Do you have people you can talk to about books you’ve read (share delight in plot twists, explore how much fun it was, or how badly-written)?
I do! I’m a reviewer for Austin CNM, so I have a built-in audience. Well, at least my stats are more than zero, and people have left comments and mentioned my reviews to my face, so I think I have an audience.
In real life, though, I rarely get to talk about books. Some of my other friends who are readers will occasionally ask what I’m reading. Thanks to my review column and my voracious reading appetite since childhood, I am always reading something. I like being able to share that, especially when I’m reading fiction and am in the middle of a book. I can’t spoil the end when I don’t know how it ends yet!
Not being able to talk and write critically about what I read is one of the things I miss about college. One of the pillars of writing a review is “don’t spoil the ending.” So many books provide rich discussion only when you can speak freely about the end. In school, it was almost impossible for me to develop a solid thesis about literature without referring to the entire work. Unless it ended with a whimper, there was always something about the end that changed how I saw the beginning and the plot-moving actions. Even To Kill a Mockingbird gives away the ending (sort of) without ruining it or using a frame story.
Oh, frame stories and technical terms. That’s something else I miss about college classes and about teaching. Maybe I should prioritize writing critically about what I read and just stick a spoiler alert on those posts. Maybe someday.
For more short queries about books and the reading life, visit Booking Through Thursday.