To expand tangentially on #3, a lot of readers -- I differentiate "readers" from "learners" or "teachers" -- think more highly of their chosen popular fiction than of the "classic" works taught in school. Sci-fi author Orson Scott Card has said -- and I agree -- that many people grow up hating to read because of the terribly-written, old books forced on them in school by an establishment that refuses to change with the times. There is no reason, except for a basic understanding of literary history, to teach some of the wretched, boring drivel that passes for "classic" literature, while passing over the extremely influential "popular" literature that people actually enjoy reading. I, for example, would teach the works of Isaac Asimov over many other authors, as he published an extraordinary body of work in almost every field and genre; he was also a "popular" author, but with greater credentials than so many "literary" authors.
I guess it comes down to the definite worth of reading for pleasure vs. the abstract worth of reading for... self-improvement? for status? I don't want to name names, but I have read some "classic" books and thought, "Who intentionally reads this stuff? It's boring, it says nothing new, it is not significant in any way save the status placed on it by people who do not read!" So many people dismiss popular fiction of any sort simply because it sells well, or because other people like it; there is plenty of bad popular fiction, but there is so much good popular fiction that I can't imagine subjecting myself to the awful on purpose. The arrogant condescension levied against popular fiction simply because of its popularity (instead of, say, the writing quality, the stories, the intended audience, the stories, the original ideas, THE STORIES) is extraordinary; worse, those critics never read the far better books they deride, because they feel it "beneath" them.
Anyway, that's my rant. Take from it what you will.