Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Discussion Point – Are You a Glass Half Full Or A Glass Half Empty Sort of Reader

 

 

This weeks discussion come about from a chat I was having with a friend about our change in reading habits over the years and how much more biting have we (she and I) become about what we read.

I am just like any other reader, I have gone through my phases and my stages and probably circle back a few time in my reading and have moments when I spread my wings into the unknown, but in everything I have always been a glass half full sort of reader - I always look for the positives in a book.

I can remember in high school I just thought To Kill A Mockingbird – Lee Harper and Peyton Place - Grace Metalious were the bees knees of books - They had a bit of everything thing between the two – love, hate, family dysfunction, murder, racism, anticipation, mystery, sluts, small town issues and teen age pregnancy,  during high school all books had to come up to the standard of those two for me to say yes - these were wonderful.. so you know JANE EYRE did not make my list..

I suppose as I got older and wiser - all books MUST stand on their own if I want to be fair to the authors and to others that I am raving about a book to. I am a reader above all things first, I know that is a simplistic statement and sometime I wonder if the art of just enjoying a book has been forgotten. 

 

I find recently that I nit pick more and more and sometimes I find myself being the half empty glass sort of reader rather than the half full glass in my reading.

As someone who share my thoughts about the books I read, I do have a few things that I naturally look for in a book -  Characters, pacing, world building, humour, fluff, theme, secondary plot lines and a host of other things. However the more I blog hop and things are pointed out to me - it redefines how I look at a body of work.

One of my core policy in reading- is that there must be something positive in any body of work, not alot of people might  agree with me, but that attitude has seen me through some rather questionable reads that I was pleased in the end that I read and was able to converse about without sounding like a prat.

I love reading the thoughts of other bloggers about the books I might read or even the books I will never read – however If a blogger is too negative ( please don’t get me wrong here – objective is different from slashing everything about a book) I stay away.

Is it age or god forbid too much things being pointed out to me to look out for, but I find myself having to stretch deeper to find that “I simply like this book” moment – and it might not have to be 5 star material,  I just want to like a book because  … yeah just because…

On the other hand is it that there is abundantly more dastardly reading material out there and authors just need to step up their game and make me enjoy their offerings. 

Do you find yourself to be a glass half filled or a glass half empty sort of reader and what are some of the things that are important to you in a book as a reader..…   

 

 

16 Speak To Me:

Tam on 17 February 2010 at 21:48 said...

I tend to be what I call a "forgiving" reader. I can let a LOT of stuff slide that for other people makes them crazy and they would consider the book crap or something close to it. I don't need to be dazzled with every book I read, as long as at the end I can go "that was worth the time spent on it", I'm good with that. Of course amazing books are always great and I can tell when a book is amazing because I'll find myself going over it in my head on the way to work in the morning or laying in bed. Most books though I read and then they slip from my brain. Doesn't mean they are bad at all, every meal I eat is not Gordon Ramsey worthy but I still enjoy a pizza from a chain store or going out for Chinese food at the buffet restaurant.

I'm fairly new back to romance in general. I read it in my late teens early 20's then was away from it for about 15 years and have only been reading romance for the last 2 years or so, starting with m/f PNR and moving to m/m so I'm still getting a feel for what makes a good book for me. I'm finding themes I know DON'T work, insta-love, hiding being gay because of fear of prosecution or losing your job, some historicals (for the aforementioned reason) and hardcore BDSM. I like reviews because they can tell me if these themes are present before I spend my money. That lets me pick and choose so that MOST of the books I read are enjoyable. Sure, I still find a few that have just too many factors for me to overlook, but on the whole I do fine and I have been lucky to find reviewers on-line who seem to share similar tastes to me. Or who are able to express what the book is about so I'll know it's not my cup of tea.

So I think I'm a glass half-full. You have to do a pretty crappy job for me to not enjoy your book to some degree. I'd say 60% of the books I read I'd rate as 3 star, 10% as 2 star, 20% as 4 star and maybe 10% max as 5 star. I'm okay with that. I'm not looking for book after book of 5+ star.

Tam on 17 February 2010 at 21:49 said...

Wow, that was practically a blog post in itself. LOL Sorry.

Jude Mason on 17 February 2010 at 22:05 said...

Hey E.H.,

I have no idea if I'm the half full or the half empty kind of reader. I used to be pretty much a science fiction reader and would devour anything in the genre. Heinlein, Howard, Herbert and all the other letters...LOL I occasionally dabbled in horror and mystery, even read a few westerns over the years, but sci fi was my genre of choice. I never did read much romance.

I wrote romance and erotica. The other genres filtered into that. An erotic science fiction, or romantic mystery... now you're talking.

Now, whenever I read anything, I find myself slipping into edit mode. I'll see things that should be either deleted or fixed. Find mistakes in grammar of whatever. I still might enjoy the book and I usually do, but I'll tear it apart along the way.

So, you tell me, am I a half full or half empty kinda gal?

Hugs

Erotic Horizon on 17 February 2010 at 23:03 said...

@Tam...

I see your point exactly - I know I am a glass half full sort of person, but I think I like how you phrase that - "Forgiving"...

I can see I have forgiven alot of things in my reading. As a reader I am easy. I am the roll over at 4am and read a book all I want is a book that sways me - not have me thinking who was doing who..

So I also read alot of low star rated books and I love them. (I would be lucky to read 20% 5* - I love the fluff)

I can't imagine reading 5* after 5* rated books - makes for a huge headache for me...

The more time I spend on the web and get to know a reviewers style - It probably not nice for them to know - but if they rate a book anything below 3.5 - I am so buying that book.... LOL

One thing I have found out recently about myself is that reviewers who are particularly cutting - I have no time for them.. but as you I am glad I have found reviewers who I have caught onto their style quickly enough to get some pretty decent recommendation from them...

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 17 February 2010 at 23:09 said...

@Jude

Now, whenever I read anything, I find myself slipping into edit mode. I'll see things that should be either deleted or fixed. Find mistakes in grammar of whatever. I still might enjoy the book and I usually do, but I'll tear it apart along the way.

You are definitely half full - typos and grammar structure don't take away from how much you like/love a book...

I rarely pick up on grammar issues unless its glaring - but I find each person bring something different to how they view a book..

I still might enjoy the book and I usually do, but I'll tear it apart along the way.

Isn't that just the author and editor in you talking....


E.H>

Smokinhotbooks on 18 February 2010 at 00:46 said...

Depends on the week, lol. Last week I was glass kind of empty reader, this week I'm leaning towards half full.

I also think I tend to be more nit picky depending on the genre. I tend to be overly critical of erotic romance vs paranormal romance. I'm not sure why.

Lily on 18 February 2010 at 03:40 said...

I'm definitely a half full kind of reader. I can usually find some good in everything I read and have rarely been unable to finish a book.

Donna [F.D. Ramblings] on 18 February 2010 at 03:42 said...

I was thinking something similar myself not long ago about how I look at books now versus before. I think since I started blogging I've become a bit more picky about what I'll read. And like K.C. it depends on the genre on how picky I'm going to be. I tend to be less picky about PNR and more picky about UF or straight fantasy. But on the whole I'm still a glass half full kind of reader.

Chris on 18 February 2010 at 14:19 said...

Well, I know I've always noticed editing issues, because a friend who borrows physical books from me has commented on the editing annotations that add. :)

Glass half full/half empty - it really depends on the book/reading experience. For example, the four Matter of Time books by Mary Calmes are hampered by really atrocious editing (I blame the publisher entirely, after reading her other stuff from a different publisher). But I liked the story so much that I didn't care about the editing as much as I might have in a book I didn't get into. I might have stopped reading a book that didn't grab me, but I could NOT stop reading A Matter of Time.

ErotRomReader (Janna) on 18 February 2010 at 20:58 said...

I think I'm a glass half full kinda reader. I'm fairly new to the genre of romance but I've always been a reader, mostly of the general fiction genre. And in almost every book I read I can find something to enjoy, with a few exceptions of course. For me it depends a lot on the expectations I have before I start reading.

BTW Did you know there are about five main aspects on which you can base your opinion about a book, divided into a few sub categories? I was planning to do a blogpost on it one day ;)
The 5 aspects with their sub categories are:
- Reality (reflection, abstraction, engagement, morality)
- Author (expression, poetics)
- Book (construction, style)
- Reader (emotional, identification, didactics)
- Other work (originality, tradition)

If you're aware of these aspects that can play each a minor or major role when you're forming an opinion about a book, it learns you as a reader something about your likes and dislikes. It tells me for example why I have other reading 'standards' when I read general fiction vs romance :)
I hope I can explain the mentioned aspects and categories in a future blog posts - if I could only do it in Dutch ;)

Mostly I think I'm a half full kind of reader is because I prioritize the 'Reader aspect' when I read romance. I like to get emotionally involved and recognize something in the hero's or heroine's feelings/behavior. While part of the ‘Reality’ categories for example don't play an important role at all (I don't care if the book addresses moral dilemma's or shows political or social involvement.
In General Fiction the last things could play a bigger part in forming my opinion.
Okay, I don't know what got into me to ramble on like that, lol. I guess, it's just a topic that interests me :)
Thanks for another great discussion point hon!

Erotic Horizon on 20 February 2010 at 10:59 said...

@K.C.

I know those kind of week - I am glad they dont come around often for me...

I also think I tend to be more nit picky depending on the genre.

I am glad someone else does this as well - I am horrible with historicals - so I stay clear of them...

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 20 February 2010 at 11:00 said...

@Lily...

I do know you are most defiantely a half full reader - you always find the silver lining in a book...

Good on you girl...

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 20 February 2010 at 11:03 said...

@Donna

I think since I started blogging I've become a bit more picky about what I'll read.

I know the feeling - sometimes I look back at my first set of review and I think, how idealistic I was - I shudder at times...

But sometimes I miss how I just simply enjoyed the books for itself rather than now - I look at every aspect, every word just to find a fault...

Oh to be so new to blogging again...

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 20 February 2010 at 11:06 said...

@Chris..

I know you are one to find the editing issues - unless it's glaring I can't be bothered...

But I do agree with - sometimes it is too much that even I see it - but an author can surprise you and you couldn't care less about editing issues... (The Jade Owl - Edward Patterson - was like that for me)

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 20 February 2010 at 11:10 said...

@Janna

I love the humour you bring to your reviews - so I have always seen you as a half full sort of gal...

and I did know about those five criteria - I dont use them as I find untimately they take away from the fact that I did enjoy the book - even if it was stupid...


Mostly I think I'm a half full kind of reader is because I prioritize the 'Reader aspect' when I read romance.

I agree - you do bring that across in your reviews.

E.H>

ErotRomReader (Janna) on 20 February 2010 at 11:37 said...

"I love the humour you bring to your reviews - so I have always seen you as a half full sort of gal..."

Thanks :) But humour? Are you sure you're talking about me? Or is it that my reviews are funny because of my crappy English, lol! You make me really happy with that remark *walking on clouds now*

And about those five criteria, even if you don't use them consciously, they do play a role while you're making up your opinion about a book. Every reader has his/her own priorities even only subconsciously. That's what fascinates me.
And with figuring out what other bloggers' likes and dislikes are, I learn to know what books they reviewed I will and won't buy/read myself.

*g* Isn't it great to be allowed to just enjoy a book "even if it was stupid"... :)
I like about you that you always find something to enjoy in a book! And write a review about it that tells me exactly if I would like it too or not...