I admit some are gifted with the ability to read quickly and in enough detail – and I’m jealous all of you who can do that!
But there are many who skim-read in the need to meet review deadlines etc, and that is surely doing reviewers, fans, and writer no favours at all? You can take in information on the surface, but miss a million subtleties beneath it.
I completely agree with him on this instance [because he is British and he is after all Mark Charan Newton], but what I meant by reading more books in a month via the well crafted goal Gav and I along with Michael and now Mark was not meant in the sense to manage a bigger number of pages in an hour, but manage more hours in the day, more days in the month and more books in total for a month. Individuals that have a passion for anything that counts as art usually has time management issues [in various degrees and I do not rule out the possibility that there exists the perfect time efficient person]. So mark, you misunderstand what I mean, although you have a good basis to assume that we try to fit more pages in the hour by skim-reading.
We, the obsessed, usually fall short from our goals, mainly because we cannot utilize our time the best way. My bet [or goal] acts like an extra motivation to help with the doom of unread books and we all know that for some in our midst the list has hit three digits. And because the market has publishers, who only supply quality fiction in the genres we love in industrial quantities, we can barely keep up. So this leads me to agreeing with Mark Charan Newton’s next statement:
There seems to be a culture these days to read as many books as possible, which I don’t think does the reader or the writer any justice…
However, I am not sure whether the context he is implying that reviewers [in this case] read at desperate paces to provide content for their blogs is true. Reviews don’t catch the attention as strongly as we would like and the sheer number of reviews reviewers provide as content will not bring the readers. The smart boys and girls have learned that early on [apparently I am not smart a boy] and do quite well for themselves with varied content that has to do a lot about the desired books we all crave for. Prime examples here are Patrick from Stomping on Yeti, who I think charmed Aiden Moher into complete adoration and The Speculative Scotsman, who is also doing hellishly okay for the first month he has gone online. There are other rising stars on the horizon such as Floor to Ceiling Books and Book Chick City, who way outperform me for my two year run and it is because the additional content rather than the reviews.
Sadly, Mark Newton, I’ve to say that we reviewers read as fast as possible, because the focus has shifted to us [after all Gollancz invited several of our British colleagues to their party] and our addiction has evolved, because for once, we’re getting our much needed crack at the price of a testimonial.
But I still have to answer Gav’s questions:
So I guess I’m wondering how many books do you think is too many? What makes you raise and eyebrow? Is it a disservice to the writer if you don’t spend the time on it?
The answer is simple. The number does not matter. What matters is that the reviewer reaches his or hers ultimate number of books per month without suffering burnout in the process and in the given individual circumstances, time available and normal reading speed.
Am I right or am I right?
[Undoubtedly, I can be wrong as well.]