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I have also found myself thinking that what I was reading could have been said in far fewer words. Which is extra annoying for me because I am a slow reader. I feel the author doesn’t respect my time if he adds superfluous words.
Comment by Tim VanBraeden — September 5, 2012 @ 6:58 pm
I too am a reader that feels a nearly moral obligation to complete a book once I have read past the introduction. And I have had the same emotion described by Tim welling up within me if the author has “padded” their book (as though they were being paid by the page) unnecessary illustrations and stories, wasting some of the time which I feel is valuable even if the author does not. Someone who uses many metaphors, stories, illustrations, etc., in their writing but to opposite effect is C.S. Lewis. He makes his point very clearly and pointedly in his arguments to the point where one thinks, “yeah, this guy is absolutely right and at some level, I’ve always known this to be true but never yet consciously…”. And then he injects not “an” illustration but “the” illustration, and fireworks go off in your mind and spirit and you “get it” down to a whole new depth. None of his illustrations or stories are ever more than two or three sentences long and, so far from being superfluous, they are the exactly right way of hammering home his point to the degree that, you may someday forget his illustration and you may even forget the particular point he was making but at a subconscious level, the truth he just imparted has now become part of your own mental filter.
Comment by Dan Glover — September 21, 2012 @ 1:50 pm