Of course there have been other perks that have gone with reviewing books. I've had the pleasure of coming into contact with authors who have not only allowed me access to their creative process by exchanging correspondence with me, but have also given me access to their writings in the rawest of forms. As a reader I thought I had achieved the ultimate satisfaction when I was sent someone's galley proofs to read. For me it was a thrill knowing that I was able to read the book well in advance of the rest of the reading public. But recently something even more exciting happened, another author has asked me to be a reader for his newest work. He sends me pages by email the moment he finishes a draft.
I read it and send him back my spontaneous impressions and thoughts; as a reader what did I like about what I read. I'm not reviewing the book; in fact I do my best to shut off my critical faculties so that I can react more directly as a reader in regards to like and dislikes.
I love it because it's freeing me from the shackles of my rational brain while I'm reading, which means I'm reading purely on instinct. So not only I'm I having the opportunity to play a role in helping somebody else create something, but I'm also remembering what it was like to read for no other reason but the joy of reading like when I first started as a child.
It's funny how things go in circles like this isn't it? I began writing in the hopes of being able to write something that I would like to read, but the results have far exceeded my expectations. Not only have I succeeded in my primary goal, but I've also been able to rediscover my own love of reading for the pleasure of reading. What more could a person ask for; to not only find what they are looking for but extra treasure as well?