Back in middle school my favorite thing school related would probably have been the Scholastic book order forms. My mom loved to foster my reading and would pretty much let me order whatever I wanted so I’d end up with a half dozen books or more. I loved it and didn’t think anything of it.
And then one of the popular boys sneered at me and called me a “reader freak.” My cheeks flamed in embarrassment and I immediately started making excuses. “These aren’t all mine,” and the like.
Now I must not have taken it to heart for too long because I know I continued to read for fun. But I wish I would have just owned up to it. “Well if reading makes me a freak then yeah, I’m the biggest freak of them all.”
Because of that I don’t judge what people read, at least not in that way. I may pick up a book, read a few lines, not like it and even get it a bad review but I will not judge anyone if they read and like something that I don’t. I may question your choices if I know you but I won’t judge. Who’s business is it if you only read biographies, romances or graphic novels? No one. Unless you’re literally getting paid to read something and you’re not doing it.
So, to my twelve year old self and to everyone else who has been book shamed, read what you want and do not every feel ashamed about it. Just read.