"As a student of literature, something you find yourself doing a lot is reading books about books — narratives which tear through the plot outlines, critical receptions and choicest quotes of other books, giving you some kind of rapid gist or taste of hundreds of titles you’ll probably never read. What I’ve always liked about these books-about-books … is that they leave you free to fantasize about the books they’re describing and actually construct them — with all their peculiarities heightened and exaggerated — in your head. In a weird, inverted way, some of the books which must be most hellish to read in real life, in real time, turn out, in these metabook accounts, to be the most entertaining to read about. The worse they sound, and the more negatively they were received, the better the story of them becomes."
(Another interesting piece of writing by Momus is Pop stars? Nein danke!: In the future everyone will be famous for fifteen people…)