Alright, so my sister somewhat recently persuaded me to give the Percy Jackson series a try. (Considering how I couldn’t even play ‘God of War’ because…so inaccurate…I wasn’t expecting to like it, but the voice is actually very good. Just stop after the first book, though, because after then it does get a little middle grade in the bad this-is-why-I-don’t-read-it-anymore way.)
I’m aware of just how bad this art is, so…it’s Percy Jackson (or some generic tard) telling Zeus and Poseidon they can’t have children anymore. Except, you know…their half-mortal children don’t have powers anyway.
See, this is my problem. Instead of enjoying the ride and turning my brain off, I start analyzing. It gets worse with each successive reread of a book: I’ve managed to reach the point where I can’t read American Gods (which used to be one of my favorite books) anymore, just because there are so many details and little extra bits I can’t help but wonder about. (Seriously, there are points where I get the feeling the editor only left certain passages in because he’s Neil F’ing Gaiman. I would love to hear from anyone who knows how much really famous authors are able to get away with.)
On the other hand…isn’t it a good thing for me to look at stuff with a critical eye? Let me be clear, I don’t do the internal editor the first time I read a book, but I do fact-check by reflex (‘The Lightning Thief’ is also missing accents on the Greek, but thankfully they’re there the next time Greek is used). And why shouldn’t a book be accurate where it’s important? Obviously, complaining about giving demimortals superpowers is unreasonable, but if you’re going to write a thriller you should know what the standard operating protocols for your area are, for example.
Not to mention that analyzing other work improves one’s own writing. I’ve learned how to write from picking out the bits I loved most in my favorite books; why shouldn’t I learn how to edit with a more critical analysis of these same books?
(The obvious answer is because it completely ruins them for me.)
In the end, though, this is a habit I can’t do anything about. If I want fond memories of a book I won’t reread it too often.
Pick a side, anyone? Would you rather get things right or stick with superficial enjoyment?