July 01, 2013
The idea of metacognition is not a foreign concept; that is to say, it’s not uncommon to think about thinking. However, I have noticed that a similar concept has been growing in popularity in books. There have been more and more books that are written with the idea of authorship in mind. There are more and more fiction books about books.
Secretly, I have a love for books that include this aspect of meta-authorship. I reveled in the possibilities of Fahrenheit 451. I absolutely adored The Book Thief. Recently, I lost myself in the simple delights of Libriomancer. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised as I read through the book. Oftentimes, books with elements of meta-authorship do not extend beyond a general knowledge of being a book, or about unspecific or imaginary titles. Libriomancer specifically references popular books, ones that a sci-fi/fantasy lover like me can’t help but giggle over. After all, having a character that creates a babel fish from the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is a surefire way to this nerd girl’s heart. This novel lets the reader watch books come alive during a fantastic journey to discover the magic that they hold.
The meta-authorship provides an interesting facet within novels like these. On the surface level, it allows the reader a peek into how other people take part in the very same act that the reader is currently sharing. Obviously, the reader knows their own reaction and opinion about books. However, when characters interact with books, it allows the reader to see why someone else might react differently or to take pleasure in the fact that they have something in common. It’s a very smart rhetorical move. Below the surface, the intelligence of this device continues to unfold. These sorts of books lend themselves easily to review in book clubs or classrooms due to the opportunity for authorial commentary about the nature, necessity, or purpose of reading. Being talked about in more groups means more sales. There the author has it: something for the readers to enjoy, a platform on which to comment about society, and a device to allow for more sales.
Oak Grove Branch