I’ve always know the value of a reader who asks questions, but for a few years I’ve been without one. A good reader will find all those plot holes you didn’t know were there. A good reader will question all your leaps of logic and force you to back them up. A good reader will wonder why and how and what and who and when. And then once you answer those questions, they’ll come up with new ones.
A friend of mine just read the short story versions of Sing and afterward emailed me a long list of questions, notes, and what she calls loves. Answering her questions not only helped her understand the story better, it helped me understand the story better. Someone from the outside who doesn’t have all the answers will think of questions that never even occurred to you. They’ll dig into the dark corners you forgot to dust and find that key you’ve been looking for. They’ll bring up ideas that solve problems you haven’t run into yet. And they can be a wonderful way to get an honest reaction to new plots, characters, and themes.
A good reader is a curious reader, and a curious reader is more precious than diamonds.