A while back I heard a wise librarian say, “Don’t ever apologize for your reading tastes.”
This is a hard thing to internalize, as I have a terrible, dark, evil secret. I hate to tell you this because I don’t want you to judge me, even though I feel you would be justified. It is terribly humiliating, given the nature of my work recommending great books to the readers of Pittsburgh. Here goes:
I do not like Shakespeare.
I don’t get him at all. I’ve read him. I’ve deconstructed him. I’ve written long papers about his plays. I’ve watched his stuff performed at theaters and in blockbusters films and they just don’t do anything for me. I find him so darn inaccessible. And understanding him takes so much time.
There is a reason for my vulnerability here. You might have literary shame too. Do you have a guilty pleasure author or genre that you love, but are afraid that your friends would judge you if they found out? I was thinking of naming all of the genres people find silly, but I won’t, just to display that I, like all of my coworkers, do not and will not judge your reading tastes. We like sexy time-travelling professional wrestling fiction just as much as the next person. We read everything. We are not snobs. We do not judge. And we don’t care what you read—we just want you to read. The best part? When you don’t know what to read next, ask us and we’ll help you find other books and authors that suit your tastes.
So is there anything you need to get off your chest? What books do you feel bullied into pretending to like or not like?
I’ll start: I don’t like Nathaniel Hawthorne either.