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Old 06-26-2011, 12:36 PM
 
2,179 posts, read 3,056,096 times
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Ok, just wanted to get your attention.. Obviously, you do or chances are you wouldn't be on this thread. But, and here's my question, of all your friends and family, how many of them are consistent readers? Meaning, the odds are that they will at most times have a book going..

My other question is, of those that you know of that are big readers, how many of them read fiction?

Oh, and one more question.. if you will. Does it take a certain kind of person to read fiction? A certain mindset? Maybe the calm, or the passivity, or the emotional rather than the mental intelligence to be taken in by a fictional world?
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Old 06-26-2011, 01:39 PM
 
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My father was a constant reader, although perhaps that doesn't count, because for part of his life he was an English professor. I suspect this reading was likely about 90% fiction. It wouldn't surprise me if most readers came from families with readers.

In general, all the major readers I know read mostly fiction, almost exclusively fiction. I'm one of the few to recently have started reading a lot of non-fiction.

I'm sure it does take certain qualities to be a devoted reader, but I don't know what they would be. Patience? Curiosity? I totally, totally disagree that it would indicate a lack of mental intelligence.
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Old 06-26-2011, 01:40 PM
 
180 posts, read 336,657 times
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yes, I'm in my late 30s and was never a big reader before (literature, nonfiction/fiction). but due to the absurdity that t.v. has become i've decided over the last 2 years to get into reading more and more and I'm happy with that.

I did read more scientific things and things relating to a few hobbies but not literature , classics or modern prose, actual books, at all even in High school or college.

I'm also a guy so bucking trends there as well. I've really noticed it's about 9:1 when shopping for books.

really loving the classics and getting into more modern authors from reviews I read about in magazines and online but I'm more orientated towards the classics.

it's a great hobby and I'm glad I'm reading more.

maybe a certain type is needed for fiction, esp. nowadays with instant messaging, everything so quick, digital and information overload, to just quiet the brain with a good book might be harder for us to do today.
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Old 06-26-2011, 01:47 PM
 
2,179 posts, read 3,056,096 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cida View Post
My father was a constant reader, although perhaps that doesn't count, because for part of his life he was an English professor. I suspect this reading was likely about 90% fiction. It wouldn't surprise me if most readers came from families with readers.

In general, all the major readers I know read mostly fiction, almost exclusively fiction. I'm one of the few to recently have started reading a lot of non-fiction.

I'm sure it does take certain qualities to be a devoted reader, but I don't know what they would be. Patience? Curiosity? I totally, totally disagree that it would indicate a lack of mental intelligence.
Ouch, no I didn't mean that reading fiction would indicate a lack of mental intelligence.. on the contrary, I'm convinced that the most intelligent of us are closely in touch with our emotional side.. maybe if and when we are truly evolved we are able to find the right balance of both, left and right side of the brain.

I used to always have two books goin'. One non-fiction and one fiction. It seemed to satisfy my every need as a reader. But I did and I do notice that it is a different activity, it feels different to me. One I am reading more actively, sitting on the edge of my seat so to speak, I want to learn something.. the other, I tend to let it, excuse the expression, flow over me..
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Old 06-26-2011, 01:48 PM
 
Location: Oxford, OH
1,461 posts, read 3,402,672 times
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My parents both loved to read, but my mother a bit more. She read really fast and I sit and slowly enjoy. I read more fiction I guess. I would love to go back and read some classics at some point. I honestly used to read a lot of stupid romance novels but have gotten away from that. I think I was sort of loney and that did fill a need in me.
My mother collected copies of Uncle Tom's Cabin and I think I have about thirty of them and realized I have never read that. So that's on the bucket list for this year...
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Old 06-26-2011, 01:48 PM
 
2,179 posts, read 3,056,096 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metamucil View Post
yes, I'm in my late 30s and was never a big reader before (literature, nonfiction/fiction). but due to the absurdity that t.v. has become i've decided over the last 2 years to get into reading more and more and I'm happy with that.

I did read more scientific things and things relating to a few hobbies but not literature , classics or modern prose, actual books, at all even in High school or college.

I'm also a guy so bucking trends there as well. I've really noticed it's about 9:1 when shopping for books.

really loving the classics and getting into more modern authors from reviews I read about in magazines and online but I'm more orientated towards the classics.

it's a great hobby and I'm glad I'm reading more.

maybe a certain type is needed for fiction, esp. nowadays with instant messaging, everything so quick, digital and information overload, to just quiet the brain with a good book might be harder for us to do today.
I think, especially with fiction, that is very true.. but I wonder why it is..
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Old 06-26-2011, 02:05 PM
 
Location: Here&There
2,209 posts, read 3,826,593 times
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I read, whenever I can, more so if I'm fascinated with a book, I'll drop doing a lot of things, including eating and sleeping. I'd say eighty percent fiction, ten percent non-fiction.

Parents don't read, I didn't read during my childhood, actually I remember abhorring it. It wasn't until my late teens that I was engrossed by it. My parents, immigrants, would complain that I have too many books and read too much, that it's not good for me, and that I would eventually go crazy. Good thing I don't live with them anymore.

As to my siblings who don't read as much as I do; brother reads self help books, which I laugh at, and my sister reads sparingly.

As to your last question, I'm not sure. Fiction covers a wide range much like non-fiction, I wouldn't be so bold as to deduce a blanket statement.
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Old 06-26-2011, 02:23 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
3,088 posts, read 4,919,290 times
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Most of my friends are readers. Most read both fiction and non-fiction. The very few that only read fiction tend to read "romance novels" sorts of things. . . . .and I'm not sure I would really count these as friends, certainly not "close friends". . . . .they tend to have a very different life view than I have. . . .
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Old 06-26-2011, 02:49 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque
244 posts, read 270,636 times
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I think one of the main reasons why a person would read a fictional story is for entertainment. Look around you, how much of our world is about entertainment? Is a cell phone really necessary, or is it a tool to be used to fend off boredom?

Our culture in the U.S. is so geared toward increasing the gross national product by 3-5% every year that we are supposed to work too much. You'll notice I said "too much" as opposed to "too hard."

You may not remember but one of the arguments for computers was that they were going to make our lives more efficient so we could have more time to appreciate life, to smell the roses. But how many people who actually use computers like they were intended actually leave the office a couple of hours earlier? Managers and owners will still want more productivity however they can get it.

So that goes back to the idea of escapism. An earlier poster said it well that the inane nature of television (and movies in my opinion) led them to books. Books are the ultimate form of escape because of the richness of our imaginations. That is why you always hear people say that the book was better than the movie. A movie is made by a director who has a singular vision. All the music, dialogue, and camera points of view seek to support the director's singular point of view. He wants to tell you a story he sees in his mind, and will strive to do everything to make that happen in ninety minutes. A book, however, can only do so much to create a vision in your mind. You as a person will add an infinite amount of information to the description and narrative. That is why it is so cool to read a book again that you enjoyed when you were younger. It isn't that the story changes and you get different things out of it. It is that you have changed and can infer different aspects of the same story.

I also support the idea that readers get the drive to read from other people around them who read, especially when they see members of their family doing it when they are young and impressionable. But people come to reading at different times in their lives and for different reasons.

I read a lot in elementary school but I couldn't really say why. I was a big 'mystery of the month club' reader. I think reading really affected me most in college. I began to read the classics and really appreciated the analysis of the human struggle. I was trying to find out what kind of person I wanted to be and to define my opinions of the world around me. Books were a great way to be exposed to different points of view, even if the stories were not real. I think that's what separates the literature of today with that of fifty years and beyond. Fiction today seems to be more about the action of the characters than of the characters trying to make sense of the world they find themselves in. At least that is my opinion.

I have been searching for a few years now for a contemporary writer that captures my imagination. I can't find one with sustained work under their belt. I have turned to reading biographies because it is interesting to read about the lives of individuals I find interesting, but it is still an escape. I think I read magazines and watch lectures on the net when I want to learn about specific topics like science or nature. That's probably because my interest in quantum physics is much greater than my understanding of the mathematics that drives the field.

I also wonder if fiction will ever go the way of music. This is germaine to the OP because I wonder if fictional stories are becoming too often repeated, making them less and less appealing. It boggles my mind that Harry Potter and vampires are so popular right now? This is pure fantasy and it has captured readers like nothing I have ever seen. It reminds me of how rock and roll has died and nothing has grown up in its wake. Where are the great modern fiction writers?
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Old 06-26-2011, 02:57 PM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
27,089 posts, read 8,064,004 times
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I have been a reader all my life....check out the thread "your love of reading" too. Early on I admit it was fiction for young folks that drew me....not until I was older, like NOW, did I really begin and continue reading non-fiction. Usually I have 2-3 books going at any time as well. Maybe a fiction, biography and always a nature book for resource reading ie birds.

Lack of mental intelligence if into fiction?? Kidding right? While you might link that idea to someone who reads strictly romance novels or sci-fi, THINK of all the fabulous fiction of classics, and those using extraordinary symbolism etc.

Better yet, READ IT.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cida View Post
My father was a constant reader, although perhaps that doesn't count, because for part of his life he was an English professor. I suspect this reading was likely about 90% fiction. It wouldn't surprise me if most readers came from families with readers.

In general, all the major readers I know read mostly fiction, almost exclusively fiction. I'm one of the few to recently have started reading a lot of non-fiction.

I'm sure it does take certain qualities to be a devoted reader, but I don't know what they would be. Patience? Curiosity? I totally, totally disagree that it would indicate a lack of mental intelligence.
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