Thursday, 21 April 2011
By Richard Jay Parker
If you're a writer, a reviewer, an editor, an agent or connected to the publishing industry is it really possible to blissfully enjoy any book as an unbiased reader again?
This came up in a conversation recently. What was the last book you really enjoyed without prejudice?
I recalled all the books that had turned me on to being a writer. Books that I read when I was a young shaver and only had an inkling it would be something I'd eventually attempt. I wondered how those books would stand up to scrutiny now.
As you grow older, of course, your reading tastes mature and naturally become more critical. Add to that the keen analysis that anyone involved in the industry has and the criteria for enjoyment changes.
As a writer I certainly run my finger along the top of the words to check for dust and beyond the text am probably considering the target readership etc
But, personally speaking, a good book can still override all that. Whenever I open a cover I'm a willing participant. I want to immerse myself in it and if it's not going to do that my instinct is as keen as any reader's. But when I do get dragged in - when I find myself reading just one more chapter, then another, then another - I still get the same thrill I experienced when I was a kid.