I just got home from a program at my library where about 30 people, from ages 15-60, gathered to discuss a book. It was the first of four meetings and I have to say, it was extremely interesting.
Why? Because every single person in that room had a different opinion about the book. Me, I hated it so much I couldn't finish it. Both librarians and the two high school teachers that were there disliked it as well, though for different reasons. About half of the room either liked or LOVED it but they all liked different things about it. Some people were just meh about it. An hour and a half was dedicated to discussing this ONE book.
ONE book, with thirty DIFFERENT opinions, ranging from hatred to love. It's kind of hard to believe but it's one of the things that's so interesting about literature.
Every person takes something different away from every book.
It's why we, as writers, cannot let the fact that one beta reader doesn't like our story or that one agent rejected it or five editors rejected it or that someone else doesn't like the idea.
It's impossible to please everyone.
It's something that I've always known but tonight really proved that for me and showed me how different the opinions really can be.
Who knew so much could be learned at the library.