When I was younger, more naive, and more pompous, I steered clear of bestsellers. I assumed that they were for “the masses” and therefore, not me. The problem with that is a lot of our classic literature was created and read by the masses. It’s a bit childish to hold a book’s popularity against it. I remember seeing The DaVinci Code in hardback in bookstores. Then it was the paperback. Then, another special hardback, with illustrations. I wondered, how did this book get reprinted in hardback, for more money than the original hard cover? I read the description and thought, “ohhh, now I get it.” I purchased the more expensive illustrated edition and read.
When I was in high school I used to brag that I didn’t own a book by a living writer with the exception of Anne Rice. When I was in college I used to boast that I didn’t own any contemporary writers besides Anne Rice and Tom Robbins. I mistakenly thought the only way to be a serious reader was to read dead authors. I reveled in reading classics and avoided anything published since I was born. Continue reading →