People Who Have Never Read A Book

KarlD

Ephemeral Spectre
Joined
Jun 6, 2009
Messages
307
Likes
7
Points
24
#1
I was in the pub this lunchtime with my mom and some of her friends and I was quite shocked to find that out of a group of maybe ten of her friends my mom was the only one there who ever read books.I was just stunned I mean I know that the telly and t'internet are taking over everything but how anyone can go through life never reading a single book is quite beyond me.
 

gordonrutter

There must be a set character limit to this opt...
Staff member
Joined
Aug 3, 2001
Messages
1,776
Likes
1,470
Points
184
#2
I remember when I was at school in pre-internet days some of the people I knew were proud of the fact they had never read a book.

Gordon
 

Xanatic_

Ephemeral Spectre
Joined
Aug 8, 2009
Messages
336
Likes
4
Points
24
#3
Did they say they had never read any books, or just that they weren´t currently reading any?
 

gordonrutter

There must be a set character limit to this opt...
Staff member
Joined
Aug 3, 2001
Messages
1,776
Likes
1,470
Points
184
#4
Xanatic_ said:
Did they say they had never read any books, or just that they weren´t currently reading any?
It was a definite never having read any books, ever

Gordon
 

KarlD

Ephemeral Spectre
Joined
Jun 6, 2009
Messages
307
Likes
7
Points
24
#5
Xanatic_ said:
Did they say they had never read any books, or just that they weren´t currently reading any?
They were quite definate that they never read any books.
 

KarlD

Ephemeral Spectre
Joined
Jun 6, 2009
Messages
307
Likes
7
Points
24
#7
escargot1 said:
I'm an adult lit tutor. You'd be surprised how many people can't read books.
Yes I know, but this is different this is willful ignorance it seems to be increasingly popular and it seems to be very popular among the 18-25 age group for some reason. it seems to be just lack of interest for want of a better expression.
 

escargot

Disciple of Marduk
Joined
Aug 24, 2001
Messages
25,158
Likes
20,373
Points
309
Location
HM The Tower of London
#8
I've always been aware of people who don't read books, of all ages. Some people do, some don't. People have different interests. If they don't want to, it's up to them. Why does it matter?
 

Timble2

Imaginary Person
Joined
Feb 9, 2003
Messages
5,735
Likes
1,147
Points
234
Location
In a Liminal Zone
#9
Likewise I've always known people of all ages who never read books, I don't know that any any fewer are reading books. Actually if you're reading stuff on the interweb, you're still reading....
 

Xanatic_

Ephemeral Spectre
Joined
Aug 8, 2009
Messages
336
Likes
4
Points
24
#10
Yes, but reading blogs and magazines is like living on a diet of pizza and burgers. You need something more solid and nutritional than that.
 

KarlD

Ephemeral Spectre
Joined
Jun 6, 2009
Messages
307
Likes
7
Points
24
#12

KarlD

Ephemeral Spectre
Joined
Jun 6, 2009
Messages
307
Likes
7
Points
24
#13
Timble2 said:
Likewise I've always known people of all ages who never read books, I don't know that any any fewer are reading books. Actually if you're reading stuff on the interweb, you're still reading....
T'interweb just breeds stupidity, I hate stupidity and the idea that oh you don't have to read just frightens me.
On farenheit 451:-

Over the years, the novel has been subject to various interpretations, primarily focusing on the historical role of book burning in suppressing dissenting ideas. Bradbury has stated that the novel is not about censorship; he states that Fahrenheit 451 is a story about how television destroys interest in reading literature, which leads to a perception of knowledge as being composed of "factoids", partial information devoid of context, e.g., Napoleon's birth date alone, without an indication of who he was.


There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about with lit matches. Every minority, be it Baptist / Unitarian, Irish / Italian / Octogenarian / Zen Buddhist / Zionist / Seventh-day Adventist / Women's Lib / Republican / Mattachine / FourSquareGospel feel it has the will, the right, the duty to douse the kerosene, light the fuse….Fire-Captain Beatty, in my novel Fahrenheit 451, described how the books were burned first by the minorities, each ripping a page or a paragraph from this book, then that, until the day came when the books were empty and the minds shut and the library closed forever. ... Only six weeks ago, I discovered that, over the years, some cubby-hole editors at Ballantine Books, fearful of contaminating the young, had, bit by bit, censored some 75 separate sections from the novel. Students, reading the novel which, after all, deals with the censorship and book-burning in the future, wrote to tell me of this exquisite irony. Judy-Lynn del Rey, one of the new Ballantine editors, is having the entire book reset and republished this summer with all the damns and hells back in place.
 

tastyintestines

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Jan 28, 2002
Messages
1,625
Likes
122
Points
94
#14
KarlD said:
Timble2 said:
Likewise I've always known people of all ages who never read books, I don't know that any any fewer are reading books. Actually if you're reading stuff on the interweb, you're still reading....
T'interweb just breeds stupidity, I hate stupidity and the idea that oh you don't have to read just frightens me.
On farenheit 451:-

Over the years, the novel has been subject to various interpretations, primarily focusing on the historical role of book burning in suppressing dissenting ideas. Bradbury has stated that the novel is not about censorship; he states that Fahrenheit 451 is a story about how television destroys interest in reading literature, which leads to a perception of knowledge as being composed of "factoids", partial information devoid of context, e.g., Napoleon's birth date alone, without an indication of who he was.


What are you talking about? He did not defend non-readers at all. The science behind reading is that any reading strengthens the mind. Not just reading preapproved novels.
 
Joined
Jan 12, 2004
Messages
118
Likes
1
Points
34
#15
I don't think books are innately superior to other media. They're just another way to tell stories, no better or worse than any other, just older. :) Some people just don't like reading, so I can understand not reading books for fun... but I don't understand how anyone (at least in mainstream Western society) can claim to have NEVER read a book. Don't most schools, public or private, assign the reading of a novel at one point or another? How'd they get through that, or are they not counting Cliff Notes as "a book"?
 

escargot

Disciple of Marduk
Joined
Aug 24, 2001
Messages
25,158
Likes
20,373
Points
309
Location
HM The Tower of London
#16
KarlD said:
maybe you are right, maybe you should try reading fahrenheit 451
I read that as a teenager, and The Handmaid's Tale too. I've read lots of books - I'm a big reader. Not everyone is. I hate sports, but lots of people love them. We're all different. ;)
 

stu neville

Commissioner.
Staff member
Joined
Mar 9, 2002
Messages
11,362
Likes
3,988
Points
234
#17
Exactly. I did a degree in lit (and lang), but I don't read as much as I'd like. And I'd rather not read at all than read garbage - there's a wealth of difference between entertainingly bad and just unreadable. Fortunately there's plenty of good stuff about.

Actually, I re-read Fahrenheit 451 a couple of years ago, having (rather ironically) seen the movie adaptation on TV. But as Bradbury says, I interpreted the book not as the death of literature so much as the rise of television and its detrimental effect on the intellect. TV is passive, literature is active, and human nature will tend toward the passive in a lot of cases. And I have to say, given the choice between "The Mill on the Floss" or "Crime and Punishment" and a re-run of "Die Hard" on BBC1, I'll go for the latter in a trice. I have read the first two, not as many times as I've seen the third, and I'll happily admit to finding Willis leaping around a skyscraper more entertaining.

Each to his or her own :).
 

KarlD

Ephemeral Spectre
Joined
Jun 6, 2009
Messages
307
Likes
7
Points
24
#18
stuneville said:
Exactly. I did a degree in lit (and lang), but I don't read as much as I'd like. And I'd rather not read at all than read garbage - there's a wealth of difference between entertainingly bad and just unreadable. Fortunately there's plenty of good stuff about.

Actually, I re-read Fahrenheit 451 a couple of years ago, having (rather ironically) seen the movie adaptation on TV. But as Bradbury says, I interpreted the book not as the death of literature so much as the rise of television and its detrimental effect on the intellect. TV is passive, literature is active, and human nature will tend toward the passive in a lot of cases. And I have to say, given the choice between "The Mill on the Floss" or "Crime and Punishment" and a re-run of "Die Hard" on BBC1, I'll go for the latter in a trice. I have read the first two, not as many times as I've seen the third, and I'll happily admit to finding Willis leaping around a skyscraper more entertaining.

Each to his or her own :).
I like Dostoevsky, but that maybe because I am weird.I like Conrad too and have just finished reading The Heart of Darkness for about the 5th time, not many people realise that it is the story behind Apcalypse now.I don't think Rashkolnikov jumped over many tall buildings in his underpants but you do get better pictures with books :lol:
 

Mythopoeika

I am a meat popsicle
Joined
Sep 18, 2001
Messages
35,354
Likes
21,189
Points
309
Location
Inside a starship, watching puny humans from afar
#19
Years ago, I used to read a lot. I mean a lot - I had a collection of 3000 Science Fiction and Fantasy books - but these days, I really don't read much.

This is because:
(a) I don't have much time, and watching TV is easier;
(b) I can't really afford to buy so many books these days;
(c) I found that all the reading I was doing was having a detrimental effect on my eyes. My vision has deteriorated less since I stopped reading so many paperbacks with tiny text.

With the introduction of e-book readers, I may get back into reading again (because you can magnify the text easily and there is a lot of free-to-download stuff out there).

Mind you, I do plenty of reading in my work - I am a technical author, so I have to spend a lot of time re-reading what I have written (even though it is not great literature that will set the world alight).
 

onlyadownstat

Junior Acolyte
Joined
Feb 5, 2008
Messages
29
Likes
3
Points
19
#21
At school you can get away with not reading a book. Sure, you have to read bits of textbooks now and then. When it comes to English at Standard Grade level, (Scottish GCSE equivalent) we never studied any book that hadn't been made into a film. If I remember correctly, we were supposed to read Bridges of Madison County, A Midsummer Night's Dream and some guy's Vietnam memoir. First two we watched the film versions of in class, as for the 'Nam book - well, we've all seen those movies. We even watched All Quiet on the Western front when we did Wilfred Owen's poetry. Questions were often on specific passages, so reading the entire book was never necessary.

As long as people can actually read then I don't think it matters if they read books or the TV guide. Not all books are good for you, they're just like any other media - some quality, some trash. For every Heart of Darkness there's a million Bridget Jones' Diary. Tv programmes like Threads or The Wire say a lot more about the human condition than most books do. So reading is fun, it can be educational and it can really make you think, but so can a lot of other media. There's a cultural bias in favour of literature, but remember that when novels were new they were looked down upon as being nothing more than vapid entertainment, much like the internet, tv and videogames are now.
 

amarok2005

Ephemeral Spectre
Joined
Aug 26, 2005
Messages
355
Likes
352
Points
79
#25
My father admitted to reading westerns in his youth. He claims to have once even started writing a novel about a family heading out to the western American frontier in the 19th century. "But in 1948 I discovered football -- and I've never read a book since."

He's tried to give me lectures on Life Wisdom over the years, but I pretty much ignored everything he said after the above.

I, on the other hand, have about 3500 books, and I must have sold/given away several hundred earlier this year. My problem is that I'm the world's slowest reader, and I've never gotten through more than a fraction of my volumes.

-- Maybe off-topic, but that reminds me of how often people ask, "Have you read all these books?" and are astonished when I say no. I recently read an article wherein numerous bibliophiles admitted they get this question all the time.

Don't they realize how depressing that would be? All those books on the shelves -- and nothing fresh and new to read!
 
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
Messages
12,026
Likes
142
Points
114
#26
BlackPeter said:
People who don't read books aren't people IMO
What a ridiculous statement.

There´s a whole world of excellent story tellers out there who have never read a book themselves and entire cultures to listen to them.
 

BlackPeter

Ancient Badger
Joined
May 5, 2006
Messages
195
Likes
49
Points
44
#28
Your right escargot! What an obvious piece of logic to miss! This was probably an over the top statement anyway and just means that I personally find it difficult to believe that any intelligent person can honestly say that they have never read a book (WITH OF COURSE THE OBVIOUS EXCEPTION OF PEOPLE WITH RELEVANT HANDICAPS MENTAL OR PHYSICAL)
 

KarlD

Ephemeral Spectre
Joined
Jun 6, 2009
Messages
307
Likes
7
Points
24
#30
BlackPeter said:
Your right escargot! What an obvious piece of logic to miss! This was probably an over the top statement anyway and just means that I personally find it difficult to believe that any intelligent person can honestly say that they have never read a book (WITH OF COURSE THE OBVIOUS EXCEPTION OF PEOPLE WITH RELEVANT HANDICAPS MENTAL OR PHYSICAL)
I was just trying to make the point that there is a deline in readership of your actula physical book, and a lot of people who get all their information from the interweb which as we all know is a bastion of truthfulness, tact and diplomacy.
It just seems a shame and I cannot help feeling its going to lead to a reduction of serious writters who are prepared to go through all that tedious rigmarol of exposing your inner thoughts to the public.
 
Top