I read the first few chapters of “Fifty Shades” (maybe because I want to write romance and erotica, and I need to keep tabs on the competition...lmao) and found it to be just as laughable as readers warned me, but I have to admit I have a soft spot for Dan Brown's popcorn cack. I've reread a few of his books because I found them entertaining, just the same as I've re-watched the first Avengers movie several times. It's nice to switch your brain off and enjoy some mass market nonsense every once in a while.
I find it very off-putting to see readers get all snobbish about their books, not least because I write jolly and wonderful reviews from novels most readers wouldn't dare show to the neighbours. There's room for everything in the literary world. Sometimes I want to read something beautiful and thought provoking that will change the way I see the world. Sometimes I want to read something with short words and lots of explosions. It needn't be an either/or decision.
The reason why people give stupid books away is the same reason why they throw away used toilet paper. This doesn't mean, however, that toilet paper is the only thing they use in their lives. I spend a lot of money on good books and there's no way I'm throwing them away unless I absolutely have to (and that would be VERY painful). As to Dan Brown, well, I'm sorry..... I read it, shrugged my shoulders and gave it away at the earliest opportunity that presented itself.
I also read “Gone Girl”; I bought it on Amazon, read it on my Kindle and was rather annoyed and disappointed. So I learned my lesson (never to buy books just because they are advertised as bestsellers) and that's it. Shame? What shame? Over what? You like the silly book - OK, that's fine, the author did their best writing it for you, so be happy. Why hide it? And that’s you get another Dan Brown review...