On the rare Sunday that I actually get a chance to sit down with the newspaper I reach right for the Book section.
Okay, that isn’t exactly true. I always read the Sports section first, but right after that I pick up the book section. See, the Washington Post has this really cool book review insert on Sundays. I think they call it Book World.
Here is the problem: I like the idea of reading book reviews while secretly hating book reviews.
I feel like reading a long review of a novel before reading the actual book ruins the experience. I don’t even really like reading the book jacket anymore. I want to be surprised as I read. I want the book to tell me the story. I don’t want to know the plot before I even turn the first page.
I am sort of the same way with movies. I almost don’t want to know what they are about.
As a writer I am sometimes asked to do book reviews. I always go out of my way (and this is much more important for fiction, in non-fiction you don’t have as many surprise endings) to not give away too much of the story. Of course my articles end up being pretty amorphous. This is perhaps why I am not asked to do more book reviews.
I don’t know if this is totally normal, or if it is a phase I am going through or if I am just getting old and crotchety. Tell me the truth – does the review ruin the book or movie or are you over there rolling your eyes at me? Or both?