Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Picky book reader

I would just like you to know that I am officially ruined forever, and it's all Speak, the Bibliophile and someone I will affectionately refer to as the Blockhead's fault!

You might be asking yourself what these three friends have done to receive my wrath. No, it's nothing serious. All they've really done is make me look at books more critically. Now, instead of just picking up a book and being able to enjoy it, I think about all kinds of different factors such as: character development, plot, word choice, editing and how predictable it is. And if it doesn't fit within a certain "we are the experts bibliophile criteria", I can't enjoy it anymore. * Sigh *

Here is a prime example. I read a book by a certain author back in February. I'd been waiting a long time to read the book so I was pretty excited. On the whole I liked the book even though there were things about it that bothered me. About a month ago, I saw that this same author had recently published another book, and I wanted to read it. In true Bibliophile style, I put a hold on it at the library and had it within a few weeks. I discovered the book had actually been published about 27 years ago under a different name and nowit was being re-released under a different name. I found that slightly strange but didn't let it put me off. And, sadly enough, I found myself completely disenchanted by the story so that I didn't even want to read it. I never, ever don't finish a book, but I disliked this one enough that I didn't bother. I pretty much knew what was going to happen anyway, and (since I peeked at the end) I discovered that it did.

The real problem with the book is that a) it has a wandering viewpoint so it keeps getting into every one's head, even characters that I could care less about; b) it's very predictable, and, in fact, it mirrors very closely both the other books I read by this author; and c) the heroine is too perfect--she doesn't have a flaw to speak of. How interesting is it to read about someone who is perfectly selfless all the time or who is just like the characters from two other books? I found it very boring, and I'm not sorry that I put the book down.

Thanks to Speak and the Bibliophile for encouraging me to be more discerning in my literary tastes. In the long run I'm sure it's a good thing.


Sarah Roberts said...

How interesting. A few people in my life have done the same thing, but I've trained myself enough to not let it get in the way too much. Even though a plot may be dumb or whatever the case may be, I don't want to "burn" myself with the author necessarily. But I am interested in knowing what book you are talking about. And if you would give your audience a "book review" of other books in the future, I think all of us would appreciate that as well. (If you already do that, sorry, don't remember!) :)

Confuzzled said...

Hee hee. My evil plan to turn you into someone just like me is working! Just kidding. But I'm glad to be doing something that you think will benefit you ;)

gag01001 said...

I'm sorry! I know I'm a book and music snob, but I hope I haven't made these medium less enjoyable for you. In the long run, I hope reading a little more critically enhances the experience.