I find reading boring. Please hear me out.

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pmjohnson
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I find reading boring. Please hear me out.

Postby pmjohnson » Sun May 13, 2012 2:30 am UTC

I hate it, I used to love reading. Now I just find myself online in front of my computer for hours reading reddit or browsing stupid websites.

I like getting into the analog alternative again, but I find it difficult to focus on something that is so difficult to share/discuss with other people.

I miss being able to talk about books with people.

So...my question:


Why do you read?

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Re: I find reading boring. Please hear me out.

Postby Felstaff » Mon May 14, 2012 9:37 am UTC

I enjoy reading.

Next question.
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Re: I find reading boring. Please hear me out.

Postby clockworkmonk » Mon May 14, 2012 12:51 pm UTC

Carl Sagan wrote:What an astonishing thing a book is. It's a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you're inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.


Also, what Felstaff said
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Re: I find reading boring. Please hear me out.

Postby ahammel » Mon May 14, 2012 9:32 pm UTC

pmjohnson wrote:I like getting into the analog alternative again, but I find it difficult to focus on something that is so difficult to share/discuss with other people.

I miss being able to talk about books with people.

I'm confused. Why is discussing books difficult? You're in a sbuforum dedicated to it.

I read because I find it plesant to fill my head with somebody else's thoughts instead of my own once in a while.
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Re: I find reading boring. Please hear me out.

Postby Felstaff » Mon May 14, 2012 9:41 pm UTC

Books are the voices of dead men. Who doesn't want to hear what a dead man has to say?
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Re: I find reading boring. Please hear me out.

Postby poxic » Mon May 14, 2012 9:59 pm UTC

Books, when done well, are listening to another person's thoughts. I stand a fair chance of seeing the world in a way I couldn't have imagined on my own. I stand a good chance of learning new things, some of them insightful or deep or funny or challenging (a polite word for "irritating").
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Re: I find reading boring. Please hear me out.

Postby Microscopic cog » Tue May 15, 2012 6:01 pm UTC

Felstaff wrote:Books are the voices of dead men. Who doesn't want to hear what a dead man has to say?


This pretty much. I like books mainly 'cause they give me an idea what the author is like. It's like knowing someone really well without ever talking to them.
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Re: I find reading boring. Please hear me out.

Postby Jorpho » Sun May 20, 2012 1:10 am UTC

pmjohnson wrote:I find it difficult to focus on something that is so difficult to share/discuss with other people.
Are there other things you can focus on without having to share/discuss them with other people? Or is the ability to share/discuss something with other people a key factor as to whether you can focus on something?

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Re: I find reading boring. Please hear me out.

Postby piwakawaka42 » Mon May 21, 2012 8:47 am UTC

How is the internet easier to share/discuss with other people? I mean, in real life, in my experience, people are far more likely to talk about books than the internet, and on the internet, it is posssible to discuss virtually anything on a good forum (such as, perhaps, here...?).
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Re: I find reading boring. Please hear me out.

Postby Angua » Mon May 21, 2012 8:51 am UTC

I find books more immersive (apparently that isn't a word) than tv and film. I think it's because you have to do the imagining for yourself, so I end up investing more of myself into them.

I don't read while I'm at uni, unless I'm really depressed and need cheering up. Otherwise I'd never get any work done. At least you can semi-work while watching tv.
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Re: I find reading boring. Please hear me out.

Postby AvatarIII » Mon May 21, 2012 9:09 am UTC

Angua wrote:I find books more immersive (apparently that isn't a word) than tv and film. I think it's because you have to do the imagining for yourself, so I end up investing more of myself into them.

I don't read while I'm at uni, unless I'm really depressed and need cheering up. Otherwise I'd never get any work done. At least you can semi-work while watching tv.


Totally agree, there's also a lot more to them than movies or TV,

Also I should probably read less, because I'm constantly behind on uni work, but I just can't bring myself to stop, they are my favourite medium, you can take them anywhere, almost, and never run out of batteries, unless you are using an ebook reader...

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Re: I find reading boring. Please hear me out.

Postby Angua » Mon May 21, 2012 9:30 am UTC

I had to go cold turkey, or it would never have worked.
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Re: I find reading boring. Please hear me out.

Postby apricity » Tue May 22, 2012 1:37 am UTC

I'm the same. I can't read anything while I'm in school because I get so distracted by wanting to finish my book instead of my coursework.
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Re: I find reading boring. Please hear me out.

Postby Adacore » Tue May 22, 2012 4:52 am UTC

Angua wrote:I find books more immersive (apparently that isn't a word) than tv and film. I think it's because you have to do the imagining for yourself, so I end up investing more of myself into them.

They last longer, too. For example, the Song of Ice and Fire series is about 1000 pages per book - I think it takes me a little over minute to read a page, on average, so that's something close to 20 hours of reading enjoyment. The TV adaptation, while extremely well done, is still only 10 hours of content per book, which is about half as much time. For most TV/movie to book comparisons the ratio is going to be an order of magnitude worse than that. Plus, because books are so much more immersive, I derive a lot more pleasure from them in the time when I'm not actively reading a book than I do from the time when I'm not actively watching a TV show/movie. You can get inside the characters' minds in a book in a way that is very difficult to achieve in other media.

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Re: I find reading boring. Please hear me out.

Postby piwakawaka42 » Tue May 22, 2012 4:56 am UTC

lanicita wrote:I'm the same. I can't read anything while I'm in school because I get so distracted by wanting to finish my book instead of my coursework.

Of course, then school/uni requires you to read stuff, which you read more of than you have to and get behind on other stuff
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Re: I find reading boring. Please hear me out.

Postby Metaphysician » Tue May 22, 2012 8:09 am UTC

lanicita wrote:I'm the same. I can't read anything while I'm in school because I get so distracted by wanting to finish my book instead of my coursework.


This was a major contributing factor to my lack of success at university. I always got grades reduced for skipping classes because I would rather read something new than listen to a professor tell me what I had already read... useless fucking waste of time.
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Re: I find reading boring. Please hear me out.

Postby Angua » Tue May 22, 2012 1:53 pm UTC

All my practice at reading (and being a fast reader) came into play today - seemed to be the only person in the exam who finished half an hour early, because it took me half an hour to read the paper (exam was critical analysis of a scientific paper) whereas everyone else took over an hour.

I can't help feeling like I missed something though.
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Re: I find reading boring. Please hear me out.

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue May 22, 2012 2:23 pm UTC

I won't for a second claim the amount I read doesn't wax and wan in accordance to a variety of factors, but I don't think I have not had a book I'm 'reading' (at whatever pace you can still attach the term to) in my bag since I was 8.

I don't really understand the OPs problem; either you lack the attention span to interact with 'something awesome', or you can't understand 'awesome'. Either way, saying you don't enjoy reading is something I simply cannot grok.
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Re: I find reading boring. Please hear me out.

Postby johnie104 » Thu May 24, 2012 5:25 pm UTC

When I read I don't have the feeling that I need to do something else. It just occupies my mind completely without feeling very active.
Watching a movie however is so passive that I feel the need that I'm not using the time optimately.

That's just my 2 cents.
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Re: I find reading boring. Please hear me out.

Postby Ixtellor » Fri May 25, 2012 4:15 pm UTC

How often does someone say "The movie was better" in regards to the book?

Reading is a pleasure and probably for 3 main reasons:
1) Escapism into the Authors universe which very frequently, is quite cool, thrilling, emotional, and something you wouldn't have thought of.
2) Books are far more detailed and allow a lot of character and plot development that is severly limited in other mediums.
3) Because there are no images, you create all the images in your head, governed by the authors descriptions... and imagination... is fun/good.
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Re: I find reading boring. Please hear me out.

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri May 25, 2012 4:21 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:How often does someone say "The movie was better" in regards to the book?

Fight Club? And I really dug the book too.
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Re: I find reading boring. Please hear me out.

Postby Felstaff » Fri May 25, 2012 8:51 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:How often does someone say "The movie was better" in regards to the book?

Children of Men
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Re: I find reading boring. Please hear me out.

Postby firechicago » Fri May 25, 2012 8:57 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:How often does someone say "The movie was better" in regards to the book?


Gone with the Wind.

Also, just about every novelization of a decent movie ever. The fact is that movies made from books are generally not as good as the source material. And books made from movies are often not very good. And operas based on plays and musicals based on comics etc. etc etc.

The difference in quality has nothing to do with the fact that books are inherently better than movies and everything to do with the fact that adaptation from one medium to another is a difficult thing to pull off, and often results in a pale shadow of the original.

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Re: I find reading boring. Please hear me out.

Postby Magnanimous » Fri May 25, 2012 9:31 pm UTC

Fiction, but mostly only creative works like sci-fi and fantasy, because escapism and perspective. If I wanted to read about boring humans, I'd find a newspaper.

Non-fiction, because the universe is a lot more interesting than people make it out to be. Though there are good documentaries/movies, too.

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Re: I find reading boring. Please hear me out.

Postby folkhero » Sun May 27, 2012 3:52 am UTC

Ixtellor wrote:How often does someone say "The movie was better" in regards to the book?

Not to pile on, but off the top of my head: Rebecca, Being There, Dr. Strangelove, Strangers on a Train and Adaptation (sort of). Some people say this of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest as well, but I disagree.

Often times when the movie is much better than the book, people tend to forget the fact that their ever was a book.
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Re: I find reading boring. Please hear me out.

Postby mercutio_stencil » Mon Jun 04, 2012 3:42 am UTC

Felstaff wrote:
Ixtellor wrote:How often does someone say "The movie was better" in regards to the book?

Children of Men


Thank god I'm not the only one, that book was as hideous as the movie was beautiful. Or maybe the two are linked somehow.

Also, most of the James Bond movies. I won't argue that they are works of cinematic beauty, just that the books are trashy spy thrillers, while the movies have lasting cultural significance.

As far as reading, it's one of those things, if you like it, do it, if not, you don't need to.

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Re: I find reading boring. Please hear me out.

Postby McGrupp » Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:50 am UTC

because BOOKS RULE!!!

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Re: I find reading boring. Please hear me out.

Postby PeterCai » Fri Jun 08, 2012 6:55 am UTC

Ixtellor wrote:How often does someone say "The movie was better" in regards to the book?

Contributing:
Silence of the Lamb
No Country for Old Man(Not that the book is bad,but the movie is just better)
Carrie
American Psycho
The Godfathers
Blade Runner (imo)

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Re: I find reading boring. Please hear me out.

Postby KestrelLowing » Fri Jun 08, 2012 5:37 pm UTC

I've lately found that I also am having problems concentrating on reading and would rather look on the internet. Part of my problem is somewhat of a reduced attention span (combination of college being cut up into small chunks opposed to high school and the instant gratification of TV, etc.), but the big portion is that my book choices never grew up with me.

I still pick out books that I would have liked when I was 12 (I was a fairly advanced reader at that point so it was mostly adult books, but ones with fairly straightforward characters and plots). I still enjoy those books in general, but I didn't realize that my brain wanted more. I wanted the complexity. My first realization of this was when I began to read Game of Thrones. I found it particularly riveting because there wasn't a distinct black and white - something that wasn't terribly present in the majority of books I've read in the past.

So basically, while I would have shied away from more complex books a year ago, I'm starting to seek them out more because the more complicated the book, the more interested I am now.

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Re: I find reading boring. Please hear me out.

Postby Magnanimous » Fri Jun 08, 2012 7:18 pm UTC

Has anyone here read The Shallows? It analyzes how modern brains tend to be able to focus less... I saw a copy at the library, and it might be interesting.

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Re: I find reading boring. Please hear me out.

Postby folkhero » Fri Jun 08, 2012 7:26 pm UTC

Magnanimous wrote:Has anyone here read The Shallows? It analyzes how modern brains tend to be able to focus less... I saw a copy at the library, and it might be interesting.

Might be interesting. Is there some way I could read it as a series of short blog posts?
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Re: I find reading boring. Please hear me out.

Postby PatrickRsGhost » Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:34 am UTC

I had fallen into a slump where I didn't care to read for a while, either. I think I'm still in that slump, but I'm slowly getting out of it. I think part of it is since I'm having to do a lot of reading at work (reading over appraisals, offer packages, Excel spreadsheets), the last thing I want to do when I get home is open a book and read. I prefer something that's a little less workout for the eyes.

When I was a kid, I loved to read. One thing I used to be able to do is when I'd read a book, I'd imagine the events taking place in a location I was familiar with, that I'd associate with the setting in the story, when I was the same age as the character in the story. For example, if the story featured an 8-year-old child, and they were in school, then I'd try to picture the school I went to, and the classroom I was in, when I was 8 years old. If the setting was a pizza restaurant, I'd imagine it taking place in the local Pizza Hut.

I've found that as I got older, I've pretty much lost that ability, so reading isn't as fun as it used to be. Maybe if I try to read the story through the eyes and brain of my former same-age-as-the-character self (if the character was anyone younger than 30s), then maybe, just maybe, reading would be more enjoyable again.
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Re: I find reading boring. Please hear me out.

Postby madd0ct0r » Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:18 am UTC

everyone goes through phases where they can't settle down and concentrate on anything for long.

maybe you're too busy, too stressed or too uncomroftable in a place to read.

dosen't matter.

eventually you'll pick up a book out of desperation (train journey, long flight) and find your brain clicking back into the old routines.

the only difference for me now is i'm seriously considering getting a kindle. my book habit can lead to quite bad shelving issues...

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Re: I find reading boring. Please hear me out.

Postby dbsmith » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:02 pm UTC

'A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.'

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Re: I find reading boring. Please hear me out.

Postby Adacore » Mon Jun 25, 2012 11:41 pm UTC

dbsmith wrote:'A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.'

Heh - I read that bit yesterday (or maybe the day before).

I read when I have time to read, partly just to kill time, as madd0ct0r implied. I had a flight from Istanbul to Seoul via Moscow - 2 and 9 hour flights, with a 6 hour layover - followed by a 4 hour train journey from Seoul to Changwon over the weekend, plus I'd forgotten the password to my laptop: I got a lot of reading done.

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Re: I find reading boring. Please hear me out.

Postby willaaaaaa » Mon Jul 02, 2012 6:36 pm UTC

pmjohnson wrote:I like getting into the analog alternative again, but I find it difficult to focus on something that is so difficult to share/discuss with other people.


I can emphathize with the sentiment that, for someone who hasn't read a book in a while, reading a long novel can seem like a tedious task. Perhaps start by reading shorter works--e.g. The Stranger, Flatland, anthologies of short stories, humorous memoirs, or even some of the better-written young adult novels. Or, read something non-fictional related to your interests, if that appeals to you more. There are a lot of great graphic novels as well that you might find less "boring." Basically, while I don't know what you find interesting or boring, I'm sure that there is some sort of book in the library shelves that will engage you.
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Re: I find reading boring. Please hear me out.

Postby johnie104 » Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:13 pm UTC

dbsmith wrote:'A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.'

That is from A Song of Ice and Fire right?
In reaction to the big list of films better then their equivalent books: I didn't know most of them even were books. I guess it is because the better one is the only one that is remembered...

Btw, another reason to read books: I find most films from 50 years ago (or more) to be boring to watch, but a book from 50 years ago could still be seen as "young". So there is a more diverse selection of books you could read.
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Re: I find reading boring. Please hear me out.

Postby rmsgrey » Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:55 pm UTC

firechicago wrote:The fact is that movies made from books are generally not as good as the source material. And books made from movies are often not very good. And operas based on plays and musicals based on comics etc. etc etc.

The difference in quality has nothing to do with the fact that books are inherently better than movies and everything to do with the fact that adaptation from one medium to another is a difficult thing to pull off, and often results in a pale shadow of the original.


Also, most of the time, the work being adapted is one of the best of its medium - even if the quality of the source material carries over to some extent into the adaptation, a better-than-average movie is still going to be worse than an absolutely brilliant book. And that's when the brilliance of the original doesn't rely on the nature of the medium. For example, The Matrix was a great movie, but much of what made it great was the (then) innovative "bullet-time" technique, combined with the soundtrack, the stunt-work, etc. Even in as visual a medium as a comic book, The Matrix would fall flat.

Many years ago, when the first Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings films came out at about the same time, I went to see both within a couple of weeks, and came out with the verdict that Potter got the better adaptation, but Fellowship was the better movie - even a disappointing version of the book that wrote the book on fantasy (there are a few great fantasy books from the last half-century that owe little or nothing to Tolkien, but not many...) works better than a faithful version of, with no offense to Potter fans, what is a fairly unexceptional story made something better by the writing.

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Re: I find reading boring. Please hear me out.

Postby thalia » Sat Dec 08, 2012 10:36 am UTC

I love reading. I love the feeling of disappearing into a book, of "getting to know" a character. The imagery in books comes alive for me, in a way that is more sharp and real than any movie. Sometimes it's like I can sense the book with my whole being, and I stop responding when people talk to me and I stop seeing the world around me. This has always happened - my Mum had my hearing tested when I was a child, actually, for this reason.

I love guessing what happens next, following the characters, laughing at their traits and sometimes being amazed, awed and inspired by plot twists and truths hidden in pages and between the lines.

Words, to me, can be like poetry. I also love to read because of that - because of the beauty in a perfectly structured sentence and a well-punctuated joke. I love the eloquence of Hamlet as he describes the pain of losing a loved one. I love the sly humour of Douglas Adams. I love Rowling's ability to transport me into the Gryffindor common room, and make me feel like I could actually physically be near the fire myself.

Most of all, though, I think I love the building tension as your book draws closer to the breaking point, and all the little threads start to come together, and the pattern becomes visible. Is it wrong to think of books as having a climax? Hum.
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Re: I find reading boring. Please hear me out.

Postby addams » Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:31 am UTC

Felstaff wrote:
Ixtellor wrote:How often does someone say "The movie was better" in regards to the book?

Children of Men

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannery_Row_(film)
Cannery Row. May be the only movie I have seen that is better than the book.
It is an old movie. One step up from a book.

I read because I found the voice of reason in books.
Not all books are reasonable. I discovered this long after books had become important to me.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.


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