Do you find yourself predisposed to like (or dislike) books that are generally accepted as great books and have been incorporated into the literary canon? Discuss the affect you believe a book’s “status” has on your opinion of it.
If I read a book that's considered a classic, then I'm likely to give it the benefit of the doubt. Parts of The Woman in White, for example, were pretty slow, but I kept reading and loved the book as a whole. I don't feel obligated to like every book that has great critical acclaim, but I do try to figure out why literate, intelligent people have held that book up as a classic. Sometimes, I still don't enjoy the book, but have an appreciation of what the author was trying to do, as in Return of the Soldier. Other times, I'll dislike the book at the time I read it, but later pick it up and be able to see it with different eyes, as in The Red Badge of Courage. I realize that there are plenty of great books that aren't in the Western canon for reasons not having to do with their quality, but I feel that the ones that have been inducted into the hall of fame deserve my best effort.