My second Read-a-Thon has come and gone. In my first read-a-thon I was a reader and this time a cheerleader. I feel guilty that I didn’t make it around to all the readers that were participating. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to start cheering until 6pm yesterday and I crashed earlier than I thought I would. And this morning even though I was up early I couldn’t focus enough to make it to a lot of blogs in the last couple hours. I think next time won’t participate unless I know I’ll be free for the first several hours.
There were a couple things I noticed about the Read-a-Thon signups that should be thought about before the next Read-a-Thon – in the blogs I checked it seems that several people signed up and then never participated. I understand things coming up suddenly but many haven’t had posts for several months before hand and there wasn’t any indication that they had planned to participate. A few others gave incorrect links and a couple actually linked to their locked twitter accounts… perhaps we need a few people to go through all the links and a) double check that they are correct and b) see if people really are planning to participate.
I spent some time this week thinking about the argument: “If you haven’t seen/read it you can’t complain”. Yes this came from a post about Stargate Universe that I commented on (without having seen the show), however it’s an argument that I’ve been on both sides of and I’m still not sure if either side is totally right or wrong. On the one hand I do agree that if you haven’t seen or read something for yourself you can’t really form a complete opinion that is truly your own opinion. On the other hand I do think it’s possible to have at least a general idea of what something is about without having seen it and have something of an opinion about it based on what others have said. I also think it’s possible to have a feeling about something based on past experiences with the creator in question. In the end I think its important to acknowledge where you’re getting your information from – if you haven’t seen it say so and then say where you got most of your information about. Also keeping your thoughts general is important as you can’t know the specifics if you haven’t seen it. Even if you read a summary where someone said that “x” happened you can’t really know that “x” happened exactly the way they said it did. Thoughts?
And finally something that I was thinking about when writing the review for “I’m Looking Through You: Growing Up Hunted: A Memoir” by Jennifer Finney Boylan, was the reason why I hardly ever read non-fiction – especially memoirs or biographies. I don’t really trust so called “non-fiction” because you an never tell how much is actually true. I’m not saying everyone is lying but I still have to wonder how much is fact and how much is interpretations of events. How much is someone really remembering vs. how much is based on stories they were told of what happened when they were a child? How much is what actually happened vs. what they think happened? How much is added for drama rather than actual fact? You can’t convince me that every word of non-fiction is true, no matter what. We all embellish our roles in life, we all interpret events differently, we all bring our own emotions to events, and our past experiences influence our interpretations. On the other hand reading memoirs does give you at least their interpretation of events and even if some of it isn’t true or didn’t happen exactly the way they think it did, you do end up with at least a general understanding of that person and how they got where they are in life. Though, I still don’t like the idea of reading something and finding out later that every word of it was a lie, and that it was done intentionally – that by definition is NOT non-fiction. I think that’s why I love the fantasy/science fiction genres so much – I don’t have to worry about it being true or not as it’s always fiction.