A Lesson in Subjectivity

Last night I attended my very first Book Club meeting. To be honest, I went with a sense of trepidation since I disliked the month’s book. To be fair, it’s the kind of book that I’d never pick up on my own to read, but since one of my objectives in joining a book club was to expand my reading horizons, I gave it a try. It was what I would call literary chick lit. It was Oprah approved.

So in a group of seven women (ranging in age from mid-30’s to mid-60’s) FIVE of us strongly disliked pretty much everything about the book. One woman seemed to be sort of “eh” about it and one loved it. The woman who loved it insisted it was a satire…something which escaped the rest of us.

(To be honest, I can’t imagine Oprah picking a satire for her Book Club (this book was an official selection for it) can you???)

So while I hated this book, we can assume that Oprah loved it.

And that my friends is a lesson in how subjective the reading experience can be. Five people in our group disliked this book, but one woman (and Oprah) loved it.

So the next time you get a query or manuscript rejected, or your book gets a terrible review, just remember that it’s ALL subjective.


4 thoughts on “A Lesson in Subjectivity

  1. It’s a good thing to remember: Our likes and dislikes are subjective. Millions of people like Oprah and follow her suggestions – I run the other way when a book is stamped ‘Oprah loved me’. (Unless I’ve got some other reason to believe it’s still a good book, that is. I’m objective enough to keep my options open.)

  2. I’m with you and B.E. – rarely do I enjoy Oprah approved books. I think the last one I really liked was The Pillars of the Earth.

    Not that I wouldn’t want my book stamped with her name… sigh… would never say no to that!

    We will never make everybody happy. That’s the one certain thing.

  3. Cynthia says:

    I can’t wait to hear more about the books you read! I will enjoy book club reading vicariously through you! Expose me to more literature, please.

  4. jblynn says:

    B.E. — Good for you for keeping your options open!

    Jennifer — Maybe you should get a stamp made…. 😉

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