Well, thank goodness that's over!
Writing and thinking about these “really, really bad” books has got me thinking about if, why, and when we should read books, even bad ones.
When I think of the purpose of reading books, I generally think of education or recreation. You get an education from reading non-fiction and the very best novels; novels that make you think. Then there is recreation, which is different to amusement: the former means to re-create and the latter means no mind. Recreation is building up and edifying at the same time as well as resting and relaxing, but amusement is brainless; “all the discernment of a vaccuum-cleaner” as Douglas Wilson put it once.