How did you learn to love reading books?

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.
plwk
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Re: How did you learn to love reading books?

Post by plwk » Wed Mar 08, 2017 4:00 am

So how did you learn to love to read?
It's a threefold thingy for me: an inspiring high school history teacher, did English Literature in college and self empowerment from total dependence on the government of the day and religious teachers.

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Kim OHara
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Re: How did you learn to love reading books?

Post by Kim OHara » Mon Mar 13, 2017 6:31 am

A great talk on the importance of reading (and libraries) by one of my favourite authors:
Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming

...everything changes when we read.

And it’s that change, and that act of reading that I’m here to talk about tonight. I want to talk about what reading does. What it’s good for.

I was once in New York, and I listened to a talk about the building of private prisons – a huge growth industry in America. The prison industry needs to plan its future growth – how many cells are they going to need? How many prisoners are there going to be, 15 years from now? And they found they could predict it very easily, using a pretty simple algorithm, based on asking what percentage of 10 and 11-year-olds couldn’t read. And certainly couldn’t read for pleasure.

It’s not one to one: you can’t say that a literate society has no criminality. But there are very real correlations.

And I think some of those correlations, the simplest, come from something very simple. Literate people read fiction.

Fiction has two uses. Firstly, it’s a gateway drug to reading. The drive to know what happens next, to want to turn the page, the need to keep going, even if it’s hard, because someone’s in trouble and you have to know how it’s all going to end … that’s a very real drive. And it forces you to learn new words, to think new thoughts, to keep going. To discover that reading per se is pleasurable. ...

I’d like to say a few words about escapism. I hear the term bandied about as if it’s a bad thing. As if “escapist” fiction is a cheap opiate used by the muddled and the foolish and the deluded, and the only fiction that is worthy, for adults or for children, is mimetic fiction, mirroring the worst of the world the reader finds herself in.

If you were trapped in an impossible situation, in an unpleasant place, with people who meant you ill, and someone offered you a temporary escape, why wouldn’t you take it? And escapist fiction is just that: fiction that opens a door, shows the sunlight outside, gives you a place to go where you are in control, are with people you want to be with(and books are real places, make no mistake about that); and more importantly, during your escape, books can also give you knowledge about the world and your predicament, give you weapons, give you armour: real things you can take back into your prison. Skills and knowledge and tools you can use to escape for real.

As JRR Tolkien reminded us, the only people who inveigh against escape are jailers. ...
The whole talk is well worth reading: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/ ... aydreaming

:reading:
Kim

Ruud
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Re: How did you learn to love reading books?

Post by Ruud » Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:31 am

Great article, good read.
Do not discourage children from reading because you feel they are reading the wrong thing. Fiction you do not like is a route to other books you may prefer. And not everyone has the same taste as you.
Hear, hear! (true for adults too)
Dry up what pertains to the past,
do not take up anything to come later.
If you will not grasp in the middle,
you will live at peace.
—Snp.5.11,v.1099 (tr. Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi)

Whatever is will be was. —Ven. Ñānamoli, A Thinkers Notebook, §221

binocular
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Re: How did you learn to love reading books?

Post by binocular » Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:50 am

Kim OHara wrote:A great talk on the importance of reading (and libraries) by one of my favourite authors:
Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming
Fiction has two uses. Firstly, it’s a gateway drug to reading. ...
"A gateway drug to reading"??

There are proponents of reading who try to "infect others with the reading virus".

Why the pathological imagery?

The fact that they have to resort to such pathological imagery indicates that something unsavory is going on.

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Kim OHara
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Re: How did you learn to love reading books?

Post by Kim OHara » Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:09 am

binocular wrote:
Kim OHara wrote:A great talk on the importance of reading (and libraries) by one of my favourite authors:
Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming
Fiction has two uses. Firstly, it’s a gateway drug to reading. ...
"A gateway drug to reading"??

There are proponents of reading who try to "infect others with the reading virus".

Why the pathological imagery?

The fact that they have to resort to such pathological imagery indicates that something unsavory is going on.
He's joking, okay?
I hope you were.

:smile:
Kim

chownah
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Re: How did you learn to love reading books?

Post by chownah » Mon Mar 13, 2017 1:27 pm

Kim OHara wrote:
Neil Gaiman wrote:And I think some of those correlations, the simplest, come from something very simple. Literate people read fiction.
Is he joking here too? If he is not joking then taking one interpretation of this he must think that I am illiterate....which I am not.....looks patently false if taken this way.

Literate people read fiction? Well I guess if you can read anything then you are literate....isn't that what literate means? So it seems that it is either wrong or it is sort of a meaningless tautology.
chownah

binocular
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Re: How did you learn to love reading books?

Post by binocular » Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:44 pm

Kim OHara wrote:He's joking, okay?
I hope you were.
I wasn't.

In some European countries, there are state-sponsored efforts to promote reading. And these promoters use the imagery of "infecting someone with the reading virus".

E.g.:
http://www.lokalno.si/2014/04/10/113722 ... lni_virus/
Beremo z Manco Košir in širimo bralni virus
Pri vhodu v čitalnico za odrasle v študijski knjižnici Mirana Jarca Novo mesto lahko berete misli in spoznanja o knjigah in branju bralk bralnih krožkov in priporočilo za branje na stenskem časopisu. Uredile in oblikovale so ga Petra Kovič in dve študentki, ki jima je bil to lep izziv in užitek, ko sta lahko po svoje urejali zapisane misli. Tako smo strnili podatke o našem petnajstletnem širjenju bralnega virusa.
Berite tudi vi, morda vas okužimo in začnete z branjem!
(translation by me:)
Reading with Manca Kosir and spreading the reading virus

At the entrance to the reading room for adults in the study library of Miran Jarc in Novo mesto, you can read thoughts and realizations about books and reading from readers who attend reading circles, as well as a recommendation for reading on the wall paper. The paper was edited and created by Petra Kovic and two students, for whom doing so was a beautiful challenge and enjoyment, as they were able to freely organize the written thoughts. This is how we have summarized the data of fifteen years of our efforts to spread the reading virus.

You should read too, maybe we infect you as well and you start reading!

From a document at the government site:
http://www.mizs.gov.si/fileadmin/mizs.g ... abraja.pdf

NAMEN PROJEKTA
• Razviti didaktični model za razvoj različnih vrst pismenosti.
• Kako s pomočjo orodij informacijsko telekomunikacijske tehnologije privabiti čim več učencev v knjižnico oz. kako z bralnim virusom okužiti učence?
(translation by me:)
PURPOSE OF THE PROJECT
• To develp a didactic model for the development of different kinds of literacy.
• With the help of tools of information and telecommunication technology, how to attract the most students to the library, or how to infect students with the reading virus?

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Will
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Re: How did you learn to love reading books?

Post by Will » Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:57 pm

My parents were 'wordy' people, father a writer and mother a lover of all sorts of literature. That influence, plus their library at home and a public library card was all I needed.
Wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost. -- AN 10.1

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Kim OHara
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Re: How did you learn to love reading books?

Post by Kim OHara » Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:25 pm

chownah wrote:
Kim OHara wrote:
Neil Gaiman wrote:And I think some of those correlations, the simplest, come from something very simple. Literate people read fiction.
Is he joking here too? If he is not joking then taking one interpretation of this he must think that I am illiterate....which I am not.....looks patently false if taken this way.

Literate people read fiction? Well I guess if you can read anything then you are literate....isn't that what literate means? So it seems that it is either wrong or it is sort of a meaningless tautology.
chownah
It's a generalisation which I would guess is about 80% true, and from your previous posts it seems that you're one of the 20% it doesn't apply to.

:namaste:
Kim

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Kim OHara
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Re: How did you learn to love reading books?

Post by Kim OHara » Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:33 pm

binocular wrote:
Kim OHara wrote:He's joking, okay?
I hope you were.
I wasn't.

In some European countries, there are state-sponsored efforts to promote reading. And these promoters use the imagery of "infecting someone with the reading virus".

E.g.:
http://www.lokalno.si/2014/04/10/113722 ... lni_virus/
Beremo z Manco Košir in širimo bralni virus
Pri vhodu v čitalnico za odrasle v študijski knjižnici Mirana Jarca Novo mesto lahko berete misli in spoznanja o knjigah in branju bralk bralnih krožkov in priporočilo za branje na stenskem časopisu. Uredile in oblikovale so ga Petra Kovič in dve študentki, ki jima je bil to lep izziv in užitek, ko sta lahko po svoje urejali zapisane misli. Tako smo strnili podatke o našem petnajstletnem širjenju bralnega virusa.
Berite tudi vi, morda vas okužimo in začnete z branjem!
(translation by me:)
Reading with Manca Kosir and spreading the reading virus

At the entrance to the reading room for adults in the study library of Miran Jarc in Novo mesto, you can read thoughts and realizations about books and reading from readers who attend reading circles, as well as a recommendation for reading on the wall paper. The paper was edited and created by Petra Kovic and two students, for whom doing so was a beautiful challenge and enjoyment, as they were able to freely organize the written thoughts. This is how we have summarized the data of fifteen years of our efforts to spread the reading virus.

You should read too, maybe we infect you as well and you start reading!

From a document at the government site:
http://www.mizs.gov.si/fileadmin/mizs.g ... abraja.pdf

NAMEN PROJEKTA
• Razviti didaktični model za razvoj različnih vrst pismenosti.
• Kako s pomočjo orodij informacijsko telekomunikacijske tehnologije privabiti čim več učencev v knjižnico oz. kako z bralnim virusom okužiti učence?
(translation by me:)
PURPOSE OF THE PROJECT
• To develp a didactic model for the development of different kinds of literacy.
• With the help of tools of information and telecommunication technology, how to attract the most students to the library, or how to infect students with the reading virus?
Interesting ... but it still doesn't mean that, as you said before, "The fact that they have to resort to such pathological imagery indicates that something unsavory is going on."
The spread of a disease is a good metaphor for the spread of any cultural trend, e.g. Pokemon. People pick it up from each other and pass it on, don't they?
Can you think of another metaphor for the same kind of transmission?

:namaste:

Kim

chownah
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Re: How did you learn to love reading books?

Post by chownah » Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:41 am

Kim OHara wrote:
chownah wrote: Is he joking here too? If he is not joking then taking one interpretation of this he must think that I am illiterate....which I am not.....looks patently false if taken this way.

Literate people read fiction? Well I guess if you can read anything then you are literate....isn't that what literate means? So it seems that it is either wrong or it is sort of a meaningless tautology.
chownah
It's a generalisation which I would guess is about 80% true, and from your previous posts it seems that you're one of the 20% it doesn't apply to.

:namaste:
Kim
I really doubt that 80% of literate people in the world read fiction. I haven't seen anyone in thailand reading fiction....you will find it difficult to find anyone who knows where the public library is...or that there even is one....or even what a library is and how it works. The closest thing I can think of is a sort of adult comic book type of presentation with very few words. I don't think that it would qualify as "reading fiction" but I guess if someone (not you) who was just wanting to argue they could probably be foolish and insist. And think about it in a country where 90% plus are literate (most countries with western heritage) then over 70% of the population would be reading fiction (I'm assuming you and the author mean with some vague sort of regularity) and if this were true then the library would be a main community center teeming with people coming and going with HUGE parking lots and with the library budget being a prominent part of the gov't budget..... It has been a long time since I have been in america but I really don't remember it being that way and I think it is unlikley that has changed......even if you count newpapers and magazines as being "fiction" then I doubt that you would get up to 70% participation.

Do you really think that 80% of the literate people in the world read fiction? Are the public libraries in somalia filled with people loading up on fiction to read over the weekend?...how about in gabon or nepal?.....mongolia?....fiji?....where is it happening?....really, I can't think of any likely places.

I hope you won't find this offensive but do you think it is possible that you have your nose in a book so often that you have taken what you read to represent the world condition. It is good to read and stock up on ideas but it is even more important to compare and contrast various data to winnow out what is happening and what is not. I suggest that the ability and inclination to use critical thinking is what is needed in the world and to the extent that learning to read and then actually reading supports the development of critical thinking is reading's main value in a compassionately democratic society. Reading for fun is ok too but it is also can be a compulsion....yet another fiddle to occupy our time.
chownah

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Kim OHara
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Re: How did you learn to love reading books?

Post by Kim OHara » Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:09 am

chownah wrote:
Kim OHara wrote:
chownah wrote: Is he joking here too? If he is not joking then taking one interpretation of this he must think that I am illiterate....which I am not.....looks patently false if taken this way.

Literate people read fiction? Well I guess if you can read anything then you are literate....isn't that what literate means? So it seems that it is either wrong or it is sort of a meaningless tautology.
chownah
It's a generalisation which I would guess is about 80% true, and from your previous posts it seems that you're one of the 20% it doesn't apply to.

:namaste:
Kim
I really doubt that 80% of literate people in the world read fiction. I haven't seen anyone in thailand reading fiction....you will find it difficult to find anyone who knows where the public library is...or that there even is one....or even what a library is and how it works. The closest thing I can think of is a sort of adult comic book type of presentation with very few words. I don't think that it would qualify as "reading fiction" but I guess if someone (not you) who was just wanting to argue they could probably be foolish and insist. And think about it in a country where 90% plus are literate (most countries with western heritage) then over 70% of the population would be reading fiction (I'm assuming you and the author mean with some vague sort of regularity) and if this were true then the library would be a main community center teeming with people coming and going with HUGE parking lots and with the library budget being a prominent part of the gov't budget..... It has been a long time since I have been in america but I really don't remember it being that way and I think it is unlikley that has changed......even if you count newpapers and magazines as being "fiction" then I doubt that you would get up to 70% participation.

Do you really think that 80% of the literate people in the world read fiction? Are the public libraries in somalia filled with people loading up on fiction to read over the weekend?...how about in gabon or nepal?.....mongolia?....fiji?....where is it happening?....really, I can't think of any likely places.

I hope you won't find this offensive but do you think it is possible that you have your nose in a book so often that you have taken what you read to represent the world condition. It is good to read and stock up on ideas but it is even more important to compare and contrast various data to winnow out what is happening and what is not. I suggest that the ability and inclination to use critical thinking is what is needed in the world and to the extent that learning to read and then actually reading supports the development of critical thinking is reading's main value in a compassionately democratic society. Reading for fun is ok too but it is also can be a compulsion....yet another fiddle to occupy our time.
chownah
Hi, chownah,
Australians are the highest per capita consumers of books in the English speaking world.
:woohoo:
...which I didn't know and which may have skewed my persception :embarassed:
I got it from http://www.bookmarket.com/statistics which has more stats on book sales than any reasonable person could want but didn't really answer my question, i.e. how many people do actually read fiction regularly.
It does look, however, as though my 80% guess was on the high side. I suspect you could justify any figure between 10% and 80% depending on how you chose to define "people", "read" and "fiction". Pick a number! :smile:

:reading: :reading: :reading:
Kim

P.S. How you chose to define "literate" too. Some pundits have said that no-one can be considered truly literate unless they have read a substantial proportion of the English literary canon https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/English_literary_canon. I think that's going way too far but then, by their standards my opinion doesn't count for much because I'm not truly literate. :rolleye:
Last edited by Kim OHara on Tue Mar 14, 2017 3:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

Justsit
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Re: How did you learn to love reading books?

Post by Justsit » Tue Mar 14, 2017 3:09 am

My love for books and reading began when I was a toddler; my parents read to me at bedtime every night, wonderful stories that stimulated my imagination. I learned to love words and their rhythm when spoken.

As on only child, I had no siblings to play with, and was drawn to the varied worlds that opened up through the pages of a book; they were my friends. When I got older, I read pretty much anything I could get my hands on - the Encyclopedia Britannica, the dictionary - anything, that is, except comic books. In my school years, I had my nose in a book all the time, in addition to my schoolwork. I loved the classics, fiction, non-fiction, plays, I was a sponge for knowledge and for expanding my mental horizons and learning new things.

I still love words, enjoy crossword puzzles, and over the years have acquired a small collection of rare books, many with beautiful bindings. They have a feel, even a smell, that somehow brings a connection to the people who have gone before us and shared the words. No kindle or e-reader will ever do for me.

Ruud
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Re: How did you learn to love reading books?

Post by Ruud » Tue Mar 14, 2017 3:48 am

I think there is also something to say for the following: literate people read fiction, at least in the process of getting literate. I think hardly anyone literate can claim to never have read any fiction. And part of the author's point is that fiction leads to specific traits in critical and creative thinking. Especially during the developing stages (of both literacy and critical thinking) in children. Does he prove it? No. Does it sound plausible? To me, yes. Would it have to be proven before really taking it on? Definitely. Is that part of the purpose of the article? I do not think so.
Dry up what pertains to the past,
do not take up anything to come later.
If you will not grasp in the middle,
you will live at peace.
—Snp.5.11,v.1099 (tr. Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi)

Whatever is will be was. —Ven. Ñānamoli, A Thinkers Notebook, §221

chownah
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Re: How did you learn to love reading books?

Post by chownah » Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:57 pm

Kim OHara wrote: Hi, chownah,
Australians are the highest per capita consumers of books in the English speaking world.
:woohoo:
...which I didn't know and which may have skewed my persception :embarassed:
I got it from http://www.bookmarket.com/statistics which has more stats on book sales than any reasonable person could want but didn't really answer my question, i.e. how many people do actually read fiction regularly.
It does look, however, as though my 80% guess was on the high side. I suspect you could justify any figure between 10% and 80% depending on how you chose to define "people", "read" and "fiction". Pick a number! :smile:

:reading: :reading: :reading:
Kim
Rather than pick a number I'll go get some numbers. According to the NEA 2012 Survey of Participation in the Arts, To Read or Not to Read in 2012 only 55% of american adults had read at least one book for pleasure in the last year. While literacy in america is not 100% it is probably above 90% I'll use 90% as my guess as to the adult literacy rate in 2012 which means that 61% of literate american adults read at least one book for pleasure in the preceding year as reported in 2012. I'm assuming that if it is read for pleasure that it is fiction but then again this is not true 100%. Also, note that there is reading of fiction which is not in book form...but not much.
Looks like a first approxiation is that 61% of literate americans read fiction with some very vague semblance of regularity....if we assume that one book per year passes as being "regularly reads fiction"....
chownah

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