10/27/2010

Discuss Amongst Yourselves

A large majority of the books I've been reading have all had something very strange going on in the back pages...discussion questions. I'm really kind of wondering at the trend, because these aren't high falutin' literature - they're just books...and I'm not sure why anyone would want to discuss them. I suppose several of them would qualify for book club selection - but even then, isn't the point more to discuss what you liked/didn't like? Do you really need a list of questions to help you do that? And honestly, unless there was something really deep or philosophical going on in the book, I don't know why you would even want them.

All I can imagine is that the next Nora Roberts I pick up is going to have things of this ilk wasting space at the back:
Mandy and Greg find themselves yearning for one another but hold back out of fear. Have you ever experienced these feelings?

Dallas and Roarke seem to make excessive use of the vertical lift in their not-quite-flying cars. Do you feel this is a realistic interpretation of near future automotive technology or a tactic for Ms. Roberts to simply fail to commit to a deeper level of future world building?

On average, the sex scenes last two and a quarter pages, do you read them or skim to the next useful piece of the book plot-wise?  What motivates this behavior on your part?

Maybe I'm just not cut out for discussing books...but I just find the whole thing a bit overwrought.

2 comments:

Lynellen said...

While I totally agree that often the discussion questions are silly at best, I actually like the idea of every book having them. Here's why: I wish wish wish wish that people would do more thinking about the content of the media they devour. I really wish TV shows came with discussion questions at the end. Apparently the world is unable to do its own analysis of content anymore and needs help via provided questions.

Jen said...

I love your sample questions.

If you listen to audiobooks you don't get those sections. ;-)