We've been working on our "What Makes a Good Book" special issue (out in September) and I'm giggling at a quote Deborah Stevenson (editor of BCCB) is using in her article "Finding Literary Goodness in a Pluralistic World":
. . . delightful as such a spontaneous first response can be, it's not the only reaction we bring to books; considered opinion, after all, is the hallmark of the professional (playwright Jean Kerr jokes that a drama critic looks at a bad play and says, "This is a very bad play; why is that?" while the regular audience looks at a bad play and says, "This is a very bad play; why was I born?").
Of course, often we critics like to have it both ways and only give you the considered opinion after delivering the unconsidered and frequently blasphemous first reaction to the privacy of our offices. We always make the interns check their recording devices at the door.