What Books Are You Embarrassed to Read in Public?


I’ve mentioned before how one of my favorites things about my Kindle is the privacy it provides when I’m reading in public. I could be reading a romance novel with a half naked man on the cover and no one would know. It seems like I’m not the only one who feels this way. According to a recent article in the New York Times, romance is the fastest growing segment of ebooks, and experts are attributing sales to the discretion ereaders provide.

If the e-reader is the digital equivalent of the brown-paper wrapper, the romance reader is a little like the Asian carp: insatiable and unstoppable. Together, it turns out, they are a perfect couple. Romance is now the fastest-growing segment of the e-reading market, ahead of general fiction, mystery and science fiction, according to data from Bowker, a research organization for the publishing industry.

The article also quotes Sarah Wendell of Smart Bitches, Trashy Books who says she’s not always comfortable reading romance novels in public, with their covers featuring “mullets and the man chests.”

I can totally relate since I occasionally read paranormal romances, which almost always have a bare chested man on the cover. I’d much rather read these books on my Kindle.

For a male perspective, I asked Jose what books he’s embarrassed to be seen reading. He says he wouldn’t be caught dead reading Twilight in public (I think most guys feel this way, LOL). He also mentioned being uncomfortable reading political books because people might make snap judgments based on their own political leanings.

So what books are you embarrassed to read in public? Romance? YA? Self help? Let me know in the comments.

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  • http://www.daemonsbooks.com/author/sandie/ Sandie

    Well, I’m lucky because I hate romance novels and never read a book that had a half naked man on the cover :-)

    But more seriously, so far I haven’t come across I book that I would be embarrassed to read in public. I tried to think, but there really isn’t anything that I want to read that I would be embarrassed to read in public. Or maybe I’m just shameless!

    • http://www.daemonsbooks.com/author/kristen/ Kristen

      If it wasn’t for those darn vampire romances, I really wouldn’t have a problem either :)

  • Ariana

    Paranormal romance, definitely. Love them, but they totally ruin my image as no-nonsense and tough.

    • http://www.daemonsbooks.com/author/kristen Kristen

      Ha ha, they are a nice escape, aren’t they?

  • K.C.

    I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m embarrassed reading what a I read (which is a heavy dosage of romance in all shapes and forms, along with some YA and fiction) but rather my e-reader just prevents the judgmental glances and stares that I get in public. I honestly don’t feel that my leisure reading material should be of anyone else’s concern and frankly, having to constantly defend my reading choices kind of sucks.

    • http://www.daemonsbooks.com/author/kristen Kristen

      You make a really good point about privacy. It’s nice to be able to read without being hassled.

  • http://www.daemonsbooks.com Amie

    HAHAHA! I was at a used book store this weekend and I was flipping through the pages of this romance book and it actually looked quite good but I didn’t want to be seen reading a book with two half dressed people riding horse back through a meadow on the cover LOL.