16.4.05

Guilty as charged

Sarah Weinman wrote about her new bad habit - being overly critical of books as she's reading, and the book she's writing. At the end, she asks
Since I think this particular affliction affects those who write, either for a living or for a hoped living, did this sort of "sea change" happen to you, and when? How do you approach reading fiction when there's the distinct possibility that your time will be spent analyzing and deconstructing? And does the brain ever switch back, so you're "just a reader" once more?
I have to confess, I'm guilty of the analyzing and deconstructing, as well as wincing over bad grammar and typos. I'm one of those obnoxious people that threatens to red pencil a take-out Chinese menu or an incorrect ad in the subway. I scream at the telly when the newsanchor says "For Steve, Chris and Judy, I'm Susie..." instead of "On behalf of...". I'm sure it's very annoying for the people around me, but those that love me understand.

When I read a book, small errors can bother me (I read a mystery set at a major university library, with the books cataloged in Dewey not LC - and I couldn't finish the book). Large errors, like poor plotting or books that were rushed into print to take advantage of an emerging trend, bother me even more.

However, and this may contradict all I've written above, I can watch a badly acted show with few problems. On the other hand, I do the MST3K thing when I'm watching, so perhaps I am irredeemable after all?

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