When it comes down to it, women seem to show more reading shame about reading specific genres. Men either a) also read those genres but don’t buy them or read them in public (with a few exceptions), or b) aren’t shamed about what they read as much as women are. I suspect it’s the latter. Basically, if men read “unliterary” but stereotypically masculine genres, it’s fine. If women read “unliterary” but stereotypically feminine genres, it’s deserving of a brown paper bag in the form of increased e-reader sales so you can read in public in peace.
Some of the stories in the column (and in the comments section) made me think of the Christmas season during my tween years in which my music-aficionado father was horribly, horribly embarrassed at the prospect of being seen purchasing a NKOTB cassette.