Guilty Pleasure Reads, and How to Hide Them

Woman hiding behind a guilty pleasure read

NOOKs are great. They’re lightweight, stowable, and can easily hold hundreds of scholarly tomes and subscriptions to serious periodicals. But what about your guilty pleasure reads? You know the ones: the age-inappropriate paperback you acquired from the Salvation Army when you were eleven; the sexy, suggestively stained book you found abandoned on a train platform one fateful night. These are the books that are too embarrassing to buy, even in electronic form, forcing you to hold onto your much-loved, much-hidden copies forever. But how to continue reading them in public without fear of discovery? Fake DIY book covers, of course! To get you started, here are a few gems from my own collection, and how I might cover them:

1. Real Cover: Flowers In The Attic
This V.C. Andrews cult classic is delicious 80s goth-kitsch (totally a thing) in all its splendor. Sure, you could try explaining that you read it once a year because the suspense is killer, but everyone knows you’re just into the uh, not-unrequited love of the two TOTALLY RELATED protagonists.

Fake Cover: The Trouble with The Trouble with Tribbles
Presumably a book about the shooting of the now-infamous Star Trek episode. Embarrassing, yes, but at least not in an “incest is best” kinda way.

2. Real Cover: The Silver Metal Lover
There are romance novels, and there are young adult novels, and there are young adult romance novels about robots. I am pleased to say that this is the latter. I am less pleased to say that running into your boss while reading this on a park bench is a fairly traumatic experience.

Fake Cover: Objects Made of Wood: An In-Depth History
When people see you reading this, they may think “That seems pretty boring,” or perhaps, “Behold, a master carpenter.” But what they certainly won’t be thinking is, “That lady is a pervert for robots.” Mission accomplished.

3. Real Cover: The Silver Kiss
In an age where people proudly read Fifty Shades of Grey and the Twilight Saga in public, I am still loath to be caught reading this 80s-era vampire love story. “Why not just throw it away,” you say? Clearly you are not aware that the main sexy-vampire is almost definitely modeled after Billy Idol. In other words, there is literally nothing not to love about this book.

Fake Cover: A Practical Guide to Enemas
Nothing says touch-me-not like an instructional book dedicated to a task involving both behinds and what comes out of them. To be fair, this is essentially exchanging one kind of public scorn for another. Is it worth it? The choice is yours.

4. Real Cover: Through A Glass, Darkly
There’s nothing inherently embarrassing about this cover, but the grandiose, sweeping tale within, of 18th-century excess and a dashing young woman who drowns her marital sorrows in the pants of young dudes, is not exactly high art. But what it lacks in substance it more than makes up for in steamy sex scenes and pugs. Thankfully, the twain never meet.

Fake Cover: How To Play The Harmonica In Twenty-Eight Easy Steps
Gone is the notion that you are a girl desperate to transport yourself to another time. Instead you are now a quirky, musical angel with a penchant for self-taught musicianship. “Is that Zooey Deschanel?” a stranger might think. If the train were dark, and they had vision issues, and you were loudly announcing that you were, in fact, Zooey Deschanel.

Which books are your guilty pleasures?

  • Contessa Grecia Flores

    The Great Gatsby

  • James Lewis


  • Lesley Lindsey

    I love to read romances with happy endings as an escape from reality. My favorites include the Fool’s Gold series by Susan Mallery. Her new release, Two of A Kind, is awesome!

  • Tina

    I read Flowers in the Attic when I was in middle school, I think, or maybe high school. I loved it then, but was definitely embarassed to read it in public, especially when people wanted to know what it was about! Now I kind of want to pick up a copy of this book and read it again (:

  • Marlasonana

    it’s like hiding a porn mag in a comic book!

  • CM

    Am I missing something here? How would you make a fake cover for a Nook book?

    • Isabel Herron

      just as Ashley answered I’m startled that anybody can make $8707 in 4 weeks on the internet. did you look at this site w­w­w.K­E­P­2.c­o­m

    • Jennifer McGown

      you don’t – just don’t read it in super large print. LOL

  • Jennifer McGown

    I have read many a trashy novel – especially those written by Beatrice Small in my life. I made a fabric cover from my paperbacks to avoid the stares. The only thing the foiled me was when I bought a large print copy by mistake. Never read Flowers in the Attic, The Silver Metal Lover or The Sliver Kiss, but listened to to Through a Glass Darkly (and its sequence – An Now Face to Face) on audiotape – great reads.

  • wheelbarow

    If I can read a song of ice and fire in public you can read flowers in the attic.

  • Sarah Brashears

    Anything by John Saul, who I thoroughly and (almost) embarrassingly enjoy!!

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