On “Guilty Pleasure” Reading

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In my everyday life, I never experience book-shaming or reader-shaming firsthand. Of the few times that coworkers or friends have ventured to bring up the topic of books, they speak unabashedly about Stephen King, John Green, and Mary Higgins Clark. Quite frankly, no one around me seems particularly ashamed to be seen reading genre fiction or YA novels.  And why should they?

But hop on the web, and it seems that everyone feels the need to defend their decision to read purely for pleasure. No one wants to be seen reading Twilight on the subway or Fifty Shades of Grey at Starbucks. And what’s more, we feel ashamed for the books we haven’t read (Moby-Dick, anyone?).

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