Discussion Posts: Do you ever feel embarrassed to buy a book?

embarrassed to buy a book

So today brings the second round of my discussion posts, and this one is in the form of a question.

Now this is one I’m particularly interested in. There is a story behind this question, which I’ll tell you about below.

But what I’m here to ask today…

Do you ever feel embarrassed to buy a book?


The Story Behind This Post

So, this is why I’m asking this question. A few weeks ago, I was in my favourite bookstore, spending a good long time searching through the shelves. While I was stood looking through the YA books, there was a boy with his friend nearby, looking through the Manga shelves. I wasn’t paying attention to what they were saying, since I don’t know them and I was busy looking through my own books, but they gradually started getting louder so it was a bit hard to miss what they were saying. And this one tiny snippet I overheard inspired this entire post;

“Why don’t you just buy that one? You said you wanted it.”

“I don’t want to take it to the till. The person that works here might judge me for it. I mean, it’s not a proper book, it’s all pictures.”

I think in the end his friend did convince him to get it, but the fact he was hesitant because he felt like he would be looked down on really made me think.

Thinking through it…

At first I thought it was a ridiculous idea. I mean, if the workers in a bookshop were going to judge you for buying a certain book…why would they sell it?

But then I thought about it from my own point of view. I’ve never felt embarrassed to buy a book – Never. And I honestly don’t think I ever will. I love books, and I feel no regret about that. If I want to buy books, I’ll buy them. But I did realize that there are certain books I might feel a bit embarrassed about at first if someone saw me buying it. I’m thinking of books like Fifty Shades of Grey. Now, I don’t judge people at all for reading that series – I was tempted to read it myself at one point, but never did. But I feel like, realistically, if I went to buy it in a bookshop, I’d have a tiny moment of worry about what the people around me might think if they saw. Only a tiny moment though, because I think I’d get over it pretty quickly. The fact that worry was there though made me wonder.

I still don’t think there’s any need to be embarrassed about buying a book at all.  Like I said before, the bookshop wouldn’t sell a book if they would judge you for buying it.

So now I ask you…

What’s your opinion?

Have you ever felt embarrassed to buy a book? If yes, which book was it?

Or do you think there would ever be a book you’re too embarrassed to buy?

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39 thoughts on “Discussion Posts: Do you ever feel embarrassed to buy a book?

  1. Im not embarrassed of the books I buy! The only thing that can make me embarrassed it’s when I buy many books at the same time and the person at the counter is looking at me like “you girl are exagerrating”. But then I tell myself that these books will be on my bookshelf soon so I get over it!😊😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha I get what you mean about buying loads at the same time! Somehow I never feel embarrassed about that though because I’m just like “I love reading, OK?” and I know they will all actually be read and not just sit around gathering dust 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve felt embarrassed once when I was buying a birthday present for my cousin, who likes to read Mills & Boon books. Of course, there were two people engaged in a passionate embrace on the cover, and I was fourteen. And then the lady at the counter asked if I was “a little too young to buy Super Romance”.
    Other than that, I feel nothing but pride whenever I purchase a new book.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ugh I hate those sort of covers exactly for that reason. Although it makes it worse that the lady actually pointed it out! I’m the same though, whenever I buy a book now I feel so proud and like carrying the bag around so people can see I’ve bought a book haha 😀

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  3. Ohh thank you for posting this.to be honest i am embarrassed sometimes because everyone judges the YA genre and it makes me mad.like why do you care what i read?like come one everyone has different tastes and opinions.And my uncle always asks me what i’m reading and i never tell because i feel like he is going to judge me😅

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    1. A lot of people feel like they’re judged for reading YA, and it’s such a shame! There are so many amazing books that are YA, and I bet most people wouldn’t even realize they’re YA until it’s mentioned. Reading in itself is an amazing pastime, so for people to judge you for the small details like what you read…well, it’s a bit ridiculous really. You shouldn’t feel embarrassed at all! I mean, if YA books were to be looked down on, there wouldn’t be so many film and TV adaptations made from them, would there? Just remember that and feel proud by what you read! 😀 ❤

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  4. I would like to say I don’t feel embarrased, but with the example that you said, or other erotic books, I might feel a bit embarrased. But as you said, I would get over it quickly. I have read Fifty Shades and other books. I think I shouldn’t feel this way because one person can like whatever he/she wants, so I have mixed feelings about this haha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a hard thing to judge really. It’s difficult to try and think of an instance where you might feel embarrassed about buying a book, when you buy books all the time and feel happy about each one. But like you said, all books just show the buyer’s personality, so it shouldn’t be frowned upon 🙂

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  5. I don’t feel embarrassed about the books I buy. I don’t know why really but I don’t care what other people think about the books I buy. If it looks good and sounds good I think my excitement is going to outshine any shame or embarrassment I have while purchasing. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great post! I guess it’s very rare for me to buy them in person. I’ve been embarrassed by getting them out at the library- but mostly it’s electronic now so it doesn’t matter. I’ve definitely been embarrassed reading certain books cos of how they look though…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve never been embarrassed about the books I buy, but I do think I would be a bit embarrassed to buy Fifty Shaded of Grey mostly because my somewhat conservative upbringing tells me I should. I know my parents couldn’t care less about the books I buy, I am an adult after all, but deep down there’s the little girl inside saying “only naughty kids buy those books”.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. so far I was never embarrassed to buy any book, I mostly buy physical copies of YA books, and I honestly don’t care what the people in the checkout counter think when they see a 31 yo women buying those books. Heck, my mom once told me “you’re buying Harry Potter? but that’s for children!” “what the hell are you talking about mom? I’ll buy whatever I want!”.
    Still, I think that if I had to buy most of the NA books I read I would be a little self-conscience, but that’s more to do with how terrible some of those covers are… 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I did feel a bit embarrassed when buying the Fifty Shades trilogy because was 14 at the time and I thought people were gonna judge 😅 but other than that I’ve never been embarrassed. But I usually order books online so 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. In the past I’ve gotten a lot of odd looks and negative comments while reading middle grade/children’s books in public. So now I typically read middle grade books in ebook format or in private so I don’t have to deal with that anymore.

    I don’t know that I’d be embarrassed to buy middle grade books though– just to be seen reading them by judging strangers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s always worst when you’re enjoying a book meant for a younger age. People judge from anything nowadays really. I don’t reading younger books as an issue really – I mean, the Percy Jackson and the Olympians/Heroes of Olympus series are a few of my favourites!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. This is a great discussion! Now that I’m older I really don’t care about what I buy in front of people. But I remember being in high school and buying adult paranormal books and thinking “Oh no this cashier knows there are “adult” scenes in here….” And just being so embarrassed, but not enough to scare me away from buying it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you 🙂 I get what you mean about it being easier now you’re older. I think you just realize more that it doesn’t matter either way. If you think you’ll enjoy the book, you should just buy it 🙂

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  12. There’s this really cute bookstore guy in my local bookstore and like i get very self conscious when I’m walking near the romance/erotica section because I don’t think romance is taken seriously as literature. I always felt that I had to walk around the classics to show that i’m intellectual which was absurd because you could totally be smart and still read romance. Anyways, that’s my bit. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my god I’ve done this before too haha! I didn’t even think about that. I used do it when I’d actually read a classic, I’d purposefully hold it in a way that people could see the title so I’d look like a more sophisticated reader. :’)

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      1. HAHAHAHAHAH good to know i’m not so weird! Also, unpopular opinion time is that i actually liked fifty shades of grey. I can rant on and on about how I know everything wrong with the characters inside the story but i’ll save it for later. When “Grey” came out, I wrapped the book with yellow construction paper just so cute guys wouldn’t raise their eyebrows at me or women wouldn’t look at me with disgust on their faces. I sound so shallow but I swear I’m just saving myself the hassle of explaining my choices haha!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. A lot of people like Fifty Shades, one of my best friends do, so don’t worry – I won’t judge you for it at all! That’s quite a long way to go to avoid being asked about it, although I know where you’re coming from. I think my best idea is that if someone ever says “why are you reading that?” in a disapproving way, I’ll just say “because I want to. At least I’m reading” and pointedly glare at their book-less hands haha XD

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