Author Topic: Thoughts on Reading  (Read 1336 times)

Cainad (dec.)

  • Houseplant Supreme
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 88789
  • Ejection Seat Party Hat Issuance Officer
    • View Profile
    • Internet Forum Safari
Thoughts on Reading
« on: July 31, 2010, 04:47:41 pm »
I've noticed a fair few people, myself included, express a frustration with their reading habits.

"I used to read a lot, but I jut don't seem to enjoy it as much anymore."

If you're anything like me, you likely lost your reading habits because you started doing other stuff. School or work started taking up loads of time and mental energy. Or maybe you just started to fill your free hours with something else, like video games, tv, or internet. Whatever happened, you suddenly found yourself putting books down partway through and not picking them back up. Reading became a chore.

This thread is about ways to deal with this problem.


I've had some success with the "brute force" method. If I find that I'm not reading for pleasure anymore, I read anyway. Force it down until you've re-acquired your taste for it.

Read stuff that's relatively easy. Pick a guilty pleasure sort of book or something that you read back when you still enjoyed reading. Harlequin romance, dorky sci-fi, cookie-cutter fantasy novels, mysteries, whatever. I know that for a while I was on a non-fiction binge, which eventually killed my ability to enjoy reading until I rediscovered the joys of Terry Pratchett and the like.

Don't try to choke down some really dense classic if you're picking up reading for pleasure up again after a long break. You want something that will give your brain lots of cheap and easy rewards, so that your brain develops a "reading = fun" connection in place of a "reading = work" connection.

Anyone else have thoughts on this?

Cainad (dec.)

  • Houseplant Supreme
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 88789
  • Ejection Seat Party Hat Issuance Officer
    • View Profile
    • Internet Forum Safari
Re: Thoughts on Reading
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2010, 04:49:27 pm »
Another thought/question:

People with e-reader devices, how much use do you get out of them? Do you find them as useful as they seem to be for reading-on-the-go and such?

Brotep

  • armpit fart virtuoso
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 11027
  • before Hoteps, except after "C"
    • View Profile
Re: Thoughts on Reading
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2010, 06:20:41 pm »
I've had some success with the "brute force" method. If I find that I'm not reading for pleasure anymore, I read anyway. Force it down until you've re-acquired your taste for it.

This was my approach through adolescence, at least with things I decided to read. And if I didn't understand something, I would read it again and again until I did understand it. It worked wonders. And now, for whatever reason, I just don't do that anymore.

However, I do make extensive use of audiobooks in transit between work and home.

Juana Go?

  • Hideous and Otherworldly Attack Duckling of DESPAIR
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 65322
    • View Profile
Re: Thoughts on Reading
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2010, 06:29:06 pm »
Another thought/question:

People with e-reader devices, how much use do you get out of them? Do you find them as useful as they seem to be for reading-on-the-go and such?
Yep. Read it in waiting rooms and I expect I'll spend a lot of time with it while traveling this fall.
“Call me sentimental, but there’s no-one in the world that I’d like to see get dysentery more than you.” — David Nicholls (One Day)

Faust

  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 73407
  • Lovely and Dainty Internut pukegasm
    • View Profile
Re: Thoughts on Reading
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2010, 06:41:32 pm »
Another thought/question:

People with e-reader devices, how much use do you get out of them? Do you find them as useful as they seem to be for reading-on-the-go and such?
I bring it to work every day, it's light enough to carry and hide so I get a lot of use out of it.
Do not choose a coward's explanation, that hides behind the cause and the effect

Placid Dingo

  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 27316
    • View Profile
    • Me!
Re: Thoughts on Reading
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2010, 12:12:46 am »
I use an E-reader, and the big thing is that I always have a huge selection of work to choose from. Also, it's always there so its like, wating for computer to load, read a little, can't get to sleep, read a little, dinner's in the microwave, read a little.
If sheep entrails could in any way be related to the weather, i.e. sheep trails only originate where it rains, then you could use it as an accurate model for discerning what the weathers going to be like. Either, sheep shit makes it rain, or raining makes sheep shit. Sheep don't shit "randomly" sheep shit after they eat, it doesn't rain "randomly" it rains after water collects in the atmosphere.

The Johnny

  • did nots
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 39154
    • View Profile
Re: Thoughts on Reading
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2010, 01:59:57 am »

Think it in terms of its vague possible usefulness.

Idk, say, "Hamlet" is "useful" in the sense that you are learning of a fictionalized take on a historic moment, you are learning about Shakespear's stylistics, you are learning of human nature -or at least someone's perspectives on it-.

I dont think that reading just for the sake of it is of value, is what we make of it - also, i dont think that its inherently pleasurable to read, or at least, its a very abstract manner of pleasure derived.

Don Coyote

  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 129340
    • View Profile
Re: Thoughts on Reading
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2010, 01:43:43 pm »
One thing I have been pondering for a while about reading.

Yes, being literate is important, but why is it that reading for entertainment is viewed as better than watching tv or playing video games?

When reading a book, you are being passively entertained. I guess more neurons are firing because you are supposed to be imagining everything that is going on in the book you are reading, so it generally more active than tv. Part of the reason I stopped reading as much for pleasure as I did when I was younger is that I've noticed more and more books are just garbage, and that I am really lazy. The few times I have set out to read some classic, I have generally gotten bored, mostly due to minor changes in language and the writing styles of then vs now.

Granted, while I own a TV, I do not have cable or an antenna. And the few times I have watched tv I just end up tuning it out and doing something else, as tv seems to more garbage filled than the pulp masses lining the walls of BN.

And as an aside. Hamlet and other works of the Bard aren't meant to be read, they are meant to be performed, or at least read aloud. Reading plays is like reading screenplays for tv shows and considering it literature. I shudder to think that one day centuries from now, transcripts from Jerry Springer might be read as part of the 20th/21st century American Literature class, or even Star Trek.
This spot for rent

LMNO, PhD (life continues)

  • Internet Fuckweasel of Haunted Pork Dimensions.
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 82625
  • Internet Fuckweasel of Haunted Pork Dimensions.
    • View Profile
    • Earfatigue Productions: When it has to sound like you give a shit.
Re: Thoughts on Reading
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2010, 02:03:18 pm »
One thing I have been pondering for a while about reading.

I am really lazy.

Yes, being literate is important, but why is it that reading for entertainment is viewed as better than watching tv or playing video games?

I am really lazy.

When reading a book, you are being passively entertained. I guess more neurons are firing because you are supposed to be imagining everything that is going on in the book you are reading, so it generally more active than tv.

I am really lazy.

Part of the reason I stopped reading as much for pleasure as I did when I was younger is that I've noticed more and more books are just garbage, and that I am really lazy.

I am really lazy.

The few times I have set out to read some classic, I have generally gotten bored, mostly due to minor changes in language and the writing styles of then vs now.

I am really lazy.

Granted, while I own a TV, I do not have cable or an antenna. I am really lazy. And the few times I have watched tv I just end up tuning it out and doing something else, as tv seems to more garbage filled than the pulp masses lining the walls of BN. I am really lazy.


I am really lazy.


'nuff said.
LMNO
Pope/Wrought Iron Instigator
First Church of Last Exit Before Toll
The Spider Project.

Buy the Chao te Ching, or be doomed forever.

http://www.stonybrook.edu/sb/marburger/index.shtml

"Get offa me, you freaks!  This is not North Korea.  No.  This is America, and I expect to be PAID for that sort of nonsense.  In advance.  No credit...Cash on the barrelhead or GTFO.  I swear to God, there's nothing more annoying than commie perverts who don't understand the intrinsic value of the free market system."

Cramulus

  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 128638
    • View Profile
    • Cramul.us
Re: Thoughts on Reading
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2010, 02:57:12 pm »
To me, it's a matter of time management. If I have computer access, I tend to prefer that because it's more engaging. I read a lot more when I have somebody to discuss it with (the book threads I've been involved with on this board have been a lot of fun). And I read a lot more if I have to manage a period of time without computer access. When I was commuting to work via train or bus, I was reading about .75 books per week.

Kai

  • A flea circus and
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 86960
  • Richard Feynman fangirl.
    • View Profile
Re: Thoughts on Reading
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2010, 03:49:37 pm »
I've mentioned this before. How to Read a Book by Adler and Doren. It's what got me interested in reading again, especially those things that I used to /think/ I /should/ have read (cf. Less Wrong, I forget which post)  but now I actually crave to read. Like Homer.

It's basically a primer on reading, the way I wish I had been taught in school, rather than the nearly stupid way we would read Shakespeare. The authors outline the four levels of reading (elementary, inspectional, analytical and syntopical) and then describe in detail how to actually do this. There's a link to a pdf on Gigapedia, but I prefer my print copy, makes it easier to write in.

 Most books require only an inspectional read (like most novels), but others require a second, analytical read to actually understand the whole of it. If only I had known that in high school, I would have read Hamlet straight through in one sitting (the best way to go about inspectional reading) and then come back and done a thorough analytical read on my own. Make up my own mind about things rather than letting the teacher put ideas in my head about meanings. Or letting the class ruin shakespeare for me by the slow plodding way they work through the script, a poor inspectional read done at the same time as an even poorer analytical read. Whereas now I'm doing my analytical read of Iliad, and delighting in how well I understand the characters and their motives after reading through once in, while not a single sitting, a relatively short period of time without analysis of what I was reading other than to imagine the events. This is the book that should be taught in high school English classes.
If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water. --Loren Eisley, The Immense Journey

Her Royal Majesty's Chief of Insect Genitalia Dissection
Grand Visser of the Six Legged Class
Chanticleer of the Holometabola Clade Church, Diptera Parish

Don Coyote

  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 129340
    • View Profile
Re: Thoughts on Reading
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2010, 06:33:58 am »
One thing I have been pondering for a while about reading.

I am really lazy.

Yes, being literate is important, but why is it that reading for entertainment is viewed as better than watching tv or playing video games?

I am really lazy.

When reading a book, you are being passively entertained. I guess more neurons are firing because you are supposed to be imagining everything that is going on in the book you are reading, so it generally more active than tv.

I am really lazy.

Part of the reason I stopped reading as much for pleasure as I did when I was younger is that I've noticed more and more books are just garbage, and that I am really lazy.

I am really lazy.

The few times I have set out to read some classic, I have generally gotten bored, mostly due to minor changes in language and the writing styles of then vs now.

I am really lazy.

Granted, while I own a TV, I do not have cable or an antenna. I am really lazy. And the few times I have watched tv I just end up tuning it out and doing something else, as tv seems to more garbage filled than the pulp masses lining the walls of BN. I am really lazy.


I am really lazy.


'nuff said.

Did you have a point? Other than to elicit a response from me?
This spot for rent

Dalek

  • Outlandish
  • ***
  • Posts: 5120
    • View Profile
Re: Thoughts on Reading
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2010, 07:13:04 am »
I've mentioned this before. How to Read a Book by Adler and Doren. It's what got me interested in reading again, especially those things that I used to /think/ I /should/ have read (cf. Less Wrong, I forget which post)  but now I actually crave to read. Like Homer.


Can you give me a link to that book?

eighteen buddha strike

  • Outlandish
  • ***
  • Posts: 371
    • View Profile
Re: Thoughts on Reading
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2010, 07:15:03 am »
One thing I have been pondering for a while about reading.

I am really lazy.

Yes, being literate is important, but why is it that reading for entertainment is viewed as better than watching tv or playing video games?

I am really lazy.

When reading a book, you are being passively entertained. I guess more neurons are firing because you are supposed to be imagining everything that is going on in the book you are reading, so it generally more active than tv.

I am really lazy.

Part of the reason I stopped reading as much for pleasure as I did when I was younger is that I've noticed more and more books are just garbage, and that I am really lazy.

I am really lazy.

The few times I have set out to read some classic, I have generally gotten bored, mostly due to minor changes in language and the writing styles of then vs now.

I am really lazy.

Granted, while I own a TV, I do not have cable or an antenna. I am really lazy. And the few times I have watched tv I just end up tuning it out and doing something else, as tv seems to more garbage filled than the pulp masses lining the walls of BN. I am really lazy.


I am really lazy.


'nuff said.

Did you have a point? Other than to elicit a response from me?

As a third party observer, I would interpret his point as such: The repeated statement within your post is succinct, and no further elaboration is necessary.

LMNO, PhD (life continues)

  • Internet Fuckweasel of Haunted Pork Dimensions.
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 82625
  • Internet Fuckweasel of Haunted Pork Dimensions.
    • View Profile
    • Earfatigue Productions: When it has to sound like you give a shit.
Re: Thoughts on Reading
« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2010, 12:45:21 pm »
18bs nailed it.  It's ok to be lazy, if that's what you want, but there's really no reason to make excuses and try to rationalize it.
LMNO
Pope/Wrought Iron Instigator
First Church of Last Exit Before Toll
The Spider Project.

Buy the Chao te Ching, or be doomed forever.

http://www.stonybrook.edu/sb/marburger/index.shtml

"Get offa me, you freaks!  This is not North Korea.  No.  This is America, and I expect to be PAID for that sort of nonsense.  In advance.  No credit...Cash on the barrelhead or GTFO.  I swear to God, there's nothing more annoying than commie perverts who don't understand the intrinsic value of the free market system."