Last night I had the place to myself and fired up the first two episodes in the latest season of Fox’s long-running, melodramatic, completely unrealistic counter-terrorism show 24. And I loved it.
I resisted the adventures of Jack Bauer for a while, despite the claims of friends and family that I’d eventually come to not only enjoy the show, but also yell at the screen in joy, anger, or pure, raw emotion. A friend said, “Trust me, if you watch it, you’ll find yourself screaming out Jack’s name.” He was completely correct.
24 is not art. Let’s get that straight right away. In my DVD collection, the seasons I own are hidden away behind things of more merit. And to be honest, it hasn’t been great since Day 5. But what can I say? I enjoy it.
We all have our guilty pleasures. Whether a show about the ridiculous adventures of a gun-toting patriot, films featuring talking animals, or Shania Twain albums secretly mislabeled in our iTunes library as Megadeth (these are just hypothetical, people!), we all have those indulgences we enjoy but we’re a bit embarrassed by.
This happens to me with books, too (in case you were wondering where I was going with all of this rambling). For my job, I try to read books that have been successful so I can get an idea of why they work and how they fit in the children’s market. With many successful books, including most involving vampires, I’ll read one in a series and put it down, content that I understand the appeal or, in some cases, remain completely baffled, without having to know if the heroine choices the one bad guy with fangs, the other bad guy who also has fangs but they’re different or something, or maybe some third bad guy who is like made of fangs or some junk.
In truth, I don’t have time to get overly invested in a series, since I have manuscripts and queries to read, blog posts to write, and episodes of 24 to watch. Sometimes, however, I’ll find myself reading the first in a series with the intention of seeing how a work fits into the market and find myself being pulled in. These, too, I consider to be guilty pleasures, because I’m no longer reading for work, but because I find myself enjoying a story aimed at 10 year-olds and want to see what happens. I can’t help it, people, if Greg Heffley is so darned funny or I need to know what crazy situation Percy Jackson will find himself wrapped up in next!
So how about you? What books do you hide away and pull out when no one is around? And what appeals to you about these little secrets?