When I started reading Gold Medal Books, long, long ago, I had no more critical sense than a cricket. For that matter, I'm not sure that I've shown much development. My point, if I have one, is that about all I knew is whether I liked the books or not. And of course I knew that I liked some more than others.
One of the first Gold Medals I remember reading is I Am Legend. Now there was a book that knocked me out. I let a friend borrow my copy, and he told me, years later, that he couldn't believe anyone would let him borrow such a wonderful book. He was surprised that I would let it out of my possession. I think that over the years the book's taken plenty of critical hits, but I don't care. For me, it's still the book I read nearly 50 years ago.
I went on to amass quite a stack of Gold Medals, so I have most of the ones I'm interested in reading, and a lot that I'll probably never read. Sure is nice to have them around, though.