I recently took a quiz on Facebook, where the title of said quiz said no one would be willing to admitting to read books on this list.
On the list was Mein Kempf, The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, Flowers in the Attic, the Twilight Series, Fifty Shades of Grey, several Danielle Steel titles, and a few celebrity memoirs/autobiographies. I’ve read all of these books and many more on the list. I never considered them shameful. I never thought I shouldn’t enjoy them (although I really hated some of them). Each of these books taught me something about life or myself, so I viewed my reading them as a good thing, even if I felt the hours invested might have been better spent in a book I knew I’d love.
Never be ashamed of what you’ve read, even if it’s the most awful drivel you’ve ever set eyes on. Don’t be ashamed if it made your brain bleed and your inner good taste monkey vomit. Reading awesome books is good. Reading bad books is also good. Reading is good. Period.
Instead, you should be ashamed of all the books you haven’t read for no other reason than you being an asshole. Yeah. I said it. If you’ve avoided a book because it’s written by a woman, shame on you. Misogynist prick. The same goes for you over there, not reading any books written by men. You’re an idiot who deserves to live a life full of cat litter and loneliness. If you’ve avoided books because of their genre, or their theme, or because the author is of a religion or political ideology that conflicts with your own, go stand in the corner. You’re a twat.
You’ll never evolve as a writer or a person if you don’t explore all the things you disagree with or don’t like. Me? I read Twilight, and hated it, but kind of liked The Host. I made it through most of Fifty Shades of Grey, and learned that readers enjoy the story more than the technique, because they aren’t the judgmental assholes that most writers are. I’ve read Danielle Steele and Steven King and Joe Nobody. I avoided science fiction for a ridiculously long time (because I thought it just wasn’t my thing) before I realized these writers have a shit ton of imagination and talent. I’ve read erotica, porn, horror, romance, all of it. I don’t like all of it. I don’t like all of the authors I’ve read. I don’t like feeling anything smushy or sparkly, but I still read smushy, sparkly stories. I don’t like preachy folks, but I’ve read Christian fiction (and liked some of it).
My point is I don’t like a lot of things. If I based my reading choices on my biases, I’d run out of shit to read, because a lot of things irritate me. So, don’t be ashamed if you read something regretful.
Be ashamed for believing romance is only for desperate or lonely girls.
Be ashamed for thinking sci-fi is for boys and/or nerds.
Be ashamed for considering literary fiction a genre only over-educated, self-righteous douchebags would read.
Be ashamed for dismissing fantasy as children’s fiction.
Be ashamed for leaving horror for the sickos.
Be ashamed for letting Grandpa read the westerns.
Be ashamed for assuming historical fiction is boring or unimaginative.
Be ashamed for letting your biases limit the vast world of fiction available to you.
Be proud of ignoring your inner asshole and reading something you believe you’ll hate, because you might find something new to love.
What I’m saying is if you only read about the things you like or the themes you believe in, you’ll never grow into the awesome writer and/or person you could be.
And that, dear asshole, would be such a waste.