Shame Reading

By Mary Kelly

When I first started out as a student, I thought my taste should gravitate to the “serious” and “important” works of literature. I kind of wanted to be that person that read Kafka or Joyce on the train or went to a poetry reading. I even wanted to wear a beret. I was hoping that I would be considered a “deep thinker” and an “intellectual” reader. I guess I wanted to be the early 1980s version of Rory Gilmore. No one needed to know that although I read widely on occasion (and sometimes with a gun to my head), I secretly loved books by the likes of Erica Jong, Jacqueline Susanne, and Sydney Sheldon. If it had a wild plot, sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll, I was a fan. I could chew these books up like candy. It was my secret shame reading list.

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