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Jeremy DEagle

Do you feel superior due to reading?

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Now until recently I didn't really get this thread. However, I have now started listening to audiobooks on my iPOD during my daily commute to and from work. Sometimes I do this instead of reading a book. When I don't have a book in my hand and only headphones in my ears I feel dumbed down. I want people to see I'm a reader!

 

As much as I'm enjoying my audiobook I sometimes reluntantly switch it off in preference of a real book - just because I think it makes me look better. Is that wrong?

 

I'm not sure I have explained myself too well but I've been thinking about this thread whenever I'm on the train. I've been writing this in my head for a while and still don't think I've been very eloquent :o

I know what you mean. I don't think that it's wrong, it's just that - certainly in my case! - ipods, and I'm pretty certain audiobooks in general, hadn't been invented until long after I learnt to read and it now seems wrong to be doing anything other than actually holding a book when you want to read because of this concept. That's my theory anyway, and would explain why I'm not in the habit of listening to audiobooks unless I have a long drive ahead of me.

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I'm an avid audiobook listener, but only because it would be dangerous for me to read and drive at the same time.

 

The problem with the form is that, even if you get an unabridged book (and why on Earth would you want to do anything else?) there's still an element of missing something. There have been threads here about books I've listened to which other people have read where, for example, experimental grammar or spelling is discussed and I can't contribute because I haven't seen the text printed on the page. Sometimes authors put diagrams or drawings in: I can't see those either.

 

Very occasionally, I've come across stories originally written to be read out on the radio, but the only longer work of fiction I know of that started life as an audiobook is Tom Wolfe's "Ambush at Fort Bragg". There's also work like that of David Sedaris or Stuart McLean's "Vinyl Café" that occupy a grey area as humourous radio work later collated into books. It seems odd given that humanity's storytelling traditions started orally.

 

Ultimately, books are designed to read from a page, so part of the image problem of audiobooks is they will always be a substitute in the same way as, I guess, most avid bibliophiles will tend to regard e-readers as substitutes for a real book.

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Grammath Wrote:

I'm an avid audiobook listener, but only because it would be dangerous for me to read and drive at the same time.

 

The problem with the form is that, even if you get an unabridged book (and why on Earth would you want to do anything else?) there's still an element of missing something.

That's a very interesting comment, I have found the opposite in some cases, I read Pride and Prejudice and it irritated the life out of me the over the top highly dislikable characters but when I listened to it as an audio book, I loved it as the characters although they were still dislikable seemed more in context, so to me it added something which was missing for me when I read it.

 

also...

 

aya09 Wrote:

Yes, when the book is adapted to a movie. I can relate well as compared to my friends, especially when they asked me to explain some parts.
Now with this I am the opposite, as I mentioned on a previous thread I think, I like my adapations to be faithful to the book and I get quite irritated when things start veering off in directions which were never written and things are taken away and added etc. I annoy the people I am with because I will comment saying it wasn't like that in the book, and that wasn't even in the book. Having said that sometimes films don't explain things and do assume the watcher has read the book and knows whats going on.

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I also listen to audiobooks in the car. My journey takes about half an hour give or take and that is quite a good length of time to listen to what is in effect an episode. I've listened to quite a few different genres and have found that all work well for me as an audiobook but have found that Dickens works especially well.

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I also listen to audiobooks in the car. My journey takes about half an hour give or take and that is quite a good length of time to listen to what is in effect an episode. I've listened to quite a few different genres and have found that all work well for me as an audiobook but have found that Dickens works especially well.

 

We're straying off topic here (and I'm pretty certain there is an audiobooks thread somewhere...here it is) but I'm not sure I agree with you, tagesmann. Some types of novels definitely work better than others on audiobook. First person narratives, if read well, can have the air of confessionals or being with a mate telling a tall tale. Whodunnits often work well too as the elements of a crime are gradually revealed. Very literary or experimental fiction is often harder to translate into good spoken word.

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I do like audiobooks - some have worked for me, some haven't - but that doesn't change the fact that I don't look like a reader when I'm sitting on the train listening to a book rather than reading one. I want people to know I read, and do feel rather superior when I have my nose in a book on the train.

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but I'm not sure I agree with you, tagesmann. Some types of novels definitely work better than others on audiobook. First person narratives, if read well, can have the air of confessionals or being with a mate telling a tall tale. Whodunnits often work well too as the elements of a crime are gradually revealed. Very literary or experimental fiction is often harder to translate into good spoken word.
See my reply in the audiobook thread.

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No, I don't feel superior, just very lucky that I can enjoy it so much!

 

Reading fulfills many things for me, as well as being just pure entertainment. Escapism, I guess it's called. I've also learned a great deal about figures in history from reading biographies. Instead of being remote people from the past, I've gotten a sense of really getting to know them by learning more about their personal lives.

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:) Totally agree with you, Elina. "Reading" encompasses so much for so many people. I too have learnt so much historical fact through reading for pleasure. It's so exciting to think of all the books there are out there waiting to be discovered and enjoyed. Just yesterday I was on an emotional high looking forward to all the books I've lined up for myself to read and listen to. One thing being part of this online bookgroup has spurred me on to do is to talk to people more about reading and books and find out if and what they read and tell them about my latest discoveries. Three cheers for books! :banana:

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People who have spent their lives reading a wide range of books are invariably better informed than those who do not. I think the same is true when considering other media, a Radio Four or World Service listener is likely to have a much better understanding of the World than a Radio 1 listener.

 

It is also my belief that the loss of the 'reading habit' amongst the young has effected their ability to write and spell.

 

One of the most useful recent innovations in technology, in my opinion, is hard-drive and 'catch-up' TV.

 

I watch very little TV, but I now watch a handful of TV programs that I really enjoy, instead of sitting through an evening of dross.

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People who have spent their lives reading a wide range of books are invariably better informed than those who do not. I think the same is true when considering other media, a Radio Four or World Service listener is likely to have a much better understanding of the World than a Radio 1 listener.

 

I think it's rather a sweeping statement to say that Radio 4 listeners understand more of the world that Radio 1 listeners.

 

I think you had it right when you said it's good to read a wide range of books. What helps you appreciate the world around you is having a wide range of interests, and being open minded to all sorts of sources of information whether thats books, radio, television or any other type of media.

:)

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It is also my belief that the loss of the 'reading habit' amongst the young has effected their ability to write and spell.

 

Or affected even? ;-)

 

Sorry, I wouldn't normally, but in the context of that sentence...

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I think it's rather a sweeping statement to say that Radio 4 listeners understand more of the world that Radio 1 listeners.

 

I agree with you Nellie, surely use of sweeping generalisations shows a lack of worldly knowledge!

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I think it's rather a sweeping statement to say that Radio 4 listeners understand more of the world that Radio 1 listeners.

 

I think you had it right when you said it's good to read a wide range of books. What helps you appreciate the world around you is having a wide range of interests, and being open minded to all sorts of sources of information whether thats books, radio, television or any other type of media.

:)

 

Yes,of course, it is a sweeping statement. I am generalising, this is a forum post, I'm not writing a paper on the subject.But you should note that I didn't actually say 'Radio 4 listeners understand more of the world than Radio 1 listeners' I said they were likely to understand more of the World than Radio 1 listeners. I was comparing Radio 4 as a sole source of news and current affairs to Radio 1 as a sole source of news and current affairs.

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Yes,of course, it is a sweeping statement. I am generalising, this is a forum post, I'm not writing a paper on the subject.[/Quote]

 

No offence intended. :)

 

But you should note that I didn't actually say 'Radio 4 listeners understand more of the world than Radio 1 listeners' I said they were likely to understand more of the World than Radio 1 listeners. I was comparing Radio 4 as a sole source of news and current affairs to Radio 1 as a sole source of news and current affairs.

 

I'm sorry, but that's not how I read your post. You talked about "better understanding of the world"...

 

a Radio Four or World Service listener is likely to have a much better understanding of the World than a Radio 1 listener.

 

There are many aspects to this world. I would have said that for some aspects Radio 4 is better, and for others Radio 1 is better.

 

:)

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I agree with you Nellie, surely use of sweeping generalisations shows a lack of worldly knowledge!

 

Not sure about sweeping generalisations showing 'lack of worldly knowledge.' It's too much of a sweeping generalisation for me.

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Wow, what a great thread - I've read lots of pages of it and found it fascinating.

 

I like reading, I like fiction (all kinds crime, chick lit, award shortlisted authors, classics, mystery, fantasy, sci-fi) and non-fiction (especially autobiographies and sport).

 

I don't feel superior for reading, but I do get defensive when people suggest that by reading I am not engaged in the real world (that would rather depend on what I read surely) or as someone recently suggested that I was rude and antisocial as I was reading on a train...(what can I say I like to read and do it wherever I can get five minutes)

 

My reading much like my TV watching and Radio/Music listening is based on what I like and what I need right then. Sometimes I watch documentaries, or drama's, other times I watch Hollyoaks or Strictly come Dancing. I mostly listen to Radio 1 but I will put on classical music, or radio 2 or country should the urge take me.

 

For me, all these things are entertainment. Does my brother look down on me for not playing computer games? I doubt it, and do I look down on him for not doing pottery classes? No. Why should reading be different?

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thisnameistaken Wrote:

People who have spent their lives reading a wide range of books are invariably better informed than those who do not. I think the same is true when considering other media, a Radio Four or World Service listener is likely to have a much better understanding of the World than a Radio 1 listener.

 

It is also my belief that the loss of the 'reading habit' amongst the young has effected their ability to write and spell.

 

One of the most useful recent innovations in technology, in my opinion, is hard-drive and 'catch-up' TV.

 

I watch very little TV, but I now watch a handful of TV programs that I really enjoy, instead of sitting through an evening of dross.

 

Sorry about coming in late (as usual!) to this but I had to comment on this highly stereotypical comment !!

 

No offence intended.

:)

As someone who generally listens to Kerrang radio/Heavy metal CD's and who likes to watch evenings of dross, (although I couldn't agree more that hard drive tv ie. Sky+ is one of the best things ever invented!!) and never listened to Radio 4 or the World Service I find that a sweeping statement to make as even though I personally do do these things, as I am sure a lot of other people do, I also read, take a keen interest in the news and current affairs and consider that I have an understanding and awareness of the country and world around me. In my experience, people who make such stereotypical over simplistic generalised statements very rarely have the evidence to back it up and are basing what they are saying on a very narrow opinion which they have formed, and in my opinion demonstrates a lack of worldly understanding".

 

Oh and by the way, you mis-spelt affected. In my experience this statement you made isn't entirely accurate either as I know many people who are avid readers including myself, my teenage daughter and some of her friends who are also diabolical spellers, I sit with a dictionary at the side of me when I write posts :) I consider the lack of spelling in the younger generation down to the (no offense to any teachers!) way children are taught these days (as I have observed when I helped out when my children were at primary school and have compared notes with parents with children at other schools and with friends of mine who are teachers in different parts of the country) they all spell things how they sound which is the way they have been taught and also the fact spelling is not considered important any more, if you mis-spell in class/tests etc. you do not lose marks which was the case when I was at school. My excuse is I didn't actually have much of an education, as I went to school during the 1980's and my learning was constantly disrupted by the teachers going on strike.

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I think we are all here (virtually at least!) discussing books on this website for the same reason: we share a love of the written word, and we understand that books are an engine for personal and intellectual growth.

 

I must admit, I have no time for celebrity/media culture, and I find the modern world's obsession with fame and money awful, especially promoted as they are over those things that I find in books, and which require a little more discipline to obtain; structure, substance, (true) beauty, texture, colour, depth, etc etc etc.

 

Superior? No, more grateful that I found reading when I did, and hungry to explore the worlds that have opened up to me because of it...

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I think it's rather a sweeping statement to say that Radio 4 listeners understand more of the world that Radio 1 listeners.
It is. But the BBC must agree with thisnameistaken given the way they dumb down the news on Radio 1.

 

I sometimes feel inferior due to reading.

 

I read a lot of fiction. I find it hard to motivate myself to read non-fiction. I don't read newspapers or periodicals any more (I still miss The Listener) because they take up too much of my time - which could be better(?) spent reading. Consequently there are a lot of people out there who are better informed than I am on a number of issues. I've also noticed that I tend to accept writers opinions (or at least find something in them that I can relate to) more than I think that I should. I wonder if my preference for fiction, and the acceptance of the author's viewpoint that is inherent in enjoying fiction, is the reason.

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It is. But the BBC must agree with thisnameistaken given the way they dumb down the news on Radio 1.

 

I guess thats true if you assume that Radio 1 listeners only listen to Radio 1 news to the exclusion of everything else.

 

I read a lot of fiction. I find it hard to motivate myself to read non-fiction. I don't read newspapers or periodicals any more (I still miss The Listener) because they take up too much of my time - which could be better(?) spent reading. Consequently there are a lot of people out there who are better informed than I am on a number of issues. I've also noticed that I tend to accept writers opinions (or at least find something in them that I can relate to) more than I think that I should. I wonder if my preference for fiction, and the acceptance of the author's viewpoint that is inherent in enjoying fiction, is the reason

 

That's an interesting thought. I read a lot of fiction too, rarely do I read non-fiction. Mr Nellie on the other hand reads almost exclusively non-fiction and knows a lot about British history as a result. I do wonder if I should try harder with non-fiction, but none of it really tugs at me to read it. Having said that I do read the paper everyday, so I'm not too bad with current affairs, but if you want to know about the English Civil War, you would better asking Mr N!

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I don't feel superior for reading, but I do get defensive when people suggest that by reading I am not engaged in the real world (that would rather depend on what I read surely) or as someone recently suggested that I was rude and antisocial as I was reading on a train...(what can I say I like to read and do it wherever I can get five minutes)
I've heard about this before. I read everywhere, too, doctor's appointments, hairdressers, whenever I have to wait for something, etc. Sometimes I meet someone or start a conversation but most of the time people just sit around and star at each other anyway. Why not stare at a book. ;)
That's an interesting thought. I read a lot of fiction too, rarely do I read non-fiction. Mr Nellie on the other hand reads almost exclusively non-fiction and knows a lot about British history as a result.
I read both but in any case I read a book because I'm interested in it, the story, the topic, whatever. If you don't have to read for a class and read for pleasure, it should be up to you what you're reading.

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The only time I ever feel superior to someone is when they put me down for trying to better myself. I don't care who you are if you are trying to better yourself and someone is trying to belittle it then they prove they are inferior with that attitude.

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