If you’ve read any interviews with me, you may know of my love for the novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs. He was the creator not just of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes, but also of John Carter of Mars; the land that time forgot called Caspak; the world within the hollow Earth called Pellucidar; as well as dozens of novels about other people and places besides. His novels were wildly popular during his lifetime, and for good reason: They are breathtaking adventure stories written with a kind of energy that few writers equaled at the time.
They are also—then and now—considered trash without literary merit. But the thing about the books you love as a reader? You don’t care whether or not they’re considered “art.” And, as Edgar Rice Burroughs writes to the young Forrest J. Ackerman, “If [a novel] forms the habit of reading, in people who might not read otherwise, it is the best literature.”