Love reading chick lit? You must be stupid then. No intelligent person would bother reading that fluffy, mindless rubbish. They'd be off reading Dickens or Tolstoy, reciting the entire works of William Shakespeare. Right?
How often have you been judged for reading chick-lit? Or any genre for that matter. You read erotica, you must not be getting any. Get a kick out of reading crime novels? You're probably mildly psychotic or perhaps a bit violent. Fascinated by Sylvia Plath? Obviously a man-hater.
Nowadays, every reader seems to be judged for their reading tastes. Gone are the days when reading was its own reward and simply a passion or hobby you enjoyed to your heart's delight. Now, apparently, it says something about who you are. What stories you choose to escape into now defines how you live your life, your thoughts and beliefs on work, relationships, society and more.
Chick-lit does seem to bear the brunt of this stereotyping more than other genres. Apparently anything that includes handbags, shoes, relationships and happy endings can't possibly be enjoyed by anyone with half a brain cell. What sceptics seem not to realise is that not everyone wants to always read for intellectual stimulation. Sometimes, all we want is a fun, enjoyable read with relatable and entertaining characters. Why does that make us stupid?
Twelve years after the release of Pearl Harbor (remember that film? Josh Hartnett and Ben Affleck both competing for the love of Kate Beckinsale?), I still remember being appalled by a critic who said that no intelligent person could possibly enjoy that film. Well you know what, I enjoyed it – largely because I thought it was fun, action-packed and romantic. Also, unlike that stupid critic, I am intelligent enough to tell the difference between film entertainment and accurate war documentary. Idiot.
Do you still get judged for what you read? Do you feel the need to hide your 'guilty' pleasures or parade them for all to see, to hell with the sceptics? As ever, let us know in the comments.