On Reviewing

The blogosphere has been atwitter with the whole process of book reviewing. Here’s 2 essays I found thought-provoking:

From themillions.com

From litlove, an excellent blog that I had the good fortune to stumble upon recently

I think there’s a lot to litlove’s comment that “personal-opinion based reviews tend to say a great deal about the person reading, but less about the book.” (Indeed her whole article is worth perusing. So is the comments section).

While I do not want vapidity in my writing, especially book-reviews, I am also wary of sliding to the other extreme where the impressions and the experience are subsumed into the objective and the critical. Both the perspectives are equally important. And ultimately all the ingredients would have to blend together seamlessly – the voice that is uniquely me, my experience of reading the story, and the gleanings from the critical filter.

I also have to confess that I am sort of not sure what reading critically actually encompasses. Is it a hyper-awareness of what one is reading while one is reading – maintaining a sort of an objective view-point  while being immersed in the subjective experience of the story? No, that does not sound right. For one it sounds awfully exhausting. For another it seems implausible that one could sustain this state through the length of a book. More importantly, I think it would detract from the enjoyment of the story.

To answer my own question – the no-brainer answer would be to commence with the critical thinking once the last page has been turned and all the details are available. And if one is prone to forgetfulness (like this writer) which would make using the framework that litlove mentioned a tad difficult the no-brainer answer (yes, again) would be to go back to the story.

Hmm. That does not sound too difficult. Unless it is? Well, I’m sure to find out in the days to come!


A litte while later – And while trawling through the webs just now came across BrainPicking’s ‘How to Read Like a Writer’

That’s what I’m thinking. I’d love to know *your* thoughts!

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