I stepped to the checkout counter with six books. Five of them were hard-hitting: critically acclaimed fiction, nonfiction on scientific and philosophical themes, and a classic masterpiece. The sixth was a fun beach read: a cinematographic page-turner.

The young woman behind the counter snatched the sixth book and looked up at me, face aglow. “This is such a good book!”

“Really?” I said.

I didn’t tell her that I was equally—or more—excited about the other five books. Doesn’t anyone read learned books anymore? I peevishly thought.

But she was right. Book six was good. I devoured it with gusto.