Have your book-tastes changed over the years? More fiction? Less? Books that are darker and more serious? Lighter and more frivolous? Challenging? Easy? How-to books over novels? Mysteries over Romance?Oh, wow are you sure you want to ask me that!!?!?!?! Well, I am sure! I have developed a security in my reading choices over my (short) years. Especially when starting out at Oregon State University as a lit. major, it was easy to get caught up in the mentality- if it isn't absolutely, insanely boring and horrid to get though you are not punishing yourself enough by reading it, and you should go to the lib. and grab one that will bore you to tears in order for it to be a proper lit read!!!!!!
Now I read what I want, I am secure in my choices and I go by no one elses standards, only my own. I have developed a security that a good book is something you do have to read, but not something that you earn by reading the stupid (sorry) 800 pages until you arrive at. Yes, this is still a common feeling between English majors especially- not so much in my major Spanish Lit. since that is more focused on magical realism and diversity, and immigration and the value of all human beings.
The feelings of insufficiency creep in every once in a while when I am asked (by my book club) to read books such as Anna Karenina, or what we are supposed to have read by this Saturday Portrait of a Lady by Henry James....My insecurities creep under my pillow at night and I feel that if I were a true reader I would EARN my stripes, in a self punishment type of way. However deep down I have learned that I need not punish myself for reading, I will read what I enjoy and have developed the security to back that up! No more do I have the need to it-would-look-good, or then-you-would-have-read-that-classic! I do enjoy some classics, and if I enjoy them, I read them....if not...I have realized in my life I have no one to please, not need to match up, and I can even read chick lit and not feel brainless. I read what I choose, not what will make me look good.
Sorry to load emotion to this answer...but it was there, asking to be spoken for.
How do you feel, why do you read a book, do you secretly hope that someone sees the cover and thinks of you in a certain way, or are you embarrassed to read a brainless book because then you could be considered an average reader??