Thursday, April 26, 2012
I love to read - almost more than I now know I love to write. For the past month, I've been reading far more than I've been writing. It wasn't as pleasurable as I wanted it to be, because there was a nagging feeling that my reading wasn't productive. I hadn't been writing about it. I'm an author - I'm supposed to post reviews of what I read.
Then my stubborn streak kicked in. "Says who?"
Some authors are wired to author reviews of other authors' works, and seem to do a very good job of it. But I'm not among that number. Suppose I read a book that I love - until the pieces come together for the climax. Then I find it to be contrived and the antagonist's purpose, success and ultimate downfall based on a premise that - I feel - the climax exposes as unrealistic. The author of the book that I (hypothetically) now detest spent at least as much time in writing their book as I have in writing mine. Who am I to give it a bad review? I am only one reader.
I could go halfway and just write reviews of books that I love. But for an analytical type like me, that's only part of the story. The more books that I didn't write reviews for, the more imbalance there would be in my brain and the more I would resemble Sheldon on Big Bang Theory. Sometimes I think he's channeling the unbalanced me... :-D Only kidding.
So I just won't do it - write reviews, that is. Now that I've figured that out, I can go back to reading for enjoyment. But what about sites like Goodreads? My 'read' shelf shows how long I've been conflicted about this. The last book I added (and briefly reviewed) was almost two years ago. So what to do?
I've decided that I'll continue to put books on my "read' shelf, but only the ones I truly loved. They'll all have five-star reviews and maybe a brief sentence or two. But what does it mean for books that are not on my 'read' shelf? Nothing. It means nothing at all.