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It took me a while to get around to reading "Lessons in Chemistry" because I had a lot on my — oh, who am I kidding? It took me a while to read "Lessons in Chemistry" because I was being a snob.

Bonnie Garmus' novel, a romantic comedy but also quite a bit more than that, has been on bestseller lists for more than a year. For most of those 60 weeks and counting, I found an excuse not to read it. When I got around to it (thanks to my sister, who lent me her copy), I loved the tale of a female scientist who, ignored in her field in the 1960s, becomes the star of a chemistry-based cooking show. I also wondered what took me so long.

I think it's that I have become suspicious of "the book everyone is reading." I could get all highbrow and quote novelist Haruki Murakami, who wrote that "if you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think about what everyone else is thinking."

But I probably devoured a dozen mediocre thrillers in that period, so let's not pretend that I skipped "Lessons in Chemistry" (also the basis of an upcoming Apple Plus TV series starring Brie Larson) because I was pursuing higher truths. (P.S. Mr. Murakami: A million people can read the same book and think a million different things.)

More likely, it was because I've been burned by previous "books everyone is reading," by which I mean "Where the Crawdads Sing," which I do not get at all. It's obviously beloved — it was on bestseller lists for longer than "Lessons" (so far) — but, apparently, it's not my thing. Same for "The Help" and "Like Water for Elephants" in previous years.

Sometimes, the issue is that it can be hard to live up to a year's worth of buzz. And, sometimes, these books are not great but we need their initial uniqueness to wear off before we realize it, which is what happened with "The Help."

Or sometimes they're bad and a lot of readers just don't care, which seems to be what happened with the "Fifty Shades" books (I only read the first one; it was plenty) and "The Da Vinci Code." I can't explain either of those two. I guess they got so much attention that even people who rarely read bought them? But I do know I feel a small sense of vindication every time I notice that someone has banished their copy from their home and dumped it in a Little Free Library.

So, yes, some not-great books sell an ungodly number of copies. But so did "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time," "Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" and "The Kite Runner."

There are plenty more examples of good "books everyone was reading." I read "All the Light We Cannot See," "Wonder" (if we're including young adult titles) and "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" early in their published lives, but if I had waited until all of them logged more than 100 weeks on bestseller lists, would I have turned up my nose and missed fantastic books?

Maybe, but not anymore. The lesson I hope I've learned from "Lessons" is that just because everyone is reading a book doesn't mean it isn't terrific.

Event: Pen Pals with Bonnie Garmus, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 25, 11 a.m. Oct. 26 (virtual and live), Hopkins Center for the Arts, 1111 Mainstreet, Hopkins. $35-$59,