I’ve been thinking a lot about reviews, as have many of us, thanks to all the debate that’s been raging between authors, readers, bloggers, etc. I’ve edited over 300 books, trust me, I’ve had some bad reviews directed specifically at me, the editor. Sometimes they sting. Sometimes they make me angry. But I have to admit… through it all, through years of being online & years before that of reading RT Magazine…I love reviews. Love them. Not just of things I’ve worked on, but of books I’ve read, books I want to read, and books I have no intention of ever reading. And I love being able to review and share my opinion. Because of what I do, I try to be careful about sharing my opinion, but, you know, if you know me you’re rolling on the floor at the thought of me never sharing my opinion.
For me, the last decade of being on the internet and getting to experience this amazing sharing of the reading experience has made my love of books so much more fun. I adore reading other people’s opinions on what they’re reading. I love that people are reading. I love that they care enough about what they read to share their thoughts. I love the exchange of ideas and information and passion about books. Seriously effing adore it. I’m not trying to sound all Pollyanna or goody two shoes here, it’s just honestly how I feel. I can’t imagine my reading life without book talk on blogs, twitter, Goodreads, my moms’ board, and in my email. It would be weird. And kind of sad. And not quite as much fun, I’m guessing. Because I think books are meant to be shared, and how can you share a book without telling someone what you think about it? And isn’t part of the fun then comparing notes later?
While I was traveling this past weekend, I was reading an interview in Entertainment Weekly with Steven Spielberg. At the very end of the article, the interviewer is telling Steven Spielberg about one of his own experiences with one of Steven’s movies and then goes on to say “You must hear these things a lot.” In reply, Spielberg says:
“I hear amazing stories. The most amazing thing for me is that every single person who sees a movie, not necessarily one of my movies, brings a whole set of unique experiences. Now, through careful manipulation and good storytelling, you can get everybody to clap at the same time, to hopefully laugh at the same time, and to be afraid at the same time. But you can’t get everybody to interpret the result in the same way. And that’s thrilling to know–that everybody will see it differently.”
Right on, Mr. Spielberg.