Tuesday, July 26, 2011
An Oldie but a Goodie
I read a lot of book reviews. Not so much because I write, or because I'm curious about what people have to say about books, but because I work in a bookstore. Whether I want to or not, I've got to find out something about some of the hundreds and thousands of books that appear every year. Sometimes I can stand to read a book myself; occasionally I even enjoy it. Most often I can gather information from what people say and what they're buying. There are times, though, when the book review is all I have to run with, and let me say that this article, though it's a few years old, is still terribly correct about the process of reviewing. Eschew, for instance, has probably been heard only once in my life, give or take, I would assume by someone trying to sound educated. I may in fact have never heard it, though I have read it often enough in reviews and similar, but not often in actual prose. And lyrical is often just a sloppy descriptor, one which suggests something that could be more clearly laid out by a good review. And so on. To read this makes one think about the process of reviewing, which is good, because we're going to start doing some of that here on the site, and it's best not to look too much the snob/windbag/fool when doing such things, right?