than 25 cents on since I finish the book in 3 hours, can’t retain the plot much longer than that and know they’ll be turned in to the used bookstore quickly. Dean Koontz in the primary example but some of the mystery/romance authors fit too. I always assumed Nora Roberts would be one of those but recently got my hands on the Three Sisters trilogy and read them all in 2 days. Then I had to get the Key trilogy and the same thing happened. I’m embarrassed to bring them out in public but I can’t put them down in the house.

  6. Aine

    My guilty pleasure is American Idol. My family and I have attended the tour concerts for four years running, and we wait around for autographs. We do the same for So You Think You Can Dance.

    So… reality talent shows!

  7. Shirley

    Hey Lolly, first off, I love the pics of you reading! With all these comments, I don’t know if you’ll get to this one, but I felt compelled given the timely harmonic convergence of my actual and virtual lives. I just read the first Twilight book and had been considering reading the Sookie books since I, too, loved True Blood on HBO. Your post has sealed the deal :-) (I did enjoy Twilight and plan on reading the rest of the series.)

    I have to say, I don’t really believe in guilty pleasures, or maybe it’s that I don’t believe enough in guilt to give up any of the things I do which bring me so much pleasure. But, if I had to choose something, lately, it is continuing to buy “just one more skein” of yarn when I told myself I was done buying for 2008 earlier this fall.

  8. mel

    Great post :)

    I am snobby about movies and tv (which we don’t have, so our tv shows come from itunes or belated rentals) and my guilty pleasure of the last year (uh, two actually) is Prison Break. I say it and then turn red! I watch every episode, knowing the other shoe will drop and just waiting for it to happen, it’s a great escape. With great character actors (which I think is a big draw… justification, justification….) ;)

  9. Theresa

    I loved the pics of you reading, they really reminded me of myself when I’m really into a book. I have to say that my latest guilty pleasure was the Twilight series. A friend loaned me one a week. I’d start reading the second I got my hands on the book and keep going until I was done. (Luckily I was getting them right before the weekend each week.) I’m not sure I really stopped to eat, I know I gave up sleep and I don’t think I did any cleaning until I was through the book I had. They may be “teen” novels, but it is easy to get really into the characters (whether or not you agree with them). About the only thing that didn’t suffer was my knitting because I learned how to hold the book open and read while knitting…

  10. Natalie

    I have lots of favorite pleasures, but a guilty one for me is reality TV: Project Runway and So You Think You Can Dance (sadly, it causes me to stop knitting long enough to watch the dance numbers).

  11. Leah

    Of course we all have guilty pleasures, and I’ve had (have?) so many, I should be ashamed of myself. But, I think I can narrow this down to two — sugar cookies from Potbelly Sandwiches (think sugar held together with butter and a touch of flour), and practically any reality show that comes on Bravo. Until I got FiOS television last fall, I couldn’t imagine how addictive it is; now I mark the seasons with each show. Just finishing up The Real Housewives of Atlanta (just to see if I could relate to any of them) and now it’s on to Top Chef.

    I should be knitting, my Christmas list keeps growing.

  12. GeekKnitter

    What wonderful reading pictures! Your chair looks so comfy. I think my face must have looked like that while I was reading the latest Charles de Lindt book last month. :)

    Hmm, guilty pleasures… Action movies, the more improbable the better. Plot? Definitely optional. Gimme hot actors, car chases, shoot-outs and gratuitous explosions, I’m your girl!

    Love your blog, by the way.

  13. Kimber

    I am a HUGE fan of the creepy, supernatural and sinister and your post made me giggle. I just pulled a “read in one sitting” (3 hours actually- I devoured it with utter gluttony!) the first book in the Sookie Stackhouse series so I know how you feel about them! The only thing preventing me from buying the whole lot and shutting myself in my room and reading them in one big marathon is that I have two small children that need me!

    I also am resisting “Twighlight” as well…. but I am feeling myself getting weaker and weaker and w….e…..a…..k…..e…………………………r……………………..


  14. Kim

    Have you read Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles? And if it’s the series thing that attracts you there’s always the Aubrey/Maturin series by Patrick O’Brian. That’s 20 of the best books about the British navy during the Napoleonic Wars that you’ll ever read.

  15. Baby Sarah

    mmm…the person that said the peppermint bark was so on target with me. I love peppermint bark. I just had a piece in the car!

    I also love to read and sue grafton appeals to my need to do things orderly by setting up a series of crime fiction from A-Z: simply genius. I also love James Patterson because his chapters are so short- which begs the question, do I really enjoy reading if I like him because he has short chapters?:)
    Like my mother, I also admit to being very intrigued by criminals. I am not talking Bonnie & Clyde robbers- I am talking Jack the Ripper, Ted Bundy, Wayne Gacy criminals. In other words, disgusting gruesome criminals. But I don’t tell people that because it is a little creepy and they start thinking I have gotten some ideas from my readings…and maybe I have? shhh…:)

  16. Jessica Kaufman

    Ok, this is perfect because I just recently rediscovered a guilty pleasure from long ago: reading magazines for free, standing up, with my luggage pooled around my feet in the newstands at airports. Layovers be damned–the longer the better–and of course I *should* be spending all that lovely time knitting or having a Smiegel-like argument with myself over Cinnabon, but I just cannot resist the glossy covers. Especially if they feature Jennifer Connelly or Kate Winslet, my magazine faves. They just always sound way smarter than the rest of the magazine put together, sort of like their words are reaching out and bitch-slapping the models on the pages facing them. So yeah, my guilty pleasure is standing like a zombie with too many carry-ons and reading on the cheap.

    Note: I do not do this in grocery stores… that often.

  17. Kristyn

    I LOVE brain candy books – epsecially in the summer. In the past couple of years I have read Danielle Steel, knitting mysteries and mysteries starring an amateur geneologist.

  18. Kassia

    LOL I just started the Twilight books!! It’s my guilty pleasure of the moment. :)

    Oh and Reese’s peanut butter (insert holiday of choice here)….currently their Christmas trees. Hoping no one finds out how many I’ve *really* eaten. LOL. :D

  19. Misty

    I guess my guilty pleasure would be watching silly chick flicks / teen movies. I recently watched The Prince and Me (with Julia Stiles) and really enjoyed it. I can’t wait until The Duchess comes out on DVD too.

    Another pleasure, though its by no means guilty, is watching entire television series on DVD, like The Sopranos, Rome, The Tudors, etc. I love being able to watch it all at once and not having to wait each week. And I don’t get the movie channels that run them.

    I love series books too. I second Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, and her witch series too. I’m a little saddened that she’s left them behind for the story of Jesus, but I’m a loyal fan and will read those books as well. I loved Philipa Gregory’s books about the Tudor era. And I loved Diane Gabaldon’s Outlander series.

    I guess I just can’t let go of a story! I’m definitely looking into the Sookie Stackhouse series now.

  20. mai

    seven books in four days!? my goodness!!! i really need to watch true blood, but we don’t subscribe to HBO anymore. sad, because i also miss entourage.

    i just bought the first two twilight books (twilight and new moon), but haven’t read them yet. i am a sucker for all movies with vampires or werewolves, so i’m sure i’ll enjoy them!! i love tween books :)

    no need to include me in the yarn drawing – i’m on a diet – but i have several guilty pleasures. one would be watching bad tv (like gossip girl) and tween movies (think she’s the man, what a girl wants, the parent trap, etc).

  21. Mona

    My ‘guilty’ pleasure at the moment is stealing a couple of minutes to knit when my daughter is asleep – instead of doing house work or even ‘real’ work.

    I stumbled across the True Blood books last year – at first I wasn’t convinced, but then I had to read all that I could get. I think I read five of them. Now there’s practically no chance of me reading any book any time soon. It’d probably take me months.

  22. woolcat

    I watched the last season of America’s Next Top Model.


    It was actually pretty fascinating, for the actual insights into the fashion industry, but with all the silly teenage cattiness that went on I’m rather ashamed of having watched the whole thing!

    My other guilty pleasure, although this one I’m not at all ashamed of, is that I love Abba and am often known to dance around the living room to Mamma Mia or something like it.

    I’m also a devourer of books, preferably in one sitting, or at least I was before I had my daughter – funnily enough when I met my birth mother this year I found this was a thing we had in common. We’re like Anne of Green Gables and will read almost anything.

  23. Jessica

    I love crappy reality shows. Especially ‘Rock of Love’. I just can’t help myself. I eagerly look forward to every episode. At least I got my roommate hooked too so I’m not alone in my obsession.

  24. Christy

    haha. you’re the flip of me. I’ve been a bit over-obsessed with Twilight lately (finally got the first book on audio in late Oct, listened to the whole series, saw the movie, and am now reading the real books).

    I want to read the Sookie Stackhouse ones, but haven’t gotten there yet.

    I’ve always preferred my fiction to come in series – and I hate when the series ends! and if I like it, I’m bound to reread the series many times.

  25. heather

    um…..reading blogs at work :) also the outlander series by diana gabaldon, which has great historical details (scottish 16th century), but then also these embarrassingly detailed make out/sex scenes which i skip, which make it hard for me to recommend the series to anyone. although now i have i guess.

  26. Sarah

    Wow, so many comments! I admit I didn’t read any of them – I guess your question just begged for responses. First, I kind of hate that we call reading some books “guilty pleasures”. No one should feel guilty for reading! I used to feel that way until recently, until I realized that I read for the downright pleasure of it. So, if I’m happy while reading, I don’t feel guilty. I haven’t read the Twilight books either, and wasn’t going to, based on my mom-the-children’s-librarian’s review. But, now one of my friends is reading them and LOVES them. So, like you, I just want to know.

    Be happy reading whatever you want!

  27. Mikaiya

    Ah, the Twilight bug bit me hard. I read the first two in the matter of a day… and then paused. It was like I needed to digest. Started reading book 3 the other day, and was almost in tears this morning- I got on a metro car that didn’t have any LIGHTS, so my ride from Ballston to Foggy Bottom was a waste of at least 20 minutes of reading time.

    They are insanely addictive. Not much substance to them, but they’re still crazily engrossing.

    Silly YA fiction and comic books are definitely my guilty pleasure- they’re what helped me survive grad school as a Victorianist. Now that I work full-time, they’re still a great antidote to the workaday world. I like the Artemis Fowl books, too, if you’re jumping into the world of YA.

  28. stacey

    Okay, I am pretty sure I will win this prize;) I’ll tell you why – I have read Twilight and turned no less than two people onto the series so far, working on #3 right now if I can part with the books again. I took the afternoon off to see the movie premier with my two vamp cohorts. Then I have found myself addicted to True Blood (after trying hard to ignore it) and subsequently one of my Twilight converts bought the whole Sookie set and I am on book 5 right now. AND I am generally more of a book snob for sure – I feel like I have my hand in the cookie jar reading these “silly” books – and I love them! I’m feeling giddy! :)

  29. Lauren

    I am addicted to the Twilight series!!! It’s like a disease. I will tell you, I definitely felt ridiculous buying something from the Teen section of the bookstore when I bought the first one, but my sister (who is 29) convinced me. Now, I cannot stop reading them!!

    Thanks for the recommendation for the Sookie Stackhouse books, I will definitely be getting into those once I’m finished Breaking Dawn.

    And yum, Robert Pattinson as Edward… can I get a witness?

    I have too many guilty pleasures to speak of… How about Survivor? I have watched every season …

  30. gleek

    whoa, lots of comments.. i don’t think that i can add much to this conversation except to say that i’m right there with ya :) i’m on the verge of reading the twilight series and almost watching “true blood” because PEOPLE WON’T STOP TALKING ABOUT THEM! ha, i’m a sucker for bandwagons.

  31. Lee

    When I saw that skein on the screen I almost reached to grab it! If it’s that lovely virtually, what must it be like in rl? Empty fingers want to know.

  32. Elinor

    My guilty pleasure is Silk Coffee Soy. When my mom and/or I go to Whole Foods and find it in the aisle, we tend to buy all ~20 quarts and take them home. We are convinced that this makes the stores know we want to buy it and is helping the economy and our own Coffee Soy cause. =D Then we tend to finish the entire stash of soy milk within a few days. It’s so delicious!

  33. Erin

    Your description of your weekend totally makes me want to read these now. I have totally felt like a crack addict after a weekend of obsessive reading or tv show watching. As to my guilty pleasure…there are many. Cheesy teenage tv shows like Gossip Girl and 90210. Tyler Perry movies. Twinkies.

  34. Kate

    If you like vampire books, I highly recommend “Sunshine” by Robin McKinley. Warning: it will make you crave cinnamon rolls. Even if (like me) you don’t even like cinnamon rolls.

    My guilty reading pleasure? Mercedes Lackey’s Five Hundred Kingdom’s series for Luna (Harlequin’s fantasy imprint). Breaking two of my reading rules at once: I don’t read romance novels and I don’t read books with stupid mythological creatures on the front or fair maidens with perfect everythings or knights in shining armor, unless it’s been highly recommended and somehow has a lot of politics in it.

  35. Lee Cockrum

    I was totally oblivious to the whole “twilight phenomenon” till about a month prior to the movie! Some women at work were reading them. I really enjoyed it, but have not succumbed to the next, as I have too much to do for the holidays. Hmmmm guilty pleasure… varying tv shows that have been mentioned… but I think it is really taking a day all to myself for my crafts. No cleaning, cooking errands etc. Just hang out and be creative.

  36. Nada

    grey’s anatomy is my guilty pleasure– we don;t have a TV so i watch the episodes on the abc site

  37. Lynn

    My guilty pleasure is watching old movies on TCM.

  38. Nell

    I will admit, I loved the Twilight books. But you just can’t take them too seriously.

    My guilty pleasure is celebrity gossip. I know that it’s ridiculous and completely useless. But I kinda love it anyway.

  39. suzanne

    I was shocked at how much I loved True Blood! Even the opening sequence is exciting. I dove into a Sookie novel too and found it very satisfying. On TV Lafayette is my favorite character–and Sookie’s brother is even more of a bonehead visually than in the books.

    I found Twilight very boring. To me there was lots of staring and Bella cooking and mooning over Edward….and little else. Bella is a very passive character and is rabbitlike, preylike, the old fashioned idea of what a woman should be. UGH.

    Also, I think I am too old! Much of my own high school years were spent staring at boys (much like Bella) so I cannot say I would never relate. My sister read all of the series and really enjoyed it. Maybe I am broken.

  40. Genuine

    My guilty pleasure is making cream cheese frosting just so I can eat it straight from the bowl, and the Rex Stout mystery books.

    And yes, I am giggling at the idea of you living vicariously through vicious vampire stories. Teehee!

  41. DeLaina

    My guilty Pleasure is also Vampire (and other paranormal) books too! Ive been reading them for a couple of years and Im loving how the genre is growing… goody goody!

  42. Stacey

    Yet another person here that LOVES Twilight. It’s so silly, but I get all giddy just thinking about it. I’m 31, but I feel 14 when I read them. And sparkly Edward? Oh dear, is he hot. I’m so “anti-fantasy” books, I could just never got into them, but man did I get hooked on the saga.

    Other guilty pleasures include using only half the batter so I can eat the rest when I bake certain cookies, the N’Sync Christmas cd and trashy entertainment gossip magazines when I am in line at the grocery store :)

  43. deb

    Sweets! Ever since my husband had to stop eating sugar it seems I have doubled my sweet tooth. I keep a hidden stash of jelly bellies or candy corn last month in my knitting room. When I am home alone I pop a few pieces in my mouth as I knit away:)

  44. Liz

    Well, I will admit, since you are opening the doors to guilty pleasures, to poo poo-ing the Twilight books, as I am with you, I’d rather read the new Malcolm Gladwell than the new hot thing in fiction, but a friend of mine gave me Twilight to read in mid August, and I tore through it like a big bowl of popcorn. Not since the Jamie and Claire series (now what was that other guilty pleasure, oh yeah, time travel, Scotland, uhm, it’s coming to me now) Outlander, have I gone through a series of books so quickly. I went to the library to see about getting more of the Twilight series (cuz I didn’t want to buy them) and they were wait listed well into 2009. So, off to the book store I went, and while my husband was away for a week in August I read 2 more in the series, and then the 4th one came out and I gobbled that one down too. Yup, guilty guilty guilty, but I haven’t seen the movie yet… It can be so wonderful to get lost in a story…

  45. Niki

    Tootsie rolls. The tiny ones. I could probably eat an entire bag at one sitting if I didn’t think the guilt would kill me.

  46. knittymama

    Oh…mine goes way back to the Anne Rice vampire days! I loved her books ever though I felt totally silly about it. Now your tempting me with a new series! :-)

  47. Juli

    My guilty pleasure… I like to buy books I’ll probably never read… And if I do, it will be after all the other books ahead of it. I cannot just go into a bookstore and not get a book. :O

    And if you wanna talk twilight, find out what it’s REALLY all about, check out my website: http://www.thetwilightforums.com ;) /shameless advertising. (i’m treehugger14, if you decide to join. :) )

  48. Catherine

    My guilty pleasure on the reading front is the whole “knitting mystery” genre thing. Seriously?! So silly, yet so fun. (“Fleece Navidad” is next…can’t wait.) :)

    My guilty pleasure according to my husband is too many mochas from the coffeeshop down the street. Well, if they didn’t have a drive-thru I wouldn’t go NEARLY as often.

  49. Heather

    I have a TON of guilty pleasures. How about this one – visiting Ravelry while at work. Does that do it? When you consider a teacher’s busy day, you get it, right? Some days, I just cannot think one more second about the Math lesson I’m going to teach in 10 minutes, and I’d rather just finish scarfing down my lunch anyway and check my e-mail. Wait, how’d I get on Ravelry? Oh, okay, I’ll just look to see if anyone else has finished their Snow White, or if there are any good scarf patterns that only take 2 skeins of Noro instead of 4 . . . . hee!!

    Oh, and READ the Twilight books! I just finished #1, and while the “writing” wasn’t quite up to what I hoped, the story was great. Then again, if the writer was writing as if she were a 17 year old girl telling the story, I probably wouldn’t be too thrilled with how the story came out, either, right? OK – anyway – read!!


  50. klaus

    I could think of a few not too bad ones, but I have to admit…Fringe. That really cheesy show that’s on right after House. My friend comes over every week to watch house, and more often than not we end up watching Fringe too and making fun of it and the awesome floating 3d text, but I have to admit I got completely sucked in this week and have to know what happens next. Sad.

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