According to Neat-O-Rama contributer, Ms. Cellania:
In 1931, a schoolboy wrote a fan letter to his favorite author, Edgar Rice Burroughs. It said, in part:
I am a fourteen year old boy and am a low Junior in High School. Today at school our teacher was discussing “good literature.” I asked if Edgar Rice Burroughs was all right for a book report. I knew she’d say “no” (teachers always do) but I didn’t expect her to lecture to the class for the whole period about how terrible your books were!
The author of the Tarzan novels wrote back, in part:
My stories will do you no harm. If they have helped to inculcate in you a love of books, they have done you much good. No fiction is worth reading except for entertainment. If it entertains and is clean, it is good literature, or its kind. If it forms the habit of reading, in people who might not read otherwise, it is the best literature.
Which explains why I bought the Twilight books for my youngest daughter. The 14-year-old boy who wrote the letter was Forrest J. Ackerman, who grew up to coin the term “sci-fi”. Ackerman was a film producer, actor, and the editor of the magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland, and made a name as the biggest science fiction fan ever.