Why I Have No Room For Guilty Pleasures

Wizards and ditzes and men in long jackets- these are a few of my favorite things!
Wizards and ditzes and men in long jackets- these are a few of my favorite things!

Earlier today, while I was sitting in traffic and spacing out, I began to daydream about how I would use some of my leisure time tonight. As usual, for me, I was thinking about sitting down with a book. Currently, I’m re-reading the entire Harry Potter series. That might seem a tad dorky, for a later end of her twenties grown up lady to do, but I’ve decided to embrace that side of myself instead- in fact, I have decided that I don’t have room for guilty pleasures in my life.

This year I moved out of a way-too-big-for-me apartment in the suburbs into my dream apartment- a small studio in the heart of Portland. The months before that move were absorbed by sorting and purging- everything unnecessary had to go. In the end, I moved with about 1/3rd of my original possessions. One of the hardest parts of that sorting was figuring out which books would go, and which must stay. It turned out, in the end, my favorite books were my ‘guilty pleasures’- a few series from my teenage years, like Harry Potter, a plethora of British chick-lit books (all with alarmingly similar plots), an ever expanding collection of Raymond Chandler novels, and a few cherished classics. What surprised me was how easy it was to get rid of all the books that had gathered dust on my shelf as some sort of nerdy street cred, as if to say, “See! I read the Wasteland! And Fitzgerald! These business books were enthralling!”.

I had a rule for myself when I made the move- I didn’t want to bring anything that wasn’t going to make me happy. I brought the books and possessions I loved, rather than the ones I had hoped people might be impressed by. To my delight, I’ve discovered that I like my space and myself much better when I’m not pressuring myself to be someone I’m not. So today I am declaring there is simply no room for guilty pleasures in my life- just real true pleasure. There’s just nothing better than sitting down with a good book (whatever that might mean).



  1. Anyone who understands that Raymond Chandler (and for that matter Harry Potter) are pleasures that do not make you feel guilty – as in wasting time – has a good grasp of what real, rich pleasures are.


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