Importance of Literature nowadays

Discussion in 'Archive: The Amphitheatre' started by Ki-Adi Bundi, Jun 17, 2002.

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  1. Apprentice_15 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2002
    star 2
    Ki- Adi,

    I think it has more to do with the media than anything else. Most people today
    just want to sit around, watch T.V., and other lazy activities without expanding
    their minds because they don't have too. People are just too lazy these days to
    pick up a good book and read. I also think peer association has something to do
    with this, as well. As I said before, a lot of people don't want to look like "book
    worms" or "nerds" in fear of damaging thier reputation. And, then you have the
    people who say "its pointless to read". I have no idea where they came up with
    that but these are the same people who play sports all the time and fail half or
    most of thier classes in school.

  2. KaineDamo Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Mar 6, 2002
    star 5
    "This is the main point of my question. Is it really good? Is it really influent and important? Name a recent author that established new parameters and standards in the behaviour of their society with their literary work, as many have done in the past."

    Stan Lee. Stan Lee has created more characters and stories than anyone since Shakespear. Stan is a writer of modern mythology and an influence to an endless amount of comic book writers, and even movie directers. I honestly believe Stan Lee is the most important writer of modern times.

  3. Ki-Adi Bundi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2000
    star 4
    Apprentice, while I agree that a degree of laziness has something to do with it, I think that the poor quality of the TV shows should wave off many people, even those with poor education. I feel that Literature, for many reasons, has lost its appeal. It has no longer anything of interest to present to the society and people in general. Now that we have entered the "Age of Information", facts are at our disposal in the blink of an eye. Lost cultures are unearthed and shown in TV and the Net. So do the recent discoveries of science and cultures. In other times, the books carried all the information known, it was the only media that allowed people to share information. Now we have the radio, the TV, and the Internet.
  4. Apprentice_15 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2002
    star 2
    Ki- Adi,

    I do agree that's a very good point. But what books can provide is a form of
    creative escapsim for people. When you watch Star Trek or even Star Wars
    movies a new and exciting world is presented for you, but when you read books
    you yourself make up the entire world based on the authors descrpition. Most kids today are too damn lazy to do that. I guess you could say T.V. and most
    video games have contributed to the laziness of children and teens and their lack
    of interest in books and what it has to offer.
  5. Adi_Gallia_9 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 16, 2001
    star 5
    I agree Apprentice, that in some ways it is due to laziness. Watching TV is far easier than sitting down and reading a good book. Additionally, movies and TV have desensitized (is that a word?)people to violence. Generally, movies have to be bigger and more violent to pull in an audience. Books are more subtle, I believe, and people don't find that as enjoyable as the hit-you-over-the-head action that movies and TV can bring.

    But I also believe popularity has to do with it as well. I've worked with kids many times and I've never met a child who wasn't excited to begin reading. They love to show off what good readers they are and how they know all the big, hard words. Somewhere, that passion and excitement is lost because it is not cool. Society makes reading seem nerdy and uncool, and for pre-teen children who strive to be cool and popular over anything else, reading only hurts their status. Being a reader will not get you in the 'popular' clique and sadly that's what can turn a child off to reading, unfortunately.
  6. Apprentice_15 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2002
    star 2
    Adi,

    I don't want to seem arrogant or anything, but I think thats what seperates us
    from the general masses. We adore and embrace and appreciate a dying artform
    that most people do not. I guess we can reek the benefits of reading and see
    things that others do not when reading. Some people, mostly teens and pre-teens, don't have a good attention span, and as you said, need violence to
    attract their attention.

    Literature is important, to those who see its beauty and are not ignorant. :)
  7. Adi_Gallia_9 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 16, 2001
    star 5
    I only hope that literature isn't a dying away. As you said Aprrentice, reading brings immense benefits, one of the most important ones being imagination, in my mind. One can read the words on a page, but each person's interpretation of those words is different. Readers visualize events and characters in their minds and build an active imagination.

    I hope that as movies and computers become more advanced that the simple pleasure reading a good book brings is not forgotten.

    But the question is, how do we get more people to enjoy reading? I think J K Rowling is helping there, but more books with the popularity of Harry Potter are needed.
  8. Apprentice_15 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2002
    star 2
    Adi,

    That's a good question. I guess one way to get more kids to read is have the
    school's give them an interesting book to read for an assignment. All the books I
    have to read for English and History are boring and very s-l-o-w. Kids think that
    this is how all books are.

    Another thing we can do to get kids to read is to show them there is another
    world besides T.V. and the internet. Instead of promoting sports magazines why
    not promote good books.
  9. stevo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 14, 2001
    star 4
    A major probelm is school.

    School gives kids some horrible books to read about and they receive the impression that all books are boring and dull. I know this for a fact-- I'm a teacher. If you give kids a great book to read, they'll read it, and they'll love it.
  10. Adi_Gallia_9 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 16, 2001
    star 5
    I definately think schools need to give out more entertaining books that will encourage students to read instead of viewing reading as torture. In seventh grade, my class read Treasure Island[/b] which is a good, entertaining book. The thing that disgusted me was that my teacher would assign maybe 20-30 pages a night and the whole class would complain that that was too much and they could never read that in one night. Even though it was an interesting book compared to normal school fare, my class was put-off by having to be assigned a certain number of pages a night.

    And that I think is one problem that will never be solved. Even if you give students a good book, they're stopped from enjoying it completely because of the fact they have to read it when their teacher tells them and be tested on it. It's impossible to compeltely enjoy a school book because there's more pressure to remember it and interpret it correctly. Unfortunately, in school is the only place where many adolscents read.
  11. Jedi_Suzuran Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 22, 2002
    star 5
    Adi, I so agree with you there. Being tested on great books takes your enjoyment out of them. It's not the way to enjoy it. I remember when I had to read a Faulkner book in high school. The teacher tried, but I had no patience (even though I love books) and I don't really care for Faulkner now.

    On the other hand though, I've been forced to read books in school that I never would have touched, and they turned out to be some of the best things I've ever read.

    It can depend on the teacher, but it's not all on them. The student has to give too.

    Solution? I dunno.

    And I (and my friends) were teased and constantly called weirdos because all of us would be talking and reading at the same time during lunch or when we had free time. We didn't care. :) It was cool that we all read together. :)
  12. Apprentice_15 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2002
    star 2
    Adi and Jedi,

    That's pretty much how I feel about most books we are told to read at school.
    Most of the time, we have to write essays on what certain passages in a book
    like "Romeo and Juliet" mean and analyzing a book and reading between the lines
    tend to give me a little more respect for the book as most books I read in school
    has some important thing to say about our society and ourselves in general which sometimes makes sense.


    I have a question for you guys: Why is it that a lot of kids tend to think that
    reading has no benefits?

    A lot of kids/teens say books are just plain boring because all the images in the
    book have to be created by them and at the same time have to constantly
    change scenes. Getting back to what was said by a lot of you guys earlier, do you think televsion and video games have warped some peoples minds to the
    point where they can't come up with anything imaginative at all?
  13. Jedi_Suzuran Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 22, 2002
    star 5
    Apprentice, I definetely think so.
    Tv and video games do slow the imagination, because everything is there.

    Also, not being taught to like books from the earliest years of your life matters A LOT. People who read as kids and adults, even if they're total tv watchers like me, had parents who read to them as children. They had a role model. I think it's sad that many parents don't read to their kids anymore.

    I don't know why this is so. Reading on the whole is so underappreciated now. I mean, what's the literacy rate in this country? Like 80-90%, optimistically. In many parts of Europe, Japan, and even Cuba, literacy is 95-99% (especially in Cuba). What's the difference between here and there?

    This is actually the saddest part about this, because there are so many around the world who would love to read anything (never mind great literature) and they often aren't able to.
  14. Adi_Gallia_9 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 16, 2001
    star 5
    Good points, Apprentice and Jedi S.

    I do think TV, video games, TV, etc stifle imagination. It's ok to watch TV and go see movies, of course, but I do think reading needs to be a factor as well. It does encourage imagination and creative thinking, which is an invaluable tool for students and eventually, workers.

    I think reading to one's children should be a federal law. :p It does instill a life long love of reading if the parents will just take enough time to invest even just 15 minutes a night with their kids and a good book. I've babysat many times and the kids who always read before going to bed are mentally advanced for their age.

    Reading is exercise for the brain. Just as it is important to keep the body in shape, it's important to keep the mind in shape, too.

    Here are some interesting links I found:

    Illiteracy Rates of Different Countries.
    I found it interesting that in China 8.3% of men can't read while 23.7% of women are illiterate. :eek:

    Some interesting conclusions on literacy

    The UN and Literacy
  15. Jedi_Suzuran Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 22, 2002
    star 5
    Interesting stuff, Adi.
    Notice that women seem to have higher illiteracy rates?

    I do agree that it should be a law to read to kids. :) My mom worked a lot, but even at the end of a hard day, she still took at least five minutes to read me a picture book or something. She made the effort.
    It paid off. I love books.

    Of course, my house is gonna cave in cause of all the books I got. :p She created a monster. [face_laugh]
  16. Apprentice_15 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2002
    star 2
    Adi,

    I love T.V. and movies, but I would take a good book over any of those things
    any day. :p


    Jedi,

    I'm surprised my bookcase does'nt crash through the ground because I have at
    least 100 books or so on my bookshelf. Some of them I have no room for so I
    just pile them on top of one another. :)
  17. Jedi_Suzuran Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 22, 2002
    star 5
    Apprentice, ha! :p
    I have, unfortunately, got about 300+ books I haven't read yet. Some of them are stacked on the floor, because my bookshelfs are crying for mercy. If there's a shelf, it's crammed with books.
    I really hope the house doesn't collapse. :p
  18. Apprentice_15 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2002
    star 2
    I'll most likely buy a new bookshelf, but if I can't I'll just either stuff them in my
    closet or give them to family.

    Hey, Jedi, why don't you give me and Adi some of your books? :) :p
  19. Adi_Gallia_9 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 16, 2001
    star 5
    Storage is a problem for me too. I have two full bookcases but then there's piles on my floor I can't fit on my shelves. But if you have too many books, Jedi S, please send them my way. :)

    I have a question: what do you all think of e-boooks? Do you think they'll be succesful, and if so, will they encourage reading?
  20. Apprentice_15 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2002
    star 2
    Adi,

    I'm not so sure about e-books. I really don't understand why people would spend
    money on it. I remember when Stephen King released "Riding the Bullet" which was a very popular e-book, so I guess with more good stories like that coming
    out by good authors I guess they'll survive.
  21. stevo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 14, 2001
    star 4
    I think e-books will take time to become more popular, but eventually-- they'll be very sucessful.
  22. Jedi_Suzuran Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 22, 2002
    star 5
    With regards to e-books, Adi, they wouldn't make any money with me. :p

    I'm hopelessly old-fashioned this way, but I like the sensation that you get holding a book. Turning the page, flipping to the end (I do that all the time :_| ), sticking some raggedy old book mark in there, even putting the book aside when you're interrupted. That's all reading to me. An e-book wouldn't feel the same to me.

    Hey, that's me though.
    If it encourages others to read, then great. But I don't know if they do.

    Adi and Apprentice, lol. You want some of my books?

    What do you looking for :p ? I got everything. I got a TON of history books (history buff), art books (ditto), literature, poetry (japanese, spanish and english--take your pick! :p ), sci-fi, non-fiction, some med book or something, and even Camus 1st edition paperbacks in original french. (Can't read it now though!!! D'oh! :_| :_| ) and even an italian book. Don't speak italian, so ?[face_plain] Not to mention tons of fluff and all my kiddie and teen books.

    You see now why I have no room? [face_laugh]

    That may have been a sales pitch, but it's not. I hate to give up any of them. I occasionally try to thin out the mass (to give myself a pat in the back so I don't feel awful that I'm smothered in books) but inevitably, when I give away five, I go to a secondhand bookstore or Goodwill or something, and pick up ten more!

    Gah, I'm pathetic! :_| :_|
  23. Adi_Gallia_9 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 16, 2001
    star 5
    You're not pathetic, you're just well read. :)

    As for e-books, having read two, I personally prefer actually flipping pages and having the satisfaction of closing the book when you're done. But I think e-books could be a good way to get people who spend so much time on their computers, particularly youth, reading more often.
  24. Apprentice_15 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2002
    star 2
    Jedi,

    What are your history books about? War? Countries? Peoples? I need to buy some books about the Second World War and Vietnam.


    Going back to what I had said earlier about literature dying. I don't think literature will die because it has been around for thousands of years in many
    different forms. There will always be those who love to write and are good at it
    and eventually they will be found, and then have a following of those who will
    buy the work. Its been like this for a VERY long time and I think, and hope, it will
    continue to be this way for the sake of intelligence and enjoyment.

    Adi,

    I think e-books is just another form of getting people's work out to the public in a
    more modern and popular manner. I guess because people nowadays don't really
    use old fashioned ways of entertaining themselves; now they can do it with the
    T.V., the internet, movies, arcades and the like. Now that we have things being
    translated to different mediums, (VHS to DVD; Records to Cassettes to Cd's and
    now to the internet in MP3 format), I think literature is just following suite with
    the rest. I don't think it will be very sucessful, as Jedi said, nothing beats
    buying a new book at a bookstore and opening it to the wonderful format of
    paper.


  25. Jedi_Suzuran Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 22, 2002
    star 5
    Adi, I haven't actually read an ebook, because the idea just doesn't go with me. I like paper! ;)
    I'll probably never read one.

    And thanks for your complement. [face_blush]
    I've heard it said that what is in someone's bookshelf is reflective of their personality. I wonder what that says about me?
    What books do you guys have?

    Apprentice, I have a variety. Most of my history books are U.S. Civil War related, because I'm a HUGE civil war buff, but I also have a couple of WWI and WWII books. Even though I have no room, I'm totally looking to assemble Time-Life's WWII set of books, which are incredible. I highly recommend those, very informative and full of pictures.

    And I also managed to get old history textbooks that were gonna be thrown out, and I have those too.

    BTW, if you are interested in the civil war [face_love] I highly recommended "Blue Eyed Child of Fortune". It took me 5 years to find it after reading it in a library, and I'm gonna be buried in it! ;) :D
    The person it's about is what got me started on this part of history in the first place. :)
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