Wednesday, September 9, 2009

My two cents

I've been reading Jason's recent posts these last weeks and have composed scads of responses, none of which I've posted.

Yet, I feel I can't write about any of the books I've read these last weeks until I respond, so here goes ...

I agree with Jason's friend that the written word engages us in a way no other medium can - it's why I love it so much - and that the best writing enriches our lives.

But I - clearly - disagree with the notion that all we should be reading is what someone else has determined is good for us.

In fact I think we should ban usage of the word good when talking about authors and books.

If some books are good to read, then others must be bad, right?

Perhaps I'm overanalyzing, but what is bad about spending your time reading a novel that overuses adverbs?

(And frankly, if you're counting adverbs, the author has lost you!)

Some people may choose to relax by watching sports on television or enjoying a beer.

Should we tell them that they shouldn't be doing these things because there are other more worthy pursuits?

What is the harm in relaxing with a book that is less than perfect?

Besides, if we don't read authors who are less than the best, how will we recognize those who are truly gifted?

- Tricia Ambrose



Blogger Tricia said...

My grandmother was an intelligent and well-read woman. Largely self-educated, she had a voracious appetite for reading: biographies, history, mysteries - her bookshelves were always full. On Sundays she had the New York Times delivered, along with the Washington Post. Every day she read the daily papers from Buffalo and her little town. She was fierce.

She also had a subscription to Star magazine and kept them in a neat pile next to her easy chair. When my dad asked her why she wasted her time reading what he considered nonsense, she told him that you have to read the trash to appreciate the treasures.

(The other Tricia)

September 9, 2009 at 10:20 AM 
Blogger Harold said...

I agree with much of what was said.

And I totally disagree with the hack test. You cannot count adverbs. While the overuse of adverbs does indicate someone who has not re-read and re-written their work (largely immaturity), we cannot develop specific rules that say "Any time this happens it is bad."

And, yes, people are entitled to their own beliefs, as long as they give them the thought they deserve.

(I just wrote due diligence in that last sentence, realized it was an awful cliche that I typed without any thought whatsoever. While the replacement, "thought", does not provide anything remarkable, I avoided writing and thinking in a certain way just because I had heard it that way so many times.)

September 15, 2009 at 3:33 PM 

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