Essay rec: the components of reader response to a book

Janet at the romance blog Dear Author has posted an excellent essay discussing the three main strands that go into a reader’s reactions to a book (correctness, style and taste), noting that only one of these is objective, and considering how that can lead to misunderstandings in online discussions.

The subject is something I’ve often seen discussed in fanfic circles, which has a whole critical vocabulary to indicate stories/books which have a high score on one aspect but a low score on another. But this is one of the best single-post discussions of the subject that I can remember seeing, and while it’s written from a romance reader’s perspective, it does not rely on prior knowledge of any particular fiction genre or fandom in-group knowledge. The comment thread has some good discussion as well. If you’re interested in meta, you may well find this an interesting read regardless of your preferred genre.


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