Monday, April 30, 2007

Reading and Literature

A couple of weeks ago, I was at a party and we were talking about reading. One man said very proudly that he read 50 book the previous year. He said he set a goal for 100 books for the year, but after the first few weeks, it was obvious that he could not make that goal. So he changed his goal to 50 books for the year.

I made the comment that I was extremely impressed for reading 50 books in a year. I actually, probably a dozen years ago, read 52 books in a year. An average of one book per week, and we are not talking about children's books.

The conversations unfolded like this:

Leesa: Wow, when did you get the time to read 50 books in one year. I have only done it once, and it was incredibly difficult.

Book Reader: I use my time very effectively.

Leesa (thinking to herself): Arrogant prick.

Leesa: And no children's books?

Book Reader: No, we are talking novels, mostly. Books on tape.

Leesa: So you didn't actually read the books, did you?

Book Reader: Sure, it is the same thing. The words are the same.

Leesa (thinking to herself): Arrogant prick. You used Cliff's Notes to get through high school, didn't you?

Leesa: I actually read 50 books one year. Real books.

I sort of felt like a book snob, but I could not imagine anyone equating reading with listening to a book on tape. I am not saying that listening to books on tape is not pleasurable. I have done it in the past. I just don't get it confused with reading.

< /hr>I saw on The Moon Topples that there will be a literary contest that starts on the stroke of midnight on Tuesday. Here is part of the post:

And, of course, we have the GBA(s)FC #2 starting at the stroke of Tuesday. The rules and prompt will be posted at or around midnight. Once you see that post, the contest is live, adn entries are welcome. Last time, there were 44 entries, and I'm hopeful that we can repeat that success. Any help in spreading the word is greatly appreciated, and I'm still accepting applications for jurors to help in selecting the Jury Prize.

Now I have read this twice, and I don't know if it starts Tuesday morning (at the stroke of Midnight on Monday night), or the following night. I think the former is right, but you know, I am a bit clueless. I don't know really what this is about (the writing part is obvious), so if you want, go on over and check it out.


Anonymous Boxer said...

To me, books on tape IS NOT reading. It's holding the book, seeing the words and being in a place where what I am reading is actually taking over my's NOT being stuck in traffic and listening to words. Yeah, you were right. But you forgot one word; Arrogent STUPID Prick.

Monday, anyone?

~Deb said...

That's totally not the same! I mean, I can say, "Oh I read about 100 books in a year," and be referring to movies that were created FROM a book.

That irritated me Leesa! (ha)

Enjoy your Monday. I'm off to watch a Stephen King MOVIE!

T said...

Arrogant prick is right. Do you know what he does for a living? I'm curious as to whether his chosen vocation matches his arrogant prick personality. Lunchtime here, so I think I will go outside and read my book.
Enjoy the day!

Leesa said...

boxer: when you have a book on tape, you use less of your creative mind.

~deb: it really irritated me.

t: he is in marketing.

Pittchick said...

Reading and listening are definitely NOT the same thing! I'm not sure who irritates me more- arrogant people or stupid people.

Ian Lidster said...

I agree, "arrogant prick". I think the guy has performance anxiety, that's what I think. And, there's reading and reading. It reminds me of the old Woody Allen joke in which Woody recounts how he has taken a speed reading course, and that he read the whole of War and Peace in half an hour. "It's about Russia," was his final assessment.
And books on 'tape' do not count as reading.


Leesa said...

pittchick: lots of posts about stupid people today. Hmmmmmm.

ian: I love Woody Allen. And I am a bit of a slow reader, but I read each day.

Bruce said...

He is an arrogant prick, isn't he? Back in the day, I would read between 40-50 books a year, too. Of course, I had no life outside my job, so I always had time. Now, I'm just lazy..

Dr. Deb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dr. Deb said...

Fifty book?!?!?!?!

My head would explode !

The Moon Topples said...

Leesa: Yeah, the midnight thing cause all sorts of confusion, which is why the deadlines for entries and voting have been bumped back to 11. The contest starts Tuesday, May 1st.

It's just a friendly way to encourage writing from people of all stripes. Last time, we had some folks who had never before attempted to write fiction sitting alongside published novelists. The emphasis is on the writing, and the entrants themselves choose who gets prizes.

Thanks very much for the mention, and I'm sorry about the midnight confusion. Thank you also for not mocking my typographical errors, such as "adn."

QUASAR9 said...

Oooh about fifty years ago
I used to read a book a week

But alas, time is catching up with me. Too lazy to get glasses I can no longer read books - well barely and only if the print is not smaller than this print and the paper is not too shiny or too grainy or too

so many other things than turn print to a blurr.

Well my grandma did warn me about too much sex - lol!

GW Mush said...

I dont read books, they just slow me down. Reading books like novels are sooooo over-rated, I dont understand the big deal about it.
Hell, Im lucky if I can read a full blog post by the owner of the blog most of the time, I try but...ummmmm.... sometimes I just stop and move on.

RWA said...

"arrogant prick"...that's a good one. You should have just come out and said it!

I agree, though. Books on tape isn't reading.

Leesa said...

bruce: reading 50 books/year is very impressive, no matter what you have going on in your life. Unless you are in the "shoe." (Federal pen)

dr ~deb: I highly doubt it. You are one smart cookie.

moon: I thought "adn" was some type of code for something.

quasar: too much sex? I thought too much masturbation had side effects, not too much sex.

gw: I actually read more non-fiction than fiction. I don't like "popular" novels.

rwa: I think of things to say days after the opportunity presents itself.

QUASAR9 said...

Leesa isn't masturbation sex?
And safe sex at that
No fear of catching anything.

But yeah I used to like reading a good book. Especially if it was erotic and 'stimulated' my Mind.