a funny story...kind of

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JCarson
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Post by JCarson » September 2nd, 2011, 6:42 pm

The other day I was by accident with a group of younger people, none of whom knew me. The topic of discussion was the lengthy days all had been spending without power due to hurricane Irene in that particular locale of Connecticut.

During a lull in the conversation, one person offered that in a last bit of utter desperation he had actually picked up a book to read, but could only last about 15 minutes with it before he had to put it down. All the others added and nodded their assent and concurence, just as I started to guffaw and was promtly shunned for the rest of the visit.

Do you suppose this is really happening?

annise
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Post by annise » September 2nd, 2011, 7:01 pm

Yup
It is really difficult to read a book and text message at the same time - this is the age of multi-tasking :D

Anne

RuthieG
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Post by RuthieG » September 3rd, 2011, 1:57 am

Heartbreaking, isn't it? Concentration span of a gnat. Unfortunately it is happening, and we are heading straight for Idiocracy.

I read: "Most educators and psychologists agree that the ability to focus one's attention on a task is crucial for the achievement of one's goals."

I hold out little hope.

Ruth
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miss stav
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Post by miss stav » September 3rd, 2011, 2:20 am

Many young people don't like to read, but many others do. Most of my friends love to read when they have time. By the way, I can listen to a book and text-message at the same time, if it's important. I don't think it's only a matter of multy-tasking. I believe most young people like fast-going storys, and many good books are not like this.
Love Children's books? Try On Angel's Wings. Looking for an easy read? Try Herb Of Grace. Want some philosophy? Try The History Of The Devil. Like mysteries? Try Natalie Paige.

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Post by Carolin » September 3rd, 2011, 2:21 am

there is hope! recently i met a fourteen year old girl who memorized shakespeare monologues for fun. sooo dont judge the whole of today's youth by these kids :D

CK

wildemoose
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Post by wildemoose » September 3rd, 2011, 4:36 am

Carolin wrote:there is hope! recently i met a fourteen year old girl who memorized shakespeare monologues for fun. sooo dont judge the whole of today's youth by these kids :D

CK
Heh, when I was 14 I used to act out whole Shakespeare plays by myself whenever I was alone in the house, using the whole house as the set. But I freely admit that I was an odd child. :D

RuthieG
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Post by RuthieG » September 3rd, 2011, 4:48 am

That is encouraging. It seems that in the UK we are beset by a "celebrity" culture where role models are all mindless morons who wouldn't know a book if it leapt up and bit them on the nose. But I am sure, nevertheless, that there are still many youngsters here who appreciate culture and intellectual pursuits. They just have to keep quiet about it because of peer pressure.

Ruth
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JCarson
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Post by JCarson » September 3rd, 2011, 6:34 am

I would usually posit my 80/20 rule in such situations; i.e. that the applicable percentage of this being true is about 80% with the remainder 20% not so. But in this case I would say it to be about 95/5.

Outside of academic requirements, I do not think there is much reading for pleasure by the younger set. Young people require "entertainment" that is constantly in motion. My illustration of this is films and TV. If you watch anything of relatively recent vintage, you will notice that the camera never stays on one person or one scene view for more than five seconds. Just sit and observe this for a while. If you go back to the older films, the camera just stayed on the scene and watched the action or listened to the dialogue. Now the camera is always flashing between 5 different things. If it did not, boredom would soon set in for the younger viewer.

The activity of reading is anathema to being passively entertained, certainly visual entertainment. It requires quite a bit of cerebral effort to engage the written word, to try and imagine the changes being presented by the author. That is a little like work to achieve some level of enjoyment and it is not a satisfying choice for many young people.

And one more little point if I may: has anyone seen the new deluge of books coming out? Is it my imagination or are there a lot of vampires about? The 2011 Pulitzer Prize winner is something like The Goon Squad. Pitiful. I am glad I am as old as I am. Perhaps they will bury me with my books.

It is funny, kinda.

Library_lover
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Post by Library_lover » September 3rd, 2011, 2:11 pm

Wow, if this kind of thing is prevalent amongst younger people, I consider it quite scary! I don't understand an aversion to books, frankly, and will never be able to, considering I've loved books and reading, literally, since I was four years old. When I was younger and had more time, I would love going to the library and checking out the maximum number of books--twenty.

Literature introduced me to new worlds and new information and helped me to develop my writing skills so that at twelve, I ended up being published.

Now I am twenty-four and I love reading as much as ever, although I definitely don't have the time to read twenty books anymore! :lol: However, I'm always reading something for pleasure. It's never a "chore" for me.

I'm hoping that for people like that guy in your group, this aversion to reading is just a ridiculous phase, but unfortunately, people who aren't introduced to the joy of reading at a young age may not ever be interested. :(

--Victoria
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.

--Maya Angelou

GabrielleC
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Post by GabrielleC » September 3rd, 2011, 2:23 pm

Here's a young person who absolutely loves to read!!! I'm 16, and I've loved to read my whole life, basically. I actually - believe it or not - read over 130 books last year. :lol: I don't have that kind of time anymore, and I've only read 80 so far. (my reading log also includes audiobooks and radio drama and the like, but most of them are books.)
So, all that to say, there's still hope! This generation is entertaining themselves to death, but there are still quite a few of us out there that love books! :idea:
~Gabrielle

jollyrogered
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Post by jollyrogered » September 4th, 2011, 8:28 am

I consider myself part of that generation as I am only 25, and I can tell you now that all of *my* friends are pretty avid readers. We even have book clubs, constantly trade back and forth, etc. Even among my husbands friends, they all read, even if it is stuff that would bore me to tears.

For us, however, was that while we read while still in school we didnt really start devouring books until we were out of university. In high school, it was nigh impossible to find time to read. I did it, but it was always at the risk of not getting enough sleep or slacking on homework. Do you know how many things you have to be inolved in now to get a freaking scholarship? Its awful. Then, in college i easily did 15+ hours of homework a week, took 20 credit hours, worked 40 hours, and was in the Army reserve, and volunteered and tutored. Where in the world was there time to read?

I would say that if those were kids that were still in school chances are that they have not yet had a good time in their lives where they werent bogged down with mandatory reading. You NEVER like the stuff they force you to read, and then you think that you just dont like reading, but really, its that you havent found what you like yet. Give them time, and they will probably begin to find that sitting down in the quiet with a good book is EXACTLY what you need some days.
duck... duck... ZOMBIE!

RuthieG
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Post by RuthieG » September 4th, 2011, 8:49 am

We are rather a self-selecting sample here, though. The people I (and Mr. Carson) are talking about are people who would never pick up a book to read, let alone come to a website where people choose to spend hundreds of hours recording books that are a century old.

The kids I am talking about are those who appear to have their hands superglued to a mobile phone, and blasting their eardrums with an iPod.

Ruth
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jollyrogered
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Post by jollyrogered » September 4th, 2011, 11:13 am

Yes but when I am not here, I look like one of those :oops:

I'm just defending my generation, lol. There will always be those that cannot understand the beauty in a book, just like there will always be the people that dont understand why I'd rather live in a tree house in a great big forest :mrgreen:
duck... duck... ZOMBIE!

Starlite
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Post by Starlite » September 5th, 2011, 4:34 am

Fantasyreader32 is my 13 yr old step son who can now be seen wearing his headphones listening to a good book. :D He has been listening to Tom Sawyer recently and is eager to start reading for us. It's difficult to find the time to help him as he is only here every other w/e. :(

His twin brother is more likely to be seen outside picking wild berries. :P

There is still hope I think.

Esther :)
"Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable
people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress,
therefore, depends on unreasonable people." George Bernard Shaw

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Post by Hazel Pethig » September 14th, 2011, 10:04 am

I can speak for some kids who are not part of Librivox. Mine. Both mine are avid readers and have been since they could read. My elder taught his younger sister to read so he wouldn't have to read out loud to her anymore. I know most of my son's friends enjoy a good book, but I think my daughters friends are not quite so literate. My daughter loves listening to PG Wodehouse, though. There is a perceptible gap between my daughter and her friends when it comes to referencing popular culture. My daughter talks about books and what she has read recently and her friends talk about what music they have heard, or worse what happened yesterday on some stupid reality show. She has a hard time understanding why her friends do not like to read even though there is something for every interest!
I think it is sad, but true, that so many children today are bombarded with visual images so much that they can't make the pictures in their own heads that a good book insipres.
[size=150][i][color=cyan]Eat.[/color] [color=blue]Sleep.[/color] [color=darkblue]Read.[/color] [color=indigo]Repeat.[/color][/i][/size]

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