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Question: What Do You Tell People You Read?


“What do you tell people you read?” . . . Hmmm . . . When Carmel sent me this week’s question, my first thought was, “Huh?”

Eloquent, yes, I know, but there it is.

And even after being given more information, it’s still a complicated question. For me, at least.

If you’re sitting there, minding your own business, reading on some version of e-reader, and someone comes up and asks, “Hey, whatcha reading there?” what do you say?

Well, in most situations, I’m going to tell the truth. Surprising, I know. I do seem to have a problem with being straight-forward, don’t I? *snorts*

But not always . . .

Like when the person asking is the creeper I’ve been trying to avoid eye contact with, and I’m reading something smexy. Yeah, dude . . . In a situation like that, I’m going to say, “American Sniper,” or, “How to Improve Your Terrible Credit in 30 Days or Less for Dummies.”

Yeah . . . that’s right . . . keep moving . . . you don’t want any of this.

But seriously, I think there’s a reason erotica sales are off the charts these days. There’s a freedom in being able to read that kind of thing without an embarrassing tangle of limbs on the cover to give you away. That being said, I don’t read a lot of erotica, and when I do, it’s at home, so that hasn’t been a problem.

BUT I do have conservative Christians in my extended family who would be offended by most of what I read, UF especially. So when the holidays are upon us, and an aunt or a cousin is curious about what I’m reading, I can either tell them the truth, and get a knowing look about the state of my soul, or I can distract and deflect by saying, “Nothing you’d be interested in, but what about you? Have you read any good (Oprah book club) books lately?”

And that’s typically how I dodge that bullet. I don’t lie about it. I’m not ashamed of anything I read. But I have been known to change the subject to something less volatile. All I can say is, thank goodness the holiday season only comes once a year.

Those situations, however, are few and far between, so mostly . . . I just tell the truth. Right now I’m reading Magic Bites for the maybe 5th time, maybe 6th, b/c I have no willpower, and Kate #7 is the last in this story arc, so I don’t want anything to fly over my head, b/c it’s been a year or more since I read it . . . and I love Kate . . . and I might be a maniac . . .

What about you?

What Do You Tell People You Read?

Jessica Signature

My name is Jessica and I live in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I’m trying my hand at writing, but mostly I read. My favorite genres are Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, and the YA versions of those genres, but if there is a book of a different color getting lots of buzz, I’ll read it too, just to be informed. If I’m not reading or writing, I’m probably on Goodreads or Pinterest or baking blueberry pies because I love them.



  1. I used to not tell, when I read like a Herlequin a day, but now I will. My books rock and if anyone has a problem with that they can take a hike. It’s usually people who read a book every 5 years, who are they to judge me?!
    blodeuedd recently posted…Author Interview and giveaway: Michele Summers

    • LOL! Seriously. I don’t understand why random people ask you what you’re reading anyway. I mean what are the odds that they’ve even heard of it, and how rude is it to interrupt someone while they’re reading to ask them what they’re reading.

  2. I don’t mind telling people what I read, but many of my RL friends and family are nor readers, so they have no idea about the books if I give them a title or author, even popular ones. I usually tell people that I read books that are paranormal, with more creatures than humans. I can usually mention Anne Rice and people know what I’m talking about. I have used Twilight, but while I’ve read the series and didn’t hate it, I didn’t love it either, so I just try to avoid it. Anne Rice fits me better, even though I haven’t read a book by her since she finished the Vampire Chronicles years ago (tried to wolf series she had and couldn’t get out of the first chapter which was over an hour long on audio).
    Melanie Simmons recently posted…Obsession Untamed Audiobook by Pamela Palmer {review}

    • That’s a good point, Melanie, I do that too. Especially if I’m really something really obscure or indie. I don’t think I usually make comparisons though, b/c most of the time I get blank stares, so I keep it to, “vampires” or “werewolves,”

      And holy cow. I have the wolf book, but haven’t attempted to read it yet . . . now . . . that’s a LOOONG chapter . . .

  3. The question also made me go “uh?” because I am usually quite happy to go gushing about whatever I’m reading to people who ask, but most of the time now I have the issue of the books I’m reading not being available in Spanish, which means my answer these days is “oh, a book in English about this or that, but it’s still not out in Spanish or I have no idea of the title in Spanish”… Since I drive and therefore don’t do the public transport commute reading I don’t have to answer any creepers!
    Pili recently posted…First Chapter, First Paragraph #3: ARC of Crushed by Eliza Crewe!!

    • Yeah, that would be awkward, LOL. I suppose that’s the one bonus perk of only being reading proficient in a single language. And don’t get careless, my love, creepers are EVERYWHERE 😉

  4. Hahaha! Love this! Is the same way with my family and in-laws. One time I told my mom that I was reading a book about vampires and she was horrified! It really doesn’t bother me that they don’t approve of some of my reading choices, though. One of the best things about being a grown up is that I can read whatever I want! LOL But if a stranger or friend asks me I’ll tell them the truth. Most of the time.
    Bethzaida (bookittyblog) recently posted…Wayfaring Stranger by James Lee Burke Giveaway!

    • Oh, it doesn’t bother me either, but when we’re all jammed together, in one place, for an extended period of time, I try to avoid confrontations, LOL. B/c if they make me talk about it, I will tell them that they’re ignorant and ridiculous, and that’s only going to cause problems . . . 😉

  5. Great question and one that I have zero issue with. I will happily ramble on about whatever I am currently reading. Which is probably the reason why no one asks me what I’m currently reading. I have some distant family members that are always concerned about the state of my soul given my avid and broadcasted love of all things paranormal but they’ve learned that the last thing they want to do is engage me in that debate. I can argue with the best of them. 😉 Oh, by the way I’m currently reading Sweet Unrest by Lisa Maxwell (New Orleans, ghosts, evil spirits, historic homes)…yep, it’s good! Thanks for asking. 🙂
    Ginny recently posted…SYNC FREE Audiobooks: July 17 – July 23 Sherlock Holmes and The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline

    • Must be nice. Either you’ve learned how to out-stubborn them, or my family is more stubborn than yours, LOL. We can ALL argue and debate until the cows come home, and honestly, I’d rather shut them up so I can go back to reading 😉 And sounds lovely, thanks for sharing!

      • lol…I usually just act as demented as they believe me to be and start talking about the latest sacrificial offering that I read recently (rolling eyes) and they shake their heads and pray and then I throw up the rock on devil horns. You know…I should probably outgrow the whole being a rebel thing but I just can’t let it go. 🙂

      • Oh geez, LOL. See my family doesn’t think I’m demented, they think I’m misguided and bizarre. B/c reading is a truly wonderful hobby, but to waste time on such make-believe nonsense! The horror! But LOTR and The Chronicles of Narnia are classics and completely different . . . *nods and smiles* Whatever you say . . . 😉

  6. Mostly communist propaganda, with occasional sides into right wing conspiracy manifestos.

    Or fantasy if they push, though then I feel the need to point out that fantasy is NOT all D&D fanfic.
    Nathan ( recently posted…Tough Traveling- Pirates

    • What do you mean not all fantasy is D&D fanfic?! What is it then?


  7. If I’m annoyed enough at the question, I will raise an eyebrow, answer, “A book,” and stick my head back into it.

    …now that I think about it, no one really asks me this question anymore. Bwahaha. SUCCESS.

    Still, I usually answer with the title and its genre, though I haven’t read an erotica around other people. Not sure what I’d do if asked. Probably say, “You don’t want to know.”
    Amanda recently posted…A Mini-Bloggiesta Is Coming!

    • I do that too. Mostly to my mother or sisters, and it gets me a smack on the head . . . and yet the cycle continues . . . hmmm . . .

      And good plan 😉

  8. Same here Jessica! I refuse to feel ashamed of what I read – whether its YA (given the fact I’m over 30) or a sexy romance of some kind, but there are definitely times when the truth needs to be glossed over a touch. Most of the time I just come out with it because I like what I like, but other times it’s not the business of the person asking so deflection is my friend:)

    • Yeah, it never occurred to me be embarrassed by reading YA, until a certain, recent, detested article . . . *glowers* . . . but embarrassed or not, doesn’t mean I have to tell every, single person what I’m reading. Good call, Jenny. None of their business indeed 😉

  9. I usually say that I read everything. If they probe a bit, I might tell them I read YA or UF or romance but it depends. Most of my friends aren’t readers (terrible!) so they don’t understand the appeal of books outside of Jodi Picoult (*makes puke noises*) and can be judgmental. Pfft. They don’t know what they’re missing.
    Mary recently posted…Moving to WordPress…soon!

    • HA. Yeah, but see . . . I’m just at judgmental about people who only read Jodi Picoult-type books 😉 But keeping it to genres is a good option I’d not thought about so THANKS, Mary.

  10. I definitely am a maniac :))

    My answer depends on who’s asking too. Like if it’s a genres savvy person, I’ll tell in my anal categorizing ways, lol, age group, main two genres, possibly three… :)) Yes, I know, OCDness without limits xD

    If it’s someone who’s not that genres savvy (like almost anyone not who’s not a book blogger, lol), I take it from vaguely general ie commercial fiction (or literary, if that’s the case) to more detailed, depending on their interest and info. And if they’re still interested, I start telling them what I’m loving about it, and other titles I’ve read who had that stuff to love if they seem really into it. Which is probably why they rarely if ever ask me :)))
    Livia recently posted…Not Your Damn Submissive by Amy Valenti

    • See . . . now I’m feeling like a dolt, b/c you’re the second person who’s taken the genre vs specific title route, and except in the family situation (for obvious reasons, LOL), that would have saved me a LOT of trouble.

  11. I love my kindle for the very reason that no one knows what I am reading and I never worry about it anymore. I don’t read erotica but even some of the romances I read have embarrassing covers (there I said it) and it is nice not to have to deal with the strange and sometimes knowing looks you can get from people when they judge your book by the cover. Having said all of that though, I still tell people what I am reading when asked.
    kindlemom1 recently posted…Review: One Past Midnight by Jessica Shirvington

    • YEP. Sometimes covers are definitely embarrassing. There. I said it too. Kindles are great for that, but like I said, I usually just tell people what I’m reading too 😉

  12. The days where I would be embarrassed about what I was reading are over, no matter who is asking. If someone I don’t know asks, I tell them and watch for a “judgment” reaction. If it shows up, it’s an opportunity for me to educate them on the genre. As I read many, the only ones that seem to generate that “look” are romances (any subgenre). I love it because so many now know more about what the romance genre isn’t than they did before they asked me. If I’m loving the book, so might they:)
    Jonetta (Ejaygirl) recently posted…Carolyn Crane’s Creepiest Villains & Giveaway!

    • Wow. You are a much nicer and optimistic person than I am, LOL. If I get the judgement face, I’m most-likely to kill their look with my “ignorant plebeian” face. Good for you! I’ll try to remember your example the next that happens 😉

  13. LOL Great post, Jessica. I have some (read many) people in my family who are the same way about what I read. (My brother wouldn’t let his kids read HP b/c of witchcraft) I love your re-direct. 🙂 I’ll have to keep that one in mind. I usually am truthful about what I’m reading though. 🙂

    • Me TOO, Brandee. GAH. My mom is one of them. But at least her reason for not letting my sisters read HP after book 4, was the cursing and not the magic. I’ve got plenty of those too, though. And I used to be honest, but I got tired of the moral discussions, and ultimately just wanted to get back to my book . . . and thus the re-direct 😉

  14. I don’t read in public (I find it too distracting) so I don’t run into that a lot but when people find out I blog and ask it’s always awkward.

    Most of the people I know don’t read the kinds of books I do – YA, NA, romance, some erotica, UF etc…and they don’t consider it reading *real* books. So they either dismiss me as a flake or try to suggest the correct books to put me on a better path lol

    The only people I can talk books with are other bloggers so for the most part I just try to keep it to myself.

    On the fun side – my niece & nephew are getting older and we love the same stuff so it’s great to be able to share books with them now.

    • See, I never go anywhere without a book. And strangely enough, I don’t meet many readers who look down their long noses at YA/UF/etc. Mostly, either they read or they don’t, but man, I would LOVE for someone to try to tell me that I should try *real* books some time. And by LOVE, I mean, take it as a declaration of WAR 😉

  15. Ha! You telling people the blunt honest truth? No! I can’t believe it! 😉 In all seriousness I tell people too. I don’t read a lot of erotica, but if I’m reading it and someone asks what I’m reading I’ll flat out tell them. Embarrassed? Don’t know what to say? Shouldn’t have asked if you didn’t want to know because I’m obviously comfortable with it, I am the one reading it after all. Now I do try to avoid the subject around people who will judge or create a confrontation, but that’s not often.
    Berls recently posted…Life of a Blogger | Tattoos

    • Yeah, the erotica situation hasn’t ever happened to me, so I honestly don’t know what I’d do, but the awkward happens enough with the YA/UF explanations. Most people don’t even know what UF is. I’ve got almost a template I follow now: Have you seen/heard of True Blood? The books that show is based on—UF. I have other examples for other genres, but people get weird. It’s like non-readers can’t help themselves when it comes to inquiring about what we’re reading, b/c it’s such a foreign concept to them. We’re like zoo animals, I think, LOL.

  16. This is so funny but I struggled with this as well. I’m not reading erotica so yeah it’s nothing I need to blush while explaining but I have problems with saying that I usually read fantasy. Usually comments are something like “Do you ever read anything normal?” What on earth is normal? Besides, normal is so overrated 🙂
    Tanja recently posted…Blog Tour: Keeper by Ingrid Seymour (Excerpt & Giveaway)

    • NORMAL. When someone starts talking about “normal” in a way that suggests I should be more like it, my eyes start to glaze over, and nice or not, I begin to lose interest in them as a person . . . if they ramble long enough, I might review well just go back to my book. *shrugs* I mean, if they’re rude enough to attempt to modify my behavior, then I don’t feel bad about completely ignoring them. #sorryimnotsorry.

  17. I feel ya! Sometimes I feel like a dumb bitch for reading too much fiction when my IG friends are reading self-help and “smart” books. Sometimes I shamelessly tell them what’s up, at times I cave in to the pressure and pretend I’m reading something that has more substance. LOL
    Braine Talk Supe recently posted…Liked It: The House of the Four Winds by by Mercedes Lackey & James Mallory

    • Self-help books are a breed of of self-inflicted torture that I hope I NEVER succumb to. And like pretty, smart is as smart does, and if smart starts resembling pompous jackhole, I have no problem pointing it out. Read what you want, Braine 😉

  18. I blatantly ignore them. “Oh, you’re talking to me? I thought you were speaking out loud to yourself!”

    Actually, the genius of having Kindle: no one knows what you’re reading. I’ll switch up and say… “Oh, a book.”

    The reply? “Well, that’s real helpful.”
    Sophia recently posted…Review: Faded by Chloe Miles

    • Sometimes I go that route too. It depends on how into the book I am, but if I’m really engrossed, I don’t even care if I’m rude. I’m like, “Can you not see me trying to read? What gave you the impression I was open to having a conversation right now?”

  19. I have no problems telling people I only listen to Romance books. If they think is not very smart of me, that’s their problem. I also have a very religious family (well, my Mon and my sister) and I’m sure they think my choice of books is whats keeping me from finding Jesus, because mistakingly they think Jesus only lives in the church.
    Lupdilup recently posted…Obsession Untamed Audiobook by Pamela Palmer {review}

    • I’m with you. Anyone who thinks less of me b/c of what I read . . . not my problem. And as far as religion goes . . . actually, I don’t think I’ll get myself started on that 😉

  20. I’m so terrible about this! Probably because most people I’m around don’t read so when you say pretty much anything they look at you all crazy like. I just try to avoid it and keep going.

    • Yeah, sometimes it easier to avoid the subject. Especially if you know that what you say is going to fly right over their heads 😉

  21. LOL! So true. I can relate to this completely.–> “So when the holidays are upon us, and an aunt or a cousin is curious about what I’m reading, I can either tell them the truth, and get a knowing look about the state of my soul, or I can distract and deflect by saying, “Nothing you’d be interested in, but what about you? Have you read any good (Oprah book club) books lately?”

    Funny story: My daughter was piano practice, and I’m sitting there inside with the class because it’s like 108 degrees outside and I have no where to go. I decide to read, and dig through my purse to see what goodies I have in there. Out falls The Professional by Kresley Cole. I LOVE Kresley, so I had decided to pick up my first real Erotic book…Shhh. Anyways, he says-watch got there?? I said a small prayer and asked for him to please, please have no idea what it was. He just smiled, had no clue and told me I should read his copy of some book (John Jakes)!

    Should have put it on my Kindle 🙂
    Kim { Book Swoon } recently posted…Waiting On Wednesday: Dreamer’s Pool by Juliet Marillier and The Legend of Me by Rebekah L. Purdy

    • Hahaha!! At least Cole went with a more neutral book cover for that one, LOL. I don’t think you could get away with that if it was one of the IAD books 😉

  22. I usually just tell the name of the book I am currently reading (I am usually reading more than one book at a time so I just choose the one that is the least embarrassing) or I just say they haven’t heard of it and turn the conversation to them. It’s weird though, most of the people who have asked me that questions aren’t readers themselves *shakes head*. They’re just trying to make small talk *shakes head*

    Fantastic discussion post, Jess and I am totally laughing trying to imagine someone worrying about the state of your soul when you tell them about all the UF you read 😛 😛 😛
    Rashika recently posted…ARC Review: One Past Midnight by Jessica Shirvington

    • RIGHT?! Most of the time they don’t even CARE, or have any idea about what you’re reading, but they can’t sit there quietly and say nothing, so, “Hey, whatcha reading?”

      LOL. It’s the look of knowing disapproval 😉

  23. I’m a believer in properly owning what you like to read, but I still get a bit evasive and even apologetic when it comes to telling people. These days, I’m making a reading project out of what I call “Twilight rip offs,” for the very respectable reason of pure curiosity–and it has been harder to live down than I thought! =P

    • I’m unashamedly a lover of Twilight, LOL. *shrugs* Sorry. True story though 😉 As for rip-offs, I’ve read a few books, and then later found out that they were considered copycats, but honestly, I’ve never been able to see it. Like JLA Lux series—people say it’s Twilight with aliens, and I don’t that at all. They’re probably out there though, I just haven’t read them 😉

  24. This is an excellent question and I’m glad you asked. No, really…I’m sooooooo glad you asked. I’ve read erotica but not a lot and luckily (due to my fabulous kindle) no one can really see what I’m reading. But when people ask me and if it happens to be erotica, like books by Tiffany Reisz or CJ Roberts then I will totally bend the truth. My friends and family would call it lady porn (and would most likely judge). Which in reality it is, I think. My cousins especially wouldn’t understand. They think I read nonsense to begin with. *shrugs* BUT those authors (Tiffany and CJ) have a compelling story that’s complicated while erotic at the same time.

    I own what I read completely and I have no problem saying it’s YA, Fantasy or whatever else it is at the current moment. Erotica is not something I read a lot of. I think I’ve only read two series in the genre: The Original Sinners and Captive in the Dark but I don’t think I could be honest about that one for fear of harsh judgement. I would hate to go all Jersey on someone and take off my bamboo earrings. So it’s more for their protection that I’m not forthright! *wink*

    But I do enjoy the privacy my kindle gives me. 🙂
    Cristina recently posted…The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

    • I enjoy the privacy of a kindle too. Sometimes what you’re reading is too personal to you to share with a random, inquisitive person, but just b/c you aren’t ashamed of what you read, doesn’t necessarily mean to want to talk to every passerby about it. If only b/c you’d rather be reading, LOL.

      And yeah, it’s much easier to re-direct then get into a conversation that can only end in (SOMEONE ELSE’S) tears. Other commenters have said things like they get asked why they don’t read more “normal” books, or are offered the titles of “real” books they might like to read, and honestly, if someone pulled that crap with me . . . my tamest response would be the earlier mentioned answer to the look of judgement, which is my “ignorant plebeian” look. But if someone was offensive enough, I could reduced to name calling . . . for reals 😉

  25. I mostly read at home on my treadmill, so I never get asked that. But how funny that this is an issue now! I remember reading in public and worrying about everyone being able to see the cover of the book! SO when you were in public, you’d read a different type of book than you would in the privacy of your own home!

    • Hahaha! That actually didn’t use to be as big of a problem for me. I only branched out from SFF/UF in the last several years, and I was never embarrassed by it. Some of the contemporary romances I read now . . . yeah . . . maybe 😉

  26. Love Kate Daniels! I’m not into erotica, but when I was experimenting with it, it used to bug me when people called it Mummy Porn and gave me a smug smile.
    Lorelle Page ( recently posted…YA,NA and Adult: Blurring the lines

    • Yeah . . . my answer to smug, judgmental looks is my own “ignorant plebeian” face. And ALWAYS a pleasure to meet another Kate fan 😉

  27. I haaaaate when people ask me what I’m reading or what kind of books I like to read. If I say YA, they judge because YA are ‘kids books’ but if I say romance, they assume I’m reading erotica. I pretty much read it all, I just hate talking about what I read…to people who don’t read or understand why I love to read…
    Nereyda recently posted…Cover Reveal: The Conspiracy Girl by Sarah Alderson!

    • Nereyda, once again you get me. Why is it only the non-readers who ask you what you’re reading. It’s like they think that if they ask enough people enough times they’ll suddenly understand the fascination or something. OR they think we don’t mind, b/c we’re “just reading.” *beats imaginary person with book*

  28. I know what you mean, I have a bunch of religious people in my extended family and there are certain books I would share but most I wouldn’t because they are the type that gets their books from Desert Books if that tells you anything.
    Heidi recently posted…Review:Talking After Midnight(Plum Orchard #3) by Dakota Cassidy

    • I’m not familiar with Desert Books specifically, but I definitely get the idea . . .

      • I think she meant Deseret Book. Here’s the description:

        Deseret Book is a wholly owned subsidiary of Deseret Management Corporation, the holding company for business firms owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Deseret Book is a profit-making Utah corporation.

        Deseret Book is committed to support the mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints by providing scriptures, books, music, and other quality products that strengthen individuals, families, and our society.

    • I think she meant Deseret Books. Here’s their description:

      Deseret Book is a wholly owned subsidiary of Deseret Management Corporation, the holding company for business firms owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Deseret Book is a profit-making Utah corporation.

      Deseret Book is committed to support the mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints by providing scriptures, books, music, and other quality products that strengthen individuals, families, and our society.

      • Yeah, that makes sense. And I’m familiar with the concept of Christian book stores, I just hadn’t heard of that one specifically. Not really my bag . . . 😉

  29. I read lots of different genres and some I probably wouldn’t say out loud that I read. But I mostly say that I read Urban Fantasy, or supernatural, stuff that has vamps, and werewolves. etc. My close friends and family know I read that and romance books. I won’t say I read erotica out loud though. lolz.

    Sometimes I don’t really know how to answer though when it depends on the person. But my auto-response answer is urban fantasy. =)
    Mariya recently posted…Cover Reveal: Dark Debt by Chloe Neill

    • That’s typically what I’m reading too, and when the person inquiring almost inevitably doesn’t even know what that is, I have my pre-prepared response: “Have you seen/heard of the TV show True Blood? The book series that’s based on is UF.” It’s the other genres that get more complicated, LOL.

  30. If they seemed really interested then I tell them the title and author. If they are just making small talk I tell them Romance/Urban Fantasy. I usually have to explain what UF is and I get a lot of “oh” looks when I say romance.
    Jennifer recently posted…Carolyn Crane’s Creepiest Villains & Giveaway!

    • Me TOO. If it’s UF, and the person inquiring almost inevitably doesn’t know what that is, I have my pre-prepared response: “Have you seen/heard of the TV show True Blood? The book series that’s based on is UF.”

  31. If people are just being nosy I just tell them a book…LOL Most of my real life friends don’t read PNR or UF so they have no idea what I’m talking about, they mostly think PNR are “Twilighty” books (yeah, I know!) so I don’t really discuss books with them. I remember leaving a book on my desk years ago at work and some of my nosy co-workers saw it so the guys had this ongoing joke that I read vampire porn…and i was like “Yeah…AND???” haha That was my main motivation for buying an e-reader, I’m not ashamed by the smut I read but I was sick of all the strange looks when I would read paperbacks on the subway on my way to work. Now no one knows what I’m reading and I don’t have to explain myself to total strangers! #WIN
    Lori recently posted…Audiobook Review: Ruthless by Anne Stuart

    • LOL. Sometimes I do that too. And I’m totally with you. Just b/c I’m not ashamed, doesn’t mean I want to discuss it with EVERYONE. And seriously? What’s wrong with vampire porn? Not a thing 😉 I think I’d throw my book at your co-worker . . .

    • LOL Vampire porn. That’s what my hubby use to call my books until I told him that I don’t just read about vampires.
      Jennifer recently posted…Excerpt from Sinful Deception by Joan Swan & Giveaway

  32. An interesting question! 🙂

    To be honest, I think I’ve only ever been asked by a stranger once and that was my hairdresser who I found out loved the same books and authors I did so it made for an interesting few hours. Hubby asks constantly but it’s usually the same answer – romance, he’d be clueless about genres.

    You’ve just reminded me I need to play catch-up with the Kate Daniel’s series – too many books and not enough time!
    Sharon – Obsession with Books recently posted…Cover reveal: Conspiracy Girl by Sarah Alderson

    • HA. My hairdresser always asks me too, but we definitely do NOT have similar reading interests. I don’t think she reads at ALL, and she’s one of those who won’t let her kids read HP . . .

      And YES, you do. Kate #7 in less than two weeks!

  33. If someone asks what I’m reading I usually show them the cover of my book while I’m answering. I don’t get people asking me very frequently though. I find most folks who comment are those who have read and love the book they see me holding.
    Jade recently posted…Wisdom From (4): Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

    • See, I don’t mind when that happens. I actually enjoy it. But in the other situation, I have been know to simply raise the book cover to eye-level and continue reading, LOL.

  34. I remember when I was in college when some friends of mine teased me about the historical romance that I used to read a lot. One time they even skimmed a book I was reading. Their reaction? “Amir this is like porn!” It was a book by Lisa Kleypas! LOL. So I kind of lie by omission when it comes to certaien books, specially the ones with naked torsos for covers (aka PNRs mostly). When people ask me what I’m reading I’m normally very vague. Like I would say romance or paranormal but I won’t really explain further. It just prevents people from giving me some sort of look that I used to get before ereaders. After reading your post though, I’m thinking I shouldn’t be embarrassed by what I read. I read a variety of genres and I really shouldn’t care what non-bookish people think of my reading taste! Take that judgmental college friends! Haha.
    Amir recently posted…Review: Merciless by Danielle Vega

    • No, I don’t think you should ever be embarrassed by what you read. And even though I’m not, I do deflect occasionally, if I can tell the person asking is going to be a particular breed of judgement, you know? And in those situations, who needs the hassle? NOT me 😉

  35. “I’m reading this book called ‘I’ve Fallen and there’s a Tentacle in my Butt.'” LOL, sorry, someone in my goodreads feed had a review of this book today (yes it’s real) and I just couldn’t get it out of my head. Seriously though, if someone asked, I’d probably just tell them the genre and leave it at that (“I’m reading this really cool science fiction/fantasy novel!”) and only go into specifics if they’re interested. If they’re not into that genre, telling them the title or author isn’t going to mean squat to them anyway. By the way, that’s the nice thing with e-readers these days, you get some measure of privacy. I can sit on the bus and read anything I want and no idiot can judge me for the cover!
    Mogsy recently posted…Tough Traveling: Pirates!

    • TWO people in my goodreads feed have read that book. Maybe 3, now that I think about it, LOL. And YEP. The e-reader has definitely provided us with a previously unknown measure of privacy.

  36. Oh man, if my mom or brother knew I read M/M, oouuuf, I can’t imagine their reaction. But I wouldn’t stop anyway coz I’m not doing anything wrong. People usually ask me what I read at school and I usually say angel, vampire, witch stuff or romance and some say ooh chessy or oh that sounds cool but I was never embarassed about it. My best friends know I read M/M and really, there is nothing to be ashamed of. 😛

    • Definitely nothing to be ashamed of. That being said, sometimes everyone is happier if they don’t know specifics, right? 😉

  37. LOL – The title for the creeper. Nice. I tell the truth. So far. I haven’t found myself in a situation yet where I didn’t want to tell.
    Christy recently posted…Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher

  38. Now how I respond to the question completely depends on the person asking. If its one of my friends that I know reads – I tell them exactly what I’m reading.

    If its a random coworker I’ll also tell them.

    IF it’s some strange person in public I just tell them the genre because I figure it’s highly unlikely they will even know the title or the author that I’m reading and if it’s just because they are in the mood to launch conversation then who knows maybe I am or am not inclined to oblige.

    Everyonce in a while I’ll even answer back if I’m interrupted “now I don’t mean to be rude when I say this but are you really asking because you want to know or just because you’d like to interrupt my reading. or because you think asking me is saving me from the lonely fate of reading and you think it’s the polite thing to do? If you really want to know then lets totally talk books if not then I’ll kindly go back to reading if you don’t mind =)”

    I know I can be a bitch sometimes but sometimes, just sometimes I hit my threshold level of interruptions and can help but be snarky at the person. I do it with a smile though to take some of the sting out.
    Tabitha (Not Yet Read) recently posted…Greg Van Eekhout discusses California Bones and organizing a heist

    • “now I don’t mean to be rude when I say this but are you really asking because you want to know or just because you’d like to interrupt my reading. or because you think asking me is saving me from the lonely fate of reading and you think it’s the polite thing to do? If you really want to know then lets totally talk books if not then I’ll kindly go back to reading if you don’t mind =)”

      Hahahaha!! I have my own variation of that, but unless someone has REALLY annoyed me, I’ll give the a quick answer, and immediately go back to reading, making sure that they know that I’m not looking for a conversation about it. If they give me a judgmental look, I return it (with interest) with my “ignorant plebeian” look. Not a smile, but then if they’re giving me the face of judgment, they don’t deserve one. *sniffs* 😉

  39. I find it so hard to tell folks what to read. I have such a different array of generes that I read and people are so picky sometimes. So it’s hard. So my answer is I almost never tell folks what to read.
    sharonda recently posted…TV Show Review: Hemlock Grove

  40. I usually just say “Oh, I’m reading a book about ___”. If I say a title + author, people usually just look at me weirdly because they’re not readers (which always makes me wonder why they ask in the first place. Even if it’s because they’re being polite). If it’s a book that I shouldn’t take to church (LOL), then I just try to divert the subject, much like you do.
    Marianne recently posted…Review: The Falconer by Elizabeth May

    • Yeah, I think going forward I’m definitely going to have to go the genre vs title and author route. Less frustration for everyone involved 😉

  41. If they’re not a bookish person, I usually mention something vague about the topic like “oh just a book about vampires” or something like that and if they ask if it’s Twilight, I’d be like “nah this one’s so much better”. Thankfully I don’t read much erotica to warrant the embarrassment when this happens, lol.
    Jeann recently posted…Chatterbox: The bookish completionist

    • Yeah, I’m pretty sure I’d freeze and give myself away if I was ever reading erotica when someone asked, LOL. SO. Glad that’s never happened. And I’m thinking the genre vs specific book might be the way to go 😉

  42. You guys are lucky you actually get asked! I never get asked by my friends or family. When they see me reading, they know enough not to bother me for questions like that, although to be honest, I do want them to ask just so I could convince them to try it out, too. But if ever I get the chance, I will tell them the truth, I have nothing to hide! Unless of course it’s erotica… but they’ll never know unless they ask the contents, right? HAHA
    Faye recently posted…Random Things in Motion #5: Would You Sacrifice a Loved One for the Greater Good?

    • Hahahaha!! I hope your brothers give you the opportunity to talk books sometime, and I hope that when that happens, you aren’t reading erotica 😉

  43. I’m generally not embarrassed about what I read, but I have stopped posting my more “adult” reviews to my personal FB page. I have lots of FB friends from church, etc (I teach in the K-1 room, in fact!) and I just realized that those were getting posted on my FB page and not everyone might appreciate that I read those types of books!
    Nicole recently posted…Excerpt & Giveaway – Time of Ruin by Shauna Granger

  44. Most of the time, I tell the truth, too! Not a lot of people ask, though. I only have a few friends who are interested in YA/NA and none who are interested in adult (which I rarely–but still do–read). For some reason, I get uncomfortable when they ask what the book’s ABOUT. I might spoil something or make the book sound bad, haha!
    Aimee recently posted…How Negative Reviews Really Affect My TBR

    • Yeah, it’s an odd circumstance that keeps me from telling the truth about what I’m reading. And I typically speak in generalities unless I’m discussing a book with someone else who’s read it, so I haven’t worried about spoiling anything. But I have a big mouth, so maybe I should, LOL.

  45. Great question. I have to really think about it, but I can’t honestly say I don’t think I’ve ever cared about people’s reactions to what I’m reading. I’ve always read what I want, whether it be Jane Eyre, Anita Blake or something more erotic. It’s one of the aspects of my life I’m confident about – other aspects of my life not so much LOL Personally, I don’t think it matters what you read as long as YOU are loving it.
    Carolyn (Book Chick City) recently posted…REVIEW: Dear Lizzie by Annie Lyons

    • I completely agree. 9 times out of 10 when someone asks me what I’m reading, I’ll tell them, no hesitation. That other 10% of the time is never b/c I’m ashamed of what I reading, it that answering truthfully will inevitably lead to discussion (with a non-reader), and I’d rather be reading my book than listening to some shmuck trying to show me the error of my ways, LOL. *rolls eyes*

  46. I’m pretty upfront about what I read. I like seeing people’s reactions (especially if I’m reading something like my monster porn reads lol) and more often than not they end up being readers and off we go on a fun little chat. Sometimes I will just say oh not anything you’d like or approve of but usually that’s when it’s my grams or someone similar lol
    anna (herding cats & burning soup) recently posted…Unbeautifully (Undeniable #2) by Madeline Sheehan

    • Hahahaha!! You know, I had no idea monster porn was such a big thing. Actually, I had no idea monster porn even existed until about a month ago, LOL. And yeah, definitely would not share that with grams 😉

  47. I’m like you, I usually just tell the truth. I don’t usually go into too much detail, because I’m reading here, not wanting to talk to you silly person. But, some of my cousins read the same genre I do so we do like to talk about our reading.
    Julie recently posted…Cress Review

    • “I don’t usually go into too much detail, because I’m reading here, not wanting to talk to you silly person.”

      GAH, I swear, Julie . . . sometimes I think we’re like soul twins who got separated at birth, or something, LOL. And a couple of my cousins read similar genres too, and one of my sisters, so those book chats are fun. PLUS they know while I’m reading isn’t the best time to try to talk to me about it 😉

  48. My grandmother is always very interested in my books, so I tell her all kinds of details about that book. My boyfriend always listens to me when I finished a book. When it comes to strangers, no one has asked me that question before and I think it’s rude to interrupt someone from reading if you don’t know that person.. But let’s say they have seen the cover and they are not sure if they want to buy it, I wouldn’t mind it if they asked me for my opinion 🙂 So, depends on person and situation.

    And I really don’t give a shit what other people think about the books I read, so I would never be ashamed to tell them about it.
    Mel recently posted…Fairytale News 39. Spoilers (2).

    • My grandmother is a fellow lover-of-books too. She’s read HP and The Hunger Games, so I always share with her what I’m reading. My husband listens attentively when I’m really excited/annoyed about something, so that’s all I can ask, LOL. And if someone interrupts my reading b/c they’re undecided about reading the book, I wouldn’t mind that either. Otherwise, YES–rude.

      And I don’t care either. I’ve never been ashamed of anything I’ve read. Even the books that turned out to be awful.<------learning experience 😉

  49. Is it bad that I go sarcastic and answer “a book?” Haha! I don’t really know why. I don’t feel like bothering to tell them about it. And besides, I’m reading over here. XD I have conservative relatives too, but we don’t really talk about what I read so it isn’t a problem for me. Although I am shy to discuss about certain books. And I don’t really read much that I’d be ashamed of so I guess it isn’t so bad for me. But all in all, I don’t think anyone should be ashamed of what they’re reading. Everyone has their own preferences after all.
    Francine Soleil recently posted…Hello weekend~ I’m 21, but I still wear my Barbie pajama…

    • No, LOL. Not any worse than them interrupting you in the first place, anyway 😉 And I don’t think anyone should ever be ashamed of what they read either.

  50. Ha ha what a brilliant topic!! I tell the truth because 90% of the people don’t know the book anyway. Most of the time it is followed by the question ‘So have you read 50 shade of grey?’ and the answer is No I have not. There are more than enough steamy scenes in paranormal romances to keep me happy lol. I do agree though.. thank goodness for ereaders and that you cannot see the book covers anymore!

    Chanzie @ Mean Who You Are.
    Chene Sterckx recently posted…~ MWYA 1 Year Blogoversary ~

    • Thanks, Chanzie! And thankfully, I’ve never been asked about 50 by anyone that it would have been an awkward subject with. I have read it, b/c I can’t help but read books that get that much buzz, but that doesn’t mean I want to talk about (or others like it) with every random person I meet. Yuck 😉