Apocalypse Ocean author Tobias Buckell has a great blog post about the problem with book bloggers and reviewers who've read too much of a single genre, to the point where they see nothing but cliches and flaws. Including this amazing quote about remembering why readers actually love books, which is making the rounds on Tumblr.
Over time, I’ve been able to move back into a place where I can focus on what works about a book, and focus less on what doesn’t. Author C.C. Finlay has a quote he uses that runs something like: “A novel doesn’t excite readers because you took all the bad stuff out of it, it excites them because of all the good stuff that’s in it, regardless of the bad.”
At a workshop not too many years ago a newer writer began to condemn a best selling novel, pointing out all its flaws and jagged edges. I listened for a long time, nodding.
“All those things are true,” I said. And gave him the C.C. Finlay quote. “But until you learn what the good parts were that excited the reader, you’re always going to be bitterly upset about what is wrong with that bestseller. Learn to spot what worked in that book, and you’ll be able to move forward. And you’ll be a lot less upset all the time as well.”
It was true for me. I don’t know if it helps reviewers, but it was essential to navigating my changing personal aesthetics as I continue to read a great deal.