I’m much more put off if someone attacks something I take pride in (such as, fr’instance, my taste in books or music), than if someone attacks something I don’t like about myself anyway (such as the fact that I bite my lips when nervous), or that I find to be a “guilty pleasure” (such as my mind-numbing attachment to “American Idol”). I guess we’re just better sports when our pride isn’t being insulted.
To the OP’s point, I seldom think that any response is appropriate to folks who trash favorite “intelligent” reads of mine. Not only are they liable to think that I’m a smug wench, even if I am only pointing out things they might have missed that had meaning to me, but then they might not even read or re-read the book out of sheer defiance. Best to ignore and continue on!
At least HERE at SDMB, I can be reasonably assured that no one will tell ME that my distaste for Danielle Steel books is unfounded and that enlightenment is just a “between-the-lines” paragraph away, if only I’d look…
I DID say “reasonably assured”.