I'm glad reading isn't cool (whatever cool is
). If it were to become "cool," the non-conformist in me would force me to give up the habit.
I'm not sure that the "being forced to read boring stuff in school"
hypothesis really holds much water, though. I was forced to read the same boring stuff that everybody else was... and I did
hate it... with a passion. But I still loved to read for my own entertainment and that passion was not dampened in the least by being forced to read stuff I didn't like. Of course I was reading books for my own enjoyment long before being forced
to read books became a regular (let alone gradeable) part of my official education. Maybe that makes the difference. Because as much as I'd like to be considered "special," I'm sure that there's plenty of people that felt—and reacted—much the same way I did. I'm sure many of them are members of this forum.
So while being forced to read Shakespeare at time when you were ill prepared to appreciate it may certainly be a mitigating factor, I don't think it's the deciding factor. I think it's a lot simpler than that: reading isn't "cool," because those who love to read aren't "cool". Never have been. Harsh, I know, but educated bookworms have always been made fun of... hands-on experience has always been valued higher than "fancy book-learnin' " in most societies.
I'm sure there weren't many people that thought scribes were cool back in the day, either.