With the mixed reactions to Joanne Harris's "writer's manifesto," I started thinking about where I disagreed, and, yes, even agreed. Rather than write a point by point response to her article, identifying where I thought she was wrong, where I thought she misinterpreted, and where she was misguided, I decided to just post my personal creed as a reader and person who blogs about what I read.
1. First and foremost, I read for pleasure.
2. I will obtain the books I read legally and for the price (which can be free) at which they are being sold on the platform from which I purchase or borrow them.
3. I will be as honest as possible in my appraisal of a book, both to myself and to my friends.
4. I will use whatever criteria I find helpful to choose books that I want to read and author's whom I want to support, financially or otherwise.
5. I will not plagiarize and will bear in mind the fair use doctrine in writing reviews and comments.
6. I have no expectation that authors I admire will send me free books, and I acknowledge that they are under no obligation to respond to any social media overtures that I may make. I am free to be delighted when they do respond and may engage in whatever public or private squeeing I feel is appropriate given my advanced age.
7. I may post negative reviews of books I felt were poorly written or otherwise lacking, but I will have the good manners not to invade the author's internet space with a link to my negative review, or to unilaterally include them in a discussion of why I think their book is a failure.
8. I will not expect an author to take my opinions or preferences into account when choosing the direction of his/her books. However, I am entitled to my own opinion about whether or not that direction is successful, and am under no obligation not to discuss how and why I feel that the author has failed or made poor writing choices.
9. I will embark upon each new reading experience with hopeful anticipation of something enjoyable. Whether or not that mindset lasts beyond the first three paragraphs is at least in part outside of my control.
10. I will keep reading. Always.