[am i reading right?]

You know, sometimes I'm surprised they let me be an English major in college.

I was an English major...I just got my Master's Degree in Library Science, but sometimes, I wonder if I'm reading right.

I'm supposed to have read all the classics - and have read all the modern-day "must reads". I'm supposed to snap up Oprah's books, and talk endlessly about Morrison and Salinger and Faulkner.

But I have to be honest. I haven't read all those classics like I should have. And many of them that I have read, I didn't enjoy. In my mind, I would rather read a good Nora Roberts than try and slog through a Victorian novel laced with high falutian language and inaction.

And I feel so guilty about that. I should enjoy all those stories, not just the fun reads, the quick reads, the easy reads. I was just looking at my book reviews page, and I wonder if I look that shallow to other people.

I've been trying lately to read one "fun" read - something I really want to read, and then reading one "required" reading - a classic, or a title I should have read by now.

Perfect example. I picked up The Color Purple the other day. I read the first few pages and hated it. I promised myself if I still hated it by page 50, I could stop reading it.

I still hated it.

This is a modern-day classic, a title everyone has read. And I had to force myself to read 50 pages? I think there's something wrong with me. And all those Oprah books? I think I've disliked every single one I've read. And Hemingway? Can't stand the him.

I'm hoping to be a librarian in a public library, and I'm terrified about doing reader's advisory, because I feel guilty about my own book choices. If I didn't have friends like Erica and Maire, true readers, telling me titles to try, I don't know what I would read half the time.

Yes, I do. I would read the fun stuff. The stuff I can relate too. I would pass by all the titles I was supposed to read as an English major. Does that make me a bad librarian? Does that make me a bad reader? Is that fair?

I don't have the answers. I just know that guilt is no reason to read. Enjoyment, escapism, and being able to relate to, cheer for and like the characters means a lot more to me than having the right titles under my belt.

But then, maybe I'm wrong.