Full disclosure -- I read a lot of Ayn Rand when I was about sixteen or seventeen. It's appealing at around that age. Now I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole! I'm giving it three stars (rather than one) for how I (apparently) felt about it back then.
The same applies to Thomas Wolfe, but I still retain a fondness for him even if I can't manage to get through any of his books anymore. Oh, and Hermann Hesse. I read a lot of Hesse, but the only one I was even remotely tempted to reread was The Glass Bead Game.
All these backward glances are certainly instructional. The thing that most strikes me is that when I was younger I looked to books to find the answers. Not that I really found them, mind you, but I was looking.
Now I look to books for comfort, companionship, and entertainment. There are, too, the moments of revelation, but they are unexpected bonuses. Now more things revealed to me when I write than when I read.
Interesting. Or sad, maybe, depending on your viewpoint.