Do you like to read?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by Gryffindorian, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. Gryffindorian

    Gryffindorian Vice Admiral Admiral

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    In the absence of a good TV show on this late weeknight, I find myself bored, if not a bit saddened by the lack of new episodes of some of my favorites like Through the Wormhole, Ancient Aliens, et al. I ask myself, what can I do? I've long outgrown computer games, and naturally, I would be inclined to read something, but my reading habits and preferences have changed over the years.

    I have a huge collection of books, mostly nonfiction, that I've accumulated as part of my home library since the days of Borders, and those don't include the comic books. I've learned the hard way that I tend to dislike any type of heavy reading, which involves most of my religion, social science, astronomy, health, art, and history collections, many of which remain unread or unfinished. That doesnt mean I can't use them for future reference. I must've spent $2,000, including my Marvel and DC graphic novels.

    So during the past few years, I've been reading mostly magazines: travel, entertainment, culture, health, cooking. I don't buy books anymore unless I'm absolutely positive I will make the time to read them. If I never get the chance to read my books, I hope to give them someday to my nephews/nieces, however outdated they may become.

    Do you love to read? What kinds of books or other publications do you prefer? Do you read for pleasure or for academic reason or both? What say you?
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2013
  2. Miss Chicken

    Miss Chicken Little three legged cat with attitude Premium Member

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    Location:
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    I love to read. Nowadays, as I am retired, I only read for pleasure. I own about 1000 books of which around 250 are e-books.

    I am a member of LibraryThing (my name is Zozette there) and I enjoy doing the category challenge there as it is encourages me to read genres that I don't usually read. For the 2013 Challenge I selected 13 categories, 5 of which were full categories (13 books each) and the remainder were half categories (6 or 7 books each)

    My categories are

    Category 1 - 42 Degrees South (books set in Tasmania, South Island of New Zealand, or Patagonia)
    Category 2 - 42 Degrees North - (this includes books from Albania, Mongolia, Bulgaria, Kazahkstan etc)
    Category 3 - Selections from “1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die"
    Category 4 - Mysteries
    Category 5 - Books about books

    HALF CATEGORIES
    Category 6 - Land of Ice and Fire (books set in Iceland)
    Category 7 - Sickness, Death and ???
    Category 8 - Biographies and Memoirs
    Category 9 - Science Fiction/Fantasy
    Category 10 - Animals
    Category 11 - Famous Feuds
    Category 12 - Bombs and Boomerangs *Bombs = Books off my booksheves (that have been there unread for at least two years), Boomerangs are books I have previously read but want to return to).
    Category 13 - Potpourri - books that don't fit into any of the categories above.

    Because some books will fit into more than one category I think I will have to read about 110 books to complete the challenge.

    My challenge thread is here

    I am also a member of the LibraryThing '100 books in 2013" group and I am on track to complete that as I have already read 28 books this year.
     
  3. Use of Time

    Use of Time Commodore Commodore

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    That looks like a lot of fun and a really great concept to expand your reading tastes. I find myself getting subconsciously trapped in a certain genre at times. I may have to look into that. Thanks for posting this.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2013
  4. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

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    Reading is how I spend about 75% of my waking hours.

    For work I read a lot of news and research in the fields of education, human development and learning, and publishing.

    For pleasure I mostly read nonfiction in the form of magazines (usually online), blogs, and news sites. Science Daily, Scientific American, Neurologica Blog, The New Yorker (which has a lot of fiction, of course -- my hair was mentioned in the latest issue too! -- though it was attributed to someone else), and I read a lot research; peer-reviewed journal type stuff, usually in neurology, psychology, linguistics, and physics.

    For books I usually read nonfiction as well, and again, it's generally science. I like popsci physics books because physics journals can get over my head with mathiness. The same goes for things like stats and math theories, which I enjoy but am not talented enough/educated enough in those fields to really comprehend the research papers. I like books about evolution, critical thinking, neurolinguistics, stuff like that.

    I occasionally read biographies and memoirs, but not often. I do enjoy fiction a lot, but it makes up only about 25% of my reading.
     
  5. Sigokat

    Sigokat Commander Red Shirt

    I read mostly fiction as it is my escape from a long hard day (I read before going to bed at night) But when I do read non-fiction it is generally military history stuff (mostly U.S. and German WWII stuff)

    As for fiction, I run a gamit I guess. I love sci-fi and fantasy, everything from Star Trek novels, Tolkien, Alistar Reynolds, CS Lewis (both Narnia and Space Trilogy), D&D stuff, to just about any cool looking/sounding sci-fi or fantasy I can find. Last time I was deployed I had an old book from my spouse's aunt, Lawrence Sander's The Tomorrow File. A little strange to get into a first, but then I couldn't put it down. Excellent book that shows what the future could very well turn out to be like.

    I also like mystery and horror novels. I'm currently reading a "historical fiction" novel about Vlad Tepes and its pretty neat. Will move on to Agatha Christie's Death on the Nile next (my Grandma sent it to me in a care package here in Afghanistan).
     
  6. Kirkman1987

    Kirkman1987 Commodore Commodore

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    Missouri
    I like to read although I am a very light reader. I usually only read a handful of books a year. It just seems there are other things I would rather do. I can get very engrossed though given the right book or series. Last year I blasted through every Ian Fleming Bond book In a couple months because I enjoyed them so much

    I like spy stories (also a huge Golgo 13 fan),mysteries, and adventure. For nonfiction I usually read books about the film industry, famous directors, film analysis etc.
     
  7. Gryffindorian

    Gryffindorian Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Wow, you guys do read a LOT. Having a short attention span, I just can't get into fiction novels anymore. I used to read Star Trek novels as a teen, but those days are long gone. Although I have the entire collection of Harry Potter books, I've only read Prisoner of Azkaban. Even nowadays I can't seem to sit still and read for more than an hour unless I happen to be reading one of my graphic novels or some articles in a magazine.

    As for the "dense" non-fiction books I have (mythology, religion, history, etc.), I read them in segments, or I refer to them if I want to look something up (but with the Internet at my disposal, it's much easier to look things up on my cell phone or tablet).

    I do have three e-books I downloaded from the Android Store and from Amazon; namely, Cosmic Coupling, Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales and Poems, and The Complete Tales of the Brothers Grimm. I read them mostly on the mobile devices.
     
  8. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

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    Even if you read really slowly an hour is long enough to get an average fiction chapter in...why not read fiction in chunks in the same way as nonfiction? I often do that because I usually read several books at a time. Or what about short stories? I love short stories, and there are a few collections I'd highly recommend: A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain by Robert Ollen Butler, Stories of Your Life by Ted Chiang, and my favorite book ever, Einstein's Dreams by Alan Lightman. The stories in Einstein's dreams run from 2 to 6 pages in length, I'm sure even your short attention span could handle that!
    I love the big ebook collections! I reread all of the Sherlock Holmes stories and novels, plus a couple other Conan Doyle novels with one of those collections. I also have the complete Dickens, though I doubt I'll read it all; Great Expectations is one of my favorite books, but A Tale of Two Cities bored me to tears.
     
  9. teya

    teya Vice Admiral Admiral

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    MissChicken that's an awesome challenge.

    According to my mother, I taught myself to read at 2-1/2 by reading the cereal box. I don't remember that, but do remember that I was reading the Bobbsey Twins (yes, that dates me... :p ) when I started kindergarten.

    I read a variety of subjects: medicine & healthcare delivery for work (although I do read epidemiology for pleasure as well). For pleasure, literary fiction of any genre (just finished Octavia Butler's oevre), anything conservation & nature related, and farm memoirs.
     
  10. Gryffindorian

    Gryffindorian Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Excellent! Thanks for the tips and recommendations. I could see myself reading short stories, and that's why I like Poe's works as well as various folktales. I would like to get an e-book that has all of Shakespeare's comedies and tragedies (though they're not necessarily short), perhaps something annotated and easy to comprehend. Some of my favorite literary quotes are from Hamlet and MacBeth.

    Miss Chicken, that's a pretty impressive list.
     
  11. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

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    ^Hamlet is definitely ace for quotations. I once had a whole conversation here with the long gone Hermy wherein I quoted only Hamlet and he quoted only Star Wars.
     
  12. Kirby

    Kirby Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Love to read, but I read so much at work that sometimes I just can't get into reading for fun. Plus with young kids and the stuff that goes on with them I just have very little time. That said, I usually keep a fiction and a non fiction book on my nightstand and try to read 15 - 20 pages in either one before bed. I bet I read maybe a dozen or so books a year.
     
  13. bbailey861

    bbailey861 Admiral Premium Member

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    Love to read - just wish I had more time to. Right now it is snippets here and there throughout the day.
     
  14. Kestra

    Kestra Admiral Premium Member

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    Sorry for bumping this but I've been busy and then sick so I didn't have a chance to reply sooner. I've just recently been having discussions with a few friends who like to read but find themselves easily distracted and can't get through the "dry" subjects, or long non-fiction books.

    A few ideas. Don't feel like you should be reading anything in particular. Don't buy a book because it will look good on your shelf or because you feel like you should be reading something impressive. Read what you're interested in. And there's such a variety out there. History, for example. Pick a particular time or region that might interest you. It's a narrative, so just find someone who tells it in a way that you'd find interesting. Maybe read some historical fiction first to ease into it. Or pick up something like "The Intellectual Devotional" that will give you tidbits of information and be a jumping off point for you to read more when something catches your eye.

    Obviously, I love reading. One of my earliest memories is of sitting in a loft in my preschool classroom, reading away. With the way technology and entertainment is now, it might take some more willpower and concentration to actually sit down and read a book. It's easier to just muck about on the internet, isn't it? I personally like to turn off electronics and just sit down and make myself read for an hour or two before bed. It takes a little dedication, but I think it's worth it.
     
  15. Gryffindorian

    Gryffindorian Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Thanks, Kestra. A big part of how I ended up with such a wealth of books is that I bought the ones that I was (and still am) interested in--science, travel, health, religion, and the list goes on. There's really nothing in my library that I felt obligated to buy but didn't want, but as I said, I've got a short attention span and also from time to time get bogged down in a particular chapter or section.

    Whenever I have some extended time off from work, I make it a point to at least catch up on my DC and Marvel comic books (they're short and at least illustrated). :) Add to that the magazines that I'm reading and my TV viewing schedule (and believe me, I watch fewer shows now than I did 5 years ago), there's hardly any time for me to get to the "bigger" non-fiction books.

    Reading, to me, takes discipline; I'd have to be locked up in a room with no electronics to concentrate on a book.
     
  16. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Ah, reading (and writing) is my life. My house looks like a book warehouse-- the many bookcases are long since full and the overflow is piled up everywhere, some in boxes, some not. I read (and write) mostly fiction and appreciate most genres, although I'm not much for the mainstream. Science Fiction is my favorite, but I also read plenty of Mystery and Supernatural fiction. With the advent of POD and ebooks, I've also been able to amass a collection of classic Pulp fiction that I've wanted to read for decades-- guys like Clark Ashton Smith, Lord Dunsany, Hugh B Cave, Manly Wade Wellman, Seabury Quinn et al-- there are not enough hours in the day to absorb it all. I also have a substantial number of non-fiction books, mostly science and history, but also a few art and photography collections. And, of course, magazines-- from Analog and Asimov's to Discover and American History to Rolling Stone and Islands. I also get the publications of the various organizations I belong to, like The Planetary Society and the Southern Poverty Law Center. As my sister used to say when she was a kid, I'm "a mad bookhead." :rommie:
     
  17. maneth

    maneth Captain Captain

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    I do read a lot, although perhaps not as much as I'd like to. I'm a translator, so I have to read quite a lot for research purposes. I keep one or two fiction books on my nightstand and read between 20 and 50 pages before falling asleep. I read a lot of sf&f and British crime novels (Agatha Christie, Dick Francis, Ian Rankin etc.).

    If I read non-fiction for pleasure, it's usually science for the masses (Scientific American for example) or parenting magazines.
     
  18. Spot's Meow

    Spot's Meow Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    I love to read, but it's been difficult for me to do since I was a teenager. The main reason being that I've been in school full-time almost continuously, with a good chunk of that being grad school, so I read so much for school that I have little time to read for pleasure. In fact, I think I've only finished five books of my own choosing within the past 8 years.

    I am also a very slow reader, partly because of my OCD tendencies. I get "stuck" on certain words or sentences and have to read them over and over. Or sometimes I will be reading and it will just feel like something in my brain is fighting with me the whole way through. So I just have to stop and put the book down, because it feels like more trouble than it's worth. With schoolwork, I have to keep going, so it becomes a tiring experience and by the end of the semester I need a long break from doing any reading at all.

    My mind is just going too fast in the middle of the day to get any reading done, so I've learned to read only in the early mornings, before even getting out of bed, or late at night before I go to sleep. My mind is more "quiet" and I can concentrate better and don't get "stuck" as often.

    There was a two year period where I was out of school, and during that time I was able to read more often, though I am still pretty slow. To give you an idea, I really loved the Harry Potter books and would get them on the day they were released, but even when I read at every possible moment I had a chance, it still took me about a month to finish one. I marvel at the people who could read it all in one night or even weekend. I just can't mentally go that fast, even though I really wanted to with those books!

    I mostly enjoy murder mysteries (especially Agatha Christie) and historical fiction.
     
  19. Tora Ziyal

    Tora Ziyal Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The first two volumes of Harry Potter are actually shorter and faster-reading than Prisoner of Azkaban. You might want to give them a try, especially since you already own them.

    I loved the Bobbsey Twins! Glad I'm not the only one here old enough to remember them. ;)

    I've always loved reading. As a kid, I was always so wrapped up in whatever I was reading that, when my mother called me to come eat, I'd say, "As soon as I finish this page" or chapter over and over, because I was so engrossed that I'd just keep going on to the next page/chapter.

    I mostly read fiction. I love suspense and mysteries that are at neither extreme -- "cozies" usually bore me and have silly characters, and ones that are too gruesome stir up my PTSD. My favorite suspense writers are Laura Lippman and Margaret Coel. I also read sci fi and fantasy, especially Trek novels and Harry Potter.

    When I read non-fiction, it's mostly theology, psychology or interior design. And the New York Times.
     
  20. lurok

    lurok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Love reading and, probably like many here, from a very early age. Sadly not as much as I used to due to work and other distractions (but I read so much early on figure makes up for it!). Usually have at least one fiction (for pleasure) and non-fiction (often but not always work-related) on go, and periodicals like New Yorker, New Statesman, Wired, Attitude.