I know, in the wide world of the writing world, there exists literary snobs. You know, the ones who won't read something because they thing the premise sounds stupid, never mind that you can't throw a rock across the street without hitting someone who's actually reading it.
So, as a writer, should you at least attempt to read what everyone is reading? This is an interesting thought. On one hand, I say yes. You absolutely should, if for no other reason to keep your finger on the pulse of the reader. On the other hand, who has time. In the last three days, the number of "for fun" books (which means books not about writing but that will hopefully help me to continue to grow in my writing), has gone from 3 to 8. Seriously... they are stacking up next to my bed.
But as someone who has read Twilight and Dan Brown and more obscure writers, I have come to one conclusion. No matter how much you like or don't like someone's book, there is always something to take away from it that can make you better at your craft. Perhaps Twilight finally drives home how important a realistic and flawed character is to connecting with a reader. Perhaps Dan Brown's books will finally help the concept of pacing click with you. Whatever you read, even if you think it's absolute crap and you can't believe he or she got a book contract, let alone that much of an advance, there is always something you can take away from the work!
As always, be bold!