Guilty Pleasure Reading over Spring Break

Midterms are finally over! Yet, many of us haven’t had time to recuperate from the lack of sleep and stress that has been accumulating since January 8th. We feel as if we are wading through shallow water, just keeping ourselves awake long enough to get to class. But why is this? The College has decided this year to move our recovery time farther away, whether that be because our former holidays were held when it was still cold out or the basketball tournament required more time.

Regardless, we are now 10 weeks into the spring semester and spring break is right around the corner! So, what do we all do during our spring break?

Living in Charleston, many of us will head straight to the beach. Lounging at IOP, Sullivan’s Island, or Folly. Though, as English majors, I’m sure a lot of us will be reading something while we are soaking up the sun, maybe our favorite novel for the 10th time or something new that we haven’t had the chance to get to this semester.

But, what about those books that can be embarrassing to read in public? The novels with the Fabio-man on the cover or a popular “adult” novel (*cough* *cough* 50 Shades…). Whatever it is, you can be sure English majors have a reason to read it.

An example of one of the ‘yellowback’ novels that a mid-19th century London beachgoer might pick up for the train ride from London to Brighton. Not exactly literary but tantalizing.

Guilty pleasure reading has been a thing since the dawn of novels. Fiction itself was considered ‘low culture’ reading. Since then, a lot has shifted in the modern era. Now, fiction is distinguished between ‘high’ and ‘low culture.’

Though, you can rest assured that our English Department does not endorse the pleasure distinction of modern fiction. No matter if you want to indulge in True Crime novels, YA nostalgia, or Cheesy romance, reading is reading.

I asked a few of my peers, what type of reading they do over spring break. The genre’s varied from historical fiction to reverse harem, (something I’d never heard of and had to look up) – books featuring a lone female character and many men in which she is dating. 

I’ve compiled the list of my peer’s answers at the bottom of this article, in case you want some ideas on what to read. All in all, what I’m trying to say is keep reading whatever makes you happy. The term “guilty pleasure” should not dissuade you from picking up that novel with the sexy person on the cover or indulging in erotic and/or gory content. From the English department’s secret bookshelf to yours, have an amazing spring break and let us know what you read!


‘Guilty Pleasure’ Reading:

  • Reverse Harem/Twisted Fairytales- Jaymin Eve, C.M. Stunich (“Alice in Underland”)
  • Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
  • Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
  • After by Anna Todd
  • Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover
  • Any of the Harry Potter novels
  • Fanfiction
  • Teen Romance by John Green or Rainbow Rowell
  • Harlequin Romance Novels (the more unrealistically sappy, the better)
  • Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  • New American Stories
  • Historical Romances like Devil’s Daughter by Lisa Kleypas
  • YA like The HostTwilight, and Beautiful Creatures
  • Gothic literature like Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, and Frankenstein