Wednesday, August 23, 2006

No One Requires That You Like Every Book

You don't have to like everything you read. This is true whether you are reading it for pleasure or for school. (In some cases it is especially true if you read it for school). You don't have to agree with everything an author says. And yet, this concept doesn't seem to work for some people.

Several Clemson students didn't like a book that was assigned and felt that they would rather write an essay about how they didn't like the book without reading it. (I'm sure none of them were motivated by saving themselves some time.) Part of what I find fascinating is that the book is a memoir, and some students stated they had heard it glorified certain behaviors. But it's a memoir, so really it's recounting behaviors, one imagines. (I haven't read the book either, but I may have to now.) Update: Ann Patchett visited Clemson for the author panel about the book.

But perhaps that isn't so strange, since the Banned Books Cafe noted that a number of banned books are memoirs, including the Diary of Anne Frank.

Nick Hornby wrote a great article, suggesting people read what they want and be nice.

Thanks to Bookslut for the links.