Recommending a book can be like trying to navigate the unspoken rules and faux pas of a Jane Austen ballroom. The book world comes with considerable baggage. Snobbery is rife, and so is reverse snobbery. Taste is on the line. So is class. So are more stigmas and stereotypes than anyone would want to be associated with. The stigma of the erotica reader. The stereotype of the science fiction reader. The distaste for the elitist advocate of whatever “real literature” is. All of this sits unspoken in the choice of the favorite book that you share with your new friend, and this is precisely why naming and explaining it can be like offering a stranger a hidden part of your soul.

– Jodie Archer and Matthew L. Jockers, The Bestseller Code: Anatomy of the Blockbuster Novel (2016)


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