My rating: 2 of 5 stars
The Nighttime Novelist is attractive to look at and is filled with lots of useful information for the aspiring novelist. Beneath its hardback cover I was surprised to discover its pages are actually spiral-bound. The information inside is organized in a tabbed format. Each page is filled with colorful text, decorative sidebars, and comment-style supplemental footnotes. In essence, the book is really designed very much like a scrapbook.
And that’s the problem.
No one actually “reads” a scrapbook. People flip through them. They admire the artistic way the scrapper put the pages together or they way they’ve arranged the various photos, captions, clippings and the like. But no one picks up a scrapbook when they want to learn or understand something.
To be fair, I tried on several occasions to just sit down and read it. I even tried picking out specific pages based on the table of contents so I could use it like a reference. Every time the “busy-ness” of its layout distracted me and I found myself absently flipping through the pages again and again. (Like a scrapbook.) This format may be quite engaging and even useful for some, but when I want to read a book on writing craft I want a book that reads more like, well, like a book.