I looked through more than 172 pages (so about 1700 books) of 640 or so pages with books containing pleasure in their title in the betterworldbooks website. i did this because i have been looking for a book that i had once checked out at ucla library. i remembered the book to be very intriguing. a novel. something related to eating. very sassy. but i haven’t been able to remember the title. i knew it was something like “… to pleasure.” for some reason i remembered and searched for it as ode to pleasure. anyhow, it didn’t take me very long to find it. it is a novel called “debt to pleasure” and has pears on the cover just like i remember [or was it peaches? now i’m not so sure. there are several covers out there]. the copy i picked out from the library was a little precious hardcover book. i remember flashing it to my advisor in his office talking about my thesis and saying “look at the stuff i’ve been reading.” i was trying to make the move from burrowed eyebrow activism to the throes of pleasure. this was like my ticket in or something. i was very happy to have found the book finally. but then since this is my area of interest i began looking at all the books with the word pleasure in their titles and soon some patterns began to emerge and i wanted to jut them down. at the end i list the books that intrigued me and that i would maybe like to read.
a great majority of the books containing pleasure in their titles are trashy sex novels with titles like “the pleasure is mine.” the next biggest category is sex guides of one kind or other, lots of sex guides for women. then there are food books. interestingly lots of worship books like “giving oneself for god’s pleasure.” god having pleasure is a strange idea to me. early on some theoretical works like foucault, bathes, freud, laura mulvey (i noticed she has two books containing pleasure in the title, yum). later on i noticed quite a few books about films, tv and pleasure in their titles. so viewing and pleasure seem to be an important issue.
i noticed that for sex novels and sex guides the word pleasure is most frequently coupled with guilty (notorious/dangerous/perilous are also used). for food books it is oftentimes coupled with simple. and for self-help books or feelgood books it is coupled with small or little.
among the sex guides and other sex related books, many books about submission where the word pleasure in the title is then mostly coupled with pain.
there are a couple books that combine the word pleasure with the word reading. ran into quite a few books containing pleasure and literature in their titles such as:
The Pleasures of Babel: Contemporary American Literature and Theory
there is one book that combines the word pleasure, food and politics in its title and it’s about slow food.
a couple history books like “luxury and pleasure in eighteenth century britain” .
one book brings the word pleasure together with bodies. bodies and pleasures by ladle mcwhorter. the subtitle has something to do with foucault. definitely interested.
two books about hedonism that contain pleasure in their titles.
quite a few books that contain films and pleasure in their titles.
some poetry books. a couple books about music like “the pleasure of modern music: listening,meaning,intention, ideology.” then there are guidebooks on various topics that tend to bring in a contrasting way the words pleasure and profit. like fish farming for pleasure and profit. a lot of animal husbandry and farming books that use pleasure and profit together.
some of the words that are coupled with pleasure are below:
forbidden/deadly/anxious/poisonous/domestic/mysterious/heavenly/sensuous/hidden/ordinary/true/pure/subtle/sinful/wicked/ultimate/earthly/wordly/unexpected/shared/complicated/sexual(only once so far)/absolute/powerful/sacred/solitary(only one)/singular/endangered(online)/positive(only one)/bountiful(one)/aesthetic(one)/complex/fearful/majestical/green/secret/icy(1)/private/erotic(1)/disturbing/unauthorized/unruly/subversive
by far the most frequent are guilty and simple though. pleasure is simply guilty. or guilt simply brings pleasure. i don’t know
in terms of spatial references pleasure seems most coupled with island, dome, palace and garden. quite a few books on gardening that include the word pleasure. also quite a few poetry books.
master, prince and child as personas are coupled often with pleasure. and sometimes king.
NOTE: I composed this writing in TextEdit. And later on I began copying the book covers and descriptions, making little observations and writing about what interested me about a particular book that contains pleasure in its title. But the formatting here doesn’t allow me to put the pictures in and it makes the whole thing a bit pointless. So I stop before I begin going into each book that interested me.