Divergence • 13 June 2008 • The SnowBlog


Remember what I said about the book group I used to belong to having such divergent views about the books they liked? I was also glancing at some reviews for the recent Doctor Who two-parter that I liked so much and I was surprised to find there were people who weren't thrilled with it. And these weren't obviously crazy people either. I know books and stories are complicated things and people are too, so it's inevitable that no two people will be alike, but I'm constantly surprised at just how much one person's black is another person's white. What I'm wondering is how many broad categories of reader there are. Ignoring small differences and pet peeves, might readers fall into three basic types or maybe seven or thirty? Or are we spread out across infinite axes and there are no groups at all. I can't help think that if we could draw out everyone's tastes as dots in a 3D graph, we'd see clusters - maybe not tight little clumps of identical views - but still, there'd be discernible groups, maybe just three or four of them. Then we could name them and label books accordingly. You might still love things in other categories, but they wouldn't be, at their core, quite 'you'.


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