A couple days ago I was watching Teen Titans Go with my kids. In this particular episode Raven (one of the characters who is usually portrayed as intelligent and dark) introduces the rest of the Titans to reading. They fall in love with reading and want more. So they ask her what they should do next. She says they should start a book club and discuss their books. So they start a club and discuss their books and how much they loved their books.
A couple minutes into the meeting Raven says it’s not enough to share how much they like their books. They need to go deeper. How? they ask. She starts with her own book by saying the premise of the book was unbelievable and goes on for a minute breaking her book down into tiny increments, dissecting each scene and word.
The Titans stare at her in horror. “You just took the fun out of reading!” they shout.
And that’s what I found interesting. I don’t think books were meant to be taken apart and each little section scrutinized and reviewed. Books are meant to be read as a whole. Enjoyed. Read and understood in their full context.
Sometimes I can’t articulate why I liked or didn’t like a book. I just know I liked it and it made me think. Or I didn’t like it because it left a bad feeling behind. Perhaps that is one reason I don’t like writing reviews (for the most part). Because I feel like I need to take the book apart and say why I did or didn’t like the book. Bleh.
I’ve seen reviews where the book is scrutinized down to its very words. I’ve even known people who read with a pad and pen next to them so they can take notes. I don’t think fiction was meant to be read like this. How do you get into the story when you’re constantly taking notes? Perhaps that’s just me.
The episode ends when the Titans read a mystical book that lets loose evil magic that feeds off their imagination. In order to stop the book, they start reviewing the book, talking about its premise and using big words. In essence, they are shutting off their imagination so they can trap the magic back inside the book.
Ironic, isn’t it?
For those who are curious, the episode is called Books.