‘What are you reading, Miss ----?’ ‘Oh! It’s only a novel!’ replies the young lady; while she lays down her book with affected indifference, or momentary shame. ‘It is only Cecilia, or Camilla, or Belinda’; or, in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed; in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit or humour, are conveyed to the world in the best chosen language. -Jane Austen, Northanger AbbeyThis quote showed up yesterday in a post on The Huffington Post titled "Jane Austen and 6 Other Authors On The Divine Pleasure of Reading."
This quote is from the last paragraph of Chapter 5. I find it interesting that 200 years later and the same sentiments still exist where we brush them of ass "only a novel." I enjoy reading, it really doesn't matter what, but every day I'm around people who look down their nose at books that aren't the latest literary master piece or the newest historical account of some long dead president.
Don't be ashamed to be reading a novel. It may be the one book you read that reaches you to the core, that shows you the joy and greatness of the world. Enjoy that novel! Close yourself off into a room like Catherine and Isabella and read a novel!