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Critic Charles Finch on Reading Hundreds of Books a Year

“I do think something accumulates in you or builds up inside you when you dedicate your life to reading books.”

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Episode Notes

This week, host Rumaan Alam talks about the aims of literary criticism with novelist and book critic Charles Finch. In the interview, Charles discusses the impact of platforms like Goodreads (where anyone can be a critic) and explains why it’s so hard for people to make a living writing book reviews. He also talks about how a book’s popularity can affect his response to it and how it’s possible to get burned out from writing too many reviews.

After the interview, Rumaan and co-host Isaac Butler discuss their relationships to criticism, as people who both write reviews and produce creative work.

Send your questions about creativity and any other feedback to working@slate.com.

Podcast production by Cameron Drews.

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