Monday, November 04, 2013 09:59

Fairytale News | Embarrassing books?


'Mel on reading' is a little feature I created as part of my Fairytale news. It's my way to show my thoughts on topics that go from pet peeves in reading to my favorite things in books.

This discussion posts is based on a Feature & Follow topic I saw a while ago. It was about books we feel embarrassed about, because we loved them. This made me wonder: why would you feel ashamed? The same for reading: it seems to be a trend that youths feel embarrassed because they read. It makes me sad and I, being a reader all my life, don’t understand it.

For this I can link back to some of the posts I’ve made for my ‘Hard life of a reader’ series. People can be so judgmental when it comes to readers, but do you hear us ever say: “why do you watch television? Why do you listen to music? Why do you play games?” It’s almost the same as asking someone why he breaths or blinks with his eyes: it’s just something we do. Something we need to do, because reading is a way of life.

I never thought reading was something I’d have to defend to other people, like it’s some weird mental disease. I READ BECAUSE I LOVE IT. I’m not some kind of freak, I’m not lonely or in desperate need of company. And yes, I do other things too, but at the end of my day I love to return to my books. In fact, reading has opened this amazing world where I’ve learned people that are now an important part of my life. I’m able to connect with all these bookworms all over the world, how does that makes us any different or strange? What is embarrassing about that? (Although I must admit that I've been self conscious about being a reader when I was younger. I was already getting bullied, so this was not something I screamed from the roof tops. Now, I couldn't care less.)

So, back to the real topic: You should NEVER feel embarrassed for the books you read and love. Whether you are a fan of comics, YA, NA, adult books or even books for children of 1 year-old. There shouldn't be a label what you can and can't read. If you do something you love, you should feel happy. You should be able to talk about it and be proud of the things you like. Don’t change yourself just because people love to judge you: they will do it anyway. Keep your head up and let them talk. Don’t let anyone EVER make you feel ashamed for reading those books.

haters-gonna-hate-snow-white_large

How about you? Are you ever embarrassed for the books you read or the fact that you are a reader?
author image

Mel@thedailyprophecy

Mel is a microbiology technician who is obsessed with Disney, fairytale retellings and fantasy. If she's not reading or blogging, she's either busy with gaming, hanging out with family or watching a TV show. She loves summer and bright nail polish. One of her dreams is to travel the world. She has found her Prince Charming and they are together for 7+ years.

90 comments:

  1. I am not embarrassed about the books I read or that I read anyway. I don't care what others think of me because I want to do what makes me happy. Like you said, HATERS GONNA HATE!

    Brilliant post, Mel! <33

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    1. I'm so happy to hear that Mel! Another thing we have in common ;)

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  2. No..I've never been embarrassed to be a reader. Reading isn't a bad hobby in my country -- everyone I know so far is really kind and they don't judge anyone who reads. It's just people choose not to read because of TV and video games, but they have never actually insulted me for reading...

    Now for embarrassing books...I've never felt embarrassed for reading certain books but I would be if the cover is well, just too...sexual you know what I mean.

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    1. That is great to hear Kezia! I know what you mean about the cover, though.

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  3. I'm not embarrassed by the books I read, but sometimes the book COVERS make me cringe, hah. I really dislike reading reviews where the person seems to be apologizing for reading romance or a fluff book, though. :/

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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    1. Yes, I don't get why someone would apologize for the books they read.. Like I care, as long as you like them!

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  4. I am definitely not embarrassed to be a reader. I have encountered that reaction a few times though. Where when people find out just how much I DO read they act like I'm wasting my time - or isn't there something else that I could be doing that is more important or better, or whatever - just something other than reading. Those people just don't get it and I hate that they look down their nose at an activity that I absolutely love. So what if I'd rather pick up a book instead of spending my entire evening watching tv like I know many people do. They like their entertainment and I like mine. So that always irks me. I'm never ashamed!!

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    1. GREAT! I'm happy to see that Pabkins :) but how annoying that sometimes people just don't seem to get why we read..

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  5. I would never be embarrassed to admit I'm a book nerd. Though my teenage cousin would be afraid people would think she's "uncool" so I guess some people think it's nerdy? I think it rocks! Anyways. I don,t think I've ever been embarrassed about reading a particular book. Though I'm not sure I would dare to read 50 Shades in public - not that I would ever read it haha.

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    1. When I was younger it was not something I would say out loud, because teenagers can be so hard for each other! I think readers are definitely look at as 'nerds'. Now it makes me proud :) Haha, 50 shades is not my type of read :p

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  6. THIS THIS THIS. I remember so many people in high school saying they hated to read and they were almost praised for it. Used to bother to heck out of me. Why should liking books make you less cool? Anyway. Awesome post, Mel!

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    1. I also hated it when all the teachers just expected you to hate books.. Like it's something normal.

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  7. I get the same thing! When I tell people that I read or they see how many books I have they look at me as if I've grown two heads. I'm like WTH is wrong with reading? So many people are use to it being forced on them. I have no problem telling people I love to read because, as you stated, it's something that I LOVE :) Great post!

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

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  8. True. But I can hardly go out in public with a picture of a well-endowed chest and long, flowing blond locks on the cover, can I? That's just the man, for starters. Let's not even talk about that woman in green gown. Lol.

    In all seriousness, I agree. So here's my statement:

    MY NAME IS JOY AND I READ EROTICA.

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    1. Great!! I don't read erotica (but I know the covers and I can see that it might be a little more difficult to read it in public), but I love that you've found something you like :)!

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  9. I am not embarrassed to be a reader because I love reading, it's a part of me! But sometimes I get embarrassed that people will judge me based on books I buy. I feel like if I purchase "Anna and the French Kiss" the title alone makes me feel a little embarrassed. I need to seriously get over it but for the most part, it's not a very big problem. Reading should be fun but it's sometimes tricky to enjoy it when most people think it's "weird". Great post! :)

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    1. Yes, sometimes I feel a bit weird when I stand in the children's section with small children running around.. Since they totally branch YA for younger children here, but hey, who cares :D

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  10. I agree with everything you wrote. Nobody should be embarrassed about being a reader or what they read. I'm a reader, which is no different from being a video game player or a movie watcher. What really makes me sad is that a community that is all about appreciating books has a small group of people that openly judge people for liking a certain book and mock people for crushing on a certain fictional guy...

    We are all in this community in order to celebrate books, in order to celebrate escapism. I don't think it's right to judge other people for liking certain books. Uh, sorry for going on this little ramble, Mel O_O I just wanted to get that all out, lol

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    1. I generally hate judging other people. If you like to crush on a fictional guy, go ahead. We should let other people feel free to like whatever they want.. Thanks for sharing your opinion!

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  11. Hahahaha! Great post, Mel!! (and that gif of Snow White. Wow!)
    I guess at one point in time I was just embarrassed that I loved books to such an insane degree: wow, my friends would just be judging me all the time! They seemed to find [cool] book nerds to be uncool. Which is just so weird. Reading is the best thing ever! And I think I always get judged for the crushes I get on fictional guys.
    But thank you for your encouragement, Mel! :D Like Lesley said, we're in community to celebrate books; and everything within them!
    So we'll all hold our head up high doods ;)

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    1. No problem. I just want to give people the confidence to read whatever they want and to say proud that they are bookworms :D

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  12. I agree with you completely. However, some books get such awful reputations, one almost feels one must apologize for likng them. Take The Da Vinci Code for exampe. Saying you enjoyed that book is inevitably met with derision.
    BUT, I don't really care. There are some covers that make me cringe, but overall, I read what I feel like reading and I don't even consider apologizing for it.

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    1. I like The Da Vinci Code :D I'm certainly aware that it's not the best book, but hell, I find his books very entertaining.

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  13. Well,I sometimes feel embarrassed when I read New Adult books with not so family friendly covers.Even some YA covers make me a little uncomfortable when I take them to school.I study in a convent school,so you can guess how weird it must feel like to openly read books with those kind of covers.
    And apart from covers,when I was young I used to embarrassed to tell others that I read.I didn't want to be a nerd but later on I learned to be proud of that.

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    1. I can see why you wouldn't take certain books to school!

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  14. *applauds* Thank you! I don't feel like I SHOULD be embarrassed much anymore except if its a particular book (I don't read dirty books, but sometimes the cover is "uncool"), but I remember a few times when people would look at me oddly when I would say I loved a book. It seems like the reading population decreases or something.

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  15. <3 Love this post. You are the best. I do not think that I'm embarrassed by things I read or that I read. Because I love it so much, and I've started to realize that I don't really care what other people think about me :) Well, for the most part. (And it might help that I don't have contact with anyone but my family and online people.) Anyway. Thank you for sharing Mel :)

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    1. Ah, thanks Carina :)! I agree that for most part, I don't really care what people think. If they want to criticize me because I'm a reader.. oh well, I could think of worse things ;)

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  16. Great post! I agree that it's very strange to me that people just don't seem to understand reading at all. It's so much more enjoyable then TV, so much easier to get lost in the worlds. My husband doesn't understand my love of reading at all and he has an intense addiction to video games which is actually perfect. He does his thing and I get to do my reading while he does!

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  17. AMEN! I mean, it would be easier not to be embarrassed of what I read if the covers weren't so, well, embarrassing, but I have a Kindle for those books. :) It's sad that we sometimes feel the need to hang our heads for the reproach we're given for reading certain types of books. :(

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    1. Yes, I just wish the world wasn't so judgmental :(

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  18. No way have I ever been embarrassed to read but what you said hits home. I always find myself explaining to other people why I read. Take my family, they'll keep calling me to run errands when I'm reading because they think I'm reading too much even though the TV is on 24/7. It's just frustrating. However, this only makes me determined to read more because why not.

    However, being embarrassed of reading is like being embarrassed of watching news or I don't know breathing too much? It's stupid and pointless. *rolls eyes*

    Awesome post, Mel! <3

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  19. I think a lot of people grow up with a dislike for reading because of the books they are forced to read in schools. I know I never liked reading the books I was assigned in my English classes. So when someone says they like to read, sometimes people think of those classic books they read in high school and don't understand why you would like something like that. They don't realize how awesome YA fiction is =)

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    1. I think that's definitely part of the reason some people hate reading, but it never took me away from loving books. I just wish school opened up for other suggestions to show that reading IS fun.

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  20. No shame! I am a proud reader and I am never embarrassed by the books I read. I have some friends who like to tease me about it, but I also have more friends with whom I love to talk books with.

    Covers, on the other hand... I don't let them embarrass me, but I hate when I can tell people are judging me because of the cover of the book I am reading. They just don't understand.

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    1. Teasing isn't bad, as long as it's on a friendly way. My friends tease me too, but I never feel attacked by it :)

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  21. HAHAHA OMG that GIF is freaking hilarious! Lmfao Snow White acting all G is freakin funny xD and yeah when my friends sees me reading a book, they always ask me 'what are you reading' blah blah blah and then I'll be like "oh...[insert title here]..". And then they're like 'you always read!'. Lol. I'm like 'yeah'. That's why when I'm out in public, I read a book from my Nook and not a physical book because I don't want people giving me a weird face especially when the cover has a couple kissing, and I also don't want my physical books damaged.

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    1. Protecting your books is a good reason ;) but why would we feel ashamed for covers with kissing couples when there is so much sex on the TV and in advertisements? Or even on the cover of magazines and you don't see other people feel ashamed when they read those!

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  22. First of all, LOVE THE GIF. Okay, so I would never ever ever be ashamed to say I'm a reader. In fact, almost everyone I know refers to me as the girl that reads ALL THE BOOKS. The thing I find difficult is that as a college student, other students will judge you for reading a young adult book instead of something "intelligent". This makes me mad because other students who might enjoy a ya book better, end up sacrificing their love of reading for fear of being judged.

    I go ahead and read my young adult book and don't give it A care in the world but I know others that won't do that. This was a great discussion topic. Loved reading everyone else's comments so thank you :)

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    1. Oh yes, that's horrible! When you say you are a reader, almost everyone expects that you read classics and they can look so.. down their nose when it's YA.

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  23. I love the post! I'm a teenager now, but I'll definitely be reading young adult books for a very long time. It's such a great thing to read. I think people should read whatever they'd like to read :)

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  24. What a great topic Mel! TBH sometimes I am embarrassed reading romance novels on public transport where everyone can see the cover, but I just love the fact that I read in public and anytime I can. I've been like that my whole life, absorbed in a book at school, lunch breaks, public transport. Thanks for encouraging reading in your post.

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

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    1. I try to read as much as possible too! Why waste those moments if you can read right ;)

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  25. Another wonderful discussion topic! I agree, reading isn't something I think anyone should ever be ashamed of doing - no matter what they read! Some people might think it's embarrassing to read children's books as an adult but I'm not bothered that I can't get enough of children's or MG fantasy reads :D I think I might be a little embarrassed if I had read/loved those 50 shades books but hey, they got a lot of people reading and that can't be all bad! Thanks for encouraging people to read without shame :)

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    1. I don't really support what 50 shades stand for, but it made me happy to see that people read it in public :D

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  26. I'm not embarrassing by what I read, I am very fond of reading, and it's something all my friends know. Even though I'm the only one who reads so much as I do of my friends and close family. They are all used to me being so happy about reading and that it has always been this way :)

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    1. It's the same for me and it makes me happy that you are also surrounded by supportive people! :)

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  27. I really agree with this. I have some friends ( NON-READERS I might add) who always make fun of what I am reading. I think that people who don't read are more likely to do this. I am always reading for my Project Disney where I compare books to the movie and recently I had Bambi sitting on the table and someone about died. Bambi is actually good literature.. obviously an entire movie was based off the classic.

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    1. Yes, I think readers are more kind towards other readers.

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  28. I don't think I've ever felt embarrassed by a book I've read. Angry? Yes. But never embarrassed. Though I do read some books on my tablet's Kindle app because the covers are cringe-worthy (like badly edited covers with bare-chested males or half-naked people because I don't like people to stare at me :D).

    Anyway. I don't see a reason why someone would be ashamed of reading a particular book. I mean, if it's a book so many people, including friends, have liked and I end up hating it or vice versa, I still wouldn't care. There's no reason for people to be ashamed of what they read.

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  29. I am kind of embarrassed when people are like OMG, do you really read that much? when they see that I have a new book with me everyday (I used to read a book a day). I just hate when they judge; just like you said, I don't judge them when they watch a lot of television, listen to a lot of music, etc.
    I am definitely embarrassed when I read books with certain covers on it. For example, I bought Dare You To by Katie McGarry from Barnes and Noble and the checkout lady was like "ohh, look, a X-rated book!" to her co-worker. I was SO embarrassed even though Dare You To isn't close to being a X-rated book. And I hate reading the old cover of Anna and the French Kiss on the train, the title and cover of the book is SO embarrassing. Don't get me wrong, I love the book to death, but I don't want to be caught reading it out in public.

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    1. A book a day, that's awesome!

      It's such a shame that you have to feel that way.. wouldn't it be great to just read those books without worrying what other people might think?

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  30. Amen, sista! Haha. But no really, you are completely 100% right. No one should ever be made to feel bad for enjoying a book they love. Some people are so judgemental!

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  31. I don't think I've ever been embarrassed to read a book...but I have been embarrassed to read certain books in front of non-bookish people based on their covers and titles. Does that count? Like Anna and the French Kiss. I had to take that dust jacket off when I was on my college campus bus. I didn't want to be judged!

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    1. If people judge you for what you read, that's just strange.. What should someone care what you read, right?

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  32. Very interesting topic, Mel! I, myself, am never embarassed about being a reader or about the books I love- you may remember I had a bit of a problem reading Princess Academy by Shannon Hale in public because I really disliked the cover, so it made me feel quite awkward (a strange first), but if it's a book I love then no, I certainly embrace that love and if others don't think it's justified or worthwhile? (Thankfully I've never met one who thinks that about books I adore) Well that isn't something that I'm going to be affected by.

    Again, great topic, Mel!

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  33. Preach it, sister! I totally agree with you! Those haters gon' hate no matter what.
    It's funny because I have always been a reader but do remember being slightly self conscious in high school, making sure the books I was a little embarrassed about where always somewhat hidden from pryin eyes. I'd still read them, and I wouldn't go out of my way to hide them. More like put them at the bottom of the stack.
    How much things have changed when now, 10 years later, I find myself at Barnes and Noble picking up a few books. One was YA, another was romance. Now, bear in mind this was the first time I'd ever bought a straight up romance book before. But I read the authors YA book and loved it so I decided to try her romance novels which are much more famous (Krelsey Cole). Anyway, a cute guy checks me out and we are talking and stuff..I'm shamelessly flirting with him (hey, he works at a bookstore!) Then, when I leave and am in my car I realize that the romance book was on top the entire time. I didn't once look down embarrassingly at it, or try to hide it. I just didn't give a shit. It made me smile. These ten years of being a proud reader have done me good. :)

    Dee @ Dee's Reads

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    1. I've definitely been shy about being a reader when I was younger, but now I honestly couldn't care less :D That's a great story! Thanks for sharing.

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  34. YES, to everything you said. There's nothing to be embarrassed about by reading (hey, it might just increase your vocabulary and help you learn while also enjoying yourself, which is anything but embarrassing). And if you enjoy something, you should embrace and celebrate that!

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    1. There are definitely some extra positive points!

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  35. I'm not embarrassed by the fact that I read, but I do have to admit that I sometimes filter what I put on display outside of the blogging world. For instance, while I feel comfortable admitting to bloggers and other readers that I sometimes pick up smexy adult romances, it's not something I'd proudly announce to, say, my family. The covers are another story! But that's probably the only real example. I'm perfectly happy reading everything else in public. :)

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    1. Funny that despite not being embarrassed, we sometimes still hide some things.

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  36. What a great topic, Mel!
    I never feel embarassed about the fact that I read a lot (and I bring books with me all the time, it's a great conversation starters with other friends!), but sometimes there's these books that I love but people would think weird of you if they know that you love the books (my example on this is: The Twilight Series. YES I love it!) so I'd rather keep quiet about my affection of some series/books that everybody seems to hate/dislike. Sexy book covers too, because people would surely stare A LOT if I read books with sexy covers on public, but thank God for ebooks, now I can bring my e-reader anywhere without showing off the sexy covers :p

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    1. I can see how other opinions can make you feel shy about your opinion, but whatever you like, you should defend it :D!

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  37. I've never been embarrassed to admit I read books and love reading, but some people do judge if i say i read YA or fiction.. they think that doesn't count as intellectual reading and I have to say that I read for FUN but yea.. especially me being 23, I hate to admit it but I do feel embarrassed sometimes even though i know I SHOULDN'T.. another thing is reading books with childish or kissing covers.. i try to either read that on my ereader or just at home. Judgmental people suck and I suck for caring but what can you do?

    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

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    1. I hate it when people look down on things like YA. It's not like you can only read if you read classic books.. It doesn't make you a better person.

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  38. I am definitely not embarrassed about my reading habits! :) I love to read and love reading with my kids and having them love to read. I haven't been embarrassed by something I've liked that I read. I have been embarrassed by a cover though of a book for review or a cover reveal on my blog that I didn't realize was going to be so revealing. I normally have a clean blog and I have fairly conservative tastes.

    I love these discussions, Mel!

    Tressa @ Tressa's Wishful Endings

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    1. Thanks Tressa! I think your children must be very happy with a reading mum D

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  39. "Don’t change yourself just because people love to judge you: they will do it anyway." This is so true but such a shame also. I am actually proud to be a reader and am never embarrassed about that fact, but I do find myself defending the young adult genre to Adult non-readers who often assume it's simple or juvenile. I should't have to though. I like it and thats all that matters! Love the snow white gif <3

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    1. Yes, it's a shame that people will always judge others, no matter what :s

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  40. I've never been embarrassed about being a reader or about reading certain books! One of my friends loves reading as well and the others just respect that I love to read. In fact, they cheered for me when I found out that I was auto-approved by HarperCollins! I don't really talk with other people about reading, but that's just because it doesn't come up, not because I'm embarrassed. In fact, when I tell them the amount of books I read, they're impressed! I've never thought of reading of embarrassing and frankly don't understand why it would ever be. The only time I might be embarrassed is when a book has a really weird cover or something, but most of the time I read on my e-reader anyway ;) Besides: haters gonna hate! I wear my bookishness proudly.

    Such a great discussion! I'm glad you put this out there, because this needs to be said once in a while :)

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    1. Ah, congrats on your auto-approval (me too, I did a happy dance :D) And yes, be proud of it!

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  41. Awesome topic. I'm not even tiny bit ashamed that I loved reading. It's not something to be embarrassed of, regardless of what genre you read. It's always saddens me when people take too much what people will say rather than you really feel. If you're happy of what you do why does opinion of others matter?

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  42. Amen! I've never been embarrassed that I read a lot of books and my friends understand me, even if they don't read. Reading isn't something to be ashamed of, regardless of genre. I suppose, with the influx of e-readers, it doesn't even matter what genre of book you're reading, since no one will know. Perhaps that might help the situation?

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  43. YES. There's no reason for there to be any guilt in your reading pleasures. If you're embarrassed, either don't read it because clearly you don't think it's worth your time or OWN it. Conquer that embarrassment and read with pride. I recommend owning it, personally.

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  44. I have no shame! I would never be ashamed to read anything. I proudly bare my books anywhere haha ;)
    Even if I was reading something steamy, I don't think I'd be ashamed even then. To each his own!

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    1. I wouldn't mind either. There is so much nudity around us, why would I feel ashamed to walk around with a steamy book cover? I don't read them though, but I wouldn't mind.

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  45. I love this post <3. I must say that I think this is my last comment for the night because my eyes are starting to get heavy, and even though I still have many more to comment on with you, they will have to wait. you don't deserve my nonsensical ramblings lol. ANYWAY.

    "There is so much nudity around us, why would I feel ashamed to walk around with a steamy book cover?" -- I admire this perspective. And you're 100% right. I'm not really ashamed of what I read. I mark them and I've posted about erotica and my favorites across genres and my mother is now reading my e-books from my kindle and I'm not ashamed that she's seeing the same titles (okay, it does creep me out a little, because I don't really want to talk about BDSM and 50 Shades with my mother and maybe that's immature of me but o.o), and I've taken various titles with me to public places and I don't try to replace covers (some romance authors offer 'replacement' covers)... but I'm also really conscious of those covers.

    "People can be so judgmental when it comes to readers, but do you hear us ever say: “why do you watch television? Why do you listen to music? Why do you play games?”" -- It is something we do, it is natural to us, and we shouldn't feel ashamed, but there are also people who are so extremely judgmental. You wouldn't believe the look I got when I said that I didn't listen to music until I was like 15. I'm not ashamed of that; it's a simple fact, but ugh ugh ugh I have that terrible need / desire to either a.) be ignored by people or b.) be liked by them, and that look is the death of me if I respect that person (that's the main factor). And you get the same look if you have an erotica book cover. If you were seen carrying around 50 Shades, it might be okay, because it's popular enough that people make a variety of excuses. But if it's a lesser known title with more explicit imagery, ... argh. You know, I just I can't sort this out in my mind. I'm not ashamed of what I read, but I'm also shy and way too self-conscious about specific things, so there's this weird battle, and maybe I'm just rambling now despite what I said above.

    ANYWAY I really do love this post and your spirit and I'm glad that you're not ashamed of anything you read :). Your bravery is wonderful. Also that gif is THE BEST.

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    1. Haha, crazy you, going way back to comment :D! I can see that it must be a little strange if you would go on an talk about that with your mother, haha. I agree that I used to want people to like me, but if they can't like the fact that I read those books.. why would I want to be friends with such a person? I don't care about that anymore, at least not the way I used to when I was younger.

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