I will be the first to admit that I am a terrible, uncritical reader. Unless I run across a major typographical or grammatical error, my first reading of a text is basically thoughtless. I just read a friend's critique of HPatDH, and I noticed none of the problems she noticed. Plot holes? What? My total experience was this: adrenaline, tears, adrenaline , tears. Giggle. Tears, tears, tears. And that was it.
These things continue even in the world of nonfiction (philosophy and music excepted). Right now I'm reading an amazing and terribly amusing book called The God Delusion, by Dawkins. It's a hard-core denouncement of religion and an appeal to atheism, and I'm eating it up. Six months ago, I was reading The Soul's Religion, by Thomas Moore (the contemporary Christian writer, not the 19th century one) and eating it up.
That's not to say that I never read critically. I practically lived and breathed critical analysis in college, and when I pick up anything on philosophy of mind, the derisive comments are scathing. When I read my own writing or those of people I'm editing, I can be downright brutal (in a warm and considerate way, of course). Some might even use the word 'nit-picky.'
But I guess when it comes to escapist literature, I box up my brain and let it snooze. It's pretty pathetic, and it's a bad habit. A habit I think I should break now, before it causes me permanent damage.
Kt, you've inspired me! From now on, I shall try to be a better reader!