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Stop Reading...

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Joined: 15 August 2009

Posts: 41

Posted: 26 August 2009 at 12:21pm | IP Logged
I read this Article in a newspaper, two years ago.


This shocked me and I can't forget it. I 'still' read books :-)
Yeah, it was under the 'Devil's Advocate'.
So don't take seriously, hmmm, yes take it seriously but not in that way.

It affected me a little though. I used to read a lot.
I slowed down, and tried to mix some non-fiction too.
And thought, that if I will read a book, I will try to learn something out of it.
I always have one handy excuse :-p "I will write a book someday'

It is 'devil's advocate'. So you know its meaning.
I am sharing this, because reading it, improved my 'quality of reading'


Vaishnavi Murali TOI 2nd Nov 2007

Zombies. That's what readers are. They exist in this world but live in a fantasy world, surviving on what others create. Their contribution to society is negative, for while they consume precious resources, they create nothing.

The roadside vagabond does more, yet they claim intellectual superiority over all. But if intelligence is the application of information, they're down there with those other shells of human existence, the TV-addicts, collecting data about everything, but not alive enough to ever apply that knowledge.

That's probably why they are called bookworms -- a parasitical existence, far removed from the ecstasy and agony of the real world.

Decades ago, the only entertainment was reading. If kids were hunched over a book, adults would know they weren't setting the house on fire or getting into fights. If you wanted to kill a few hours, or expand your mind a little, the only option was hitting the nearest library.

While times have changed, attitudes haven't -- received wisdom dictates that the reading habit is good for us. While there are so many entertainment options, which engage all the senses and encourage a person to connect with people worldwide, the lonely man's need for a book is anachronistic.

There's no place anymore for people who're lost in their own world. As for education and information, it's more efficient to trawl the Web than lift a 500-page tome.

While the rest of the world is climbing the Everests of their chosen professions or feeding penguins in Antarctica, the reader slouches in his ratty couch, oblivious to love and conflict, the purple sky on a rainy day and the fireflies that light it up at night. Passive consumers, they bovinely chew on ideas that someone else is busy translating into reality.

Despite their vast knowledge, these antiquated creatures are blind to the difference between serenading your Juliet from under the famous balcony in Verona, and reading about how Romeo did it many years ago. When you sit down to a book, you raise a wall around yourself.

Every minute you spend reading, another brick is added to that wall, till it becomes so high, it's impossible to get over it. And as the world does one more turn on its axis, you turn the page of your cheap paperback, without even realising that life has just passed you by. How miserable it must be to sit down to read, when you haven't stood up to live? 

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Joined: 22 November 2008

Posts: 4331

Posted: 27 August 2009 at 1:24pm | IP Logged
even i was shocked when i read the title....
we are not parasites...=(
we are the world...we writers and readers constitute the world...there would be no education without us...
if we are made for standing up and living....who will teach us that? the key word...for every success u acquire..=)
thanks anyway..!!


Edited by ammygurl - 27 August 2009 at 1:27pm

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Joined: 15 August 2009

Posts: 41

Posted: 28 August 2009 at 1:59pm | IP Logged

First about Devil's Advocate:
In common parlance, a devil's advocate is someone who takes a position he or she disagrees with for the sake of argument. This process can be used to test the quality of the original argument and identify weaknesses in its structure. - Wikipedia.

Yeah, you are right. Books are important. And Reading is good :-)
Everyone believes that.  And even the Writer of this Article believes it.

Even then, this Article was an eye-opener for me.

What, I found interesting.
Reading 'fiction' for entertainment, (there are many meaningless thriller, mystery, romantic, fantasy etc books) doesn't make us 'intellectual superior' to others.  And it is not about greatness, education or intelligence.  This is more like, watching masala-movies.  It is not something to feel proud of.  It is just entertainment.
'Reading some books' may not be called as a good-thing.
Recently I read, 'The Beach house' by James Patterson. I can't say that I did something good. It was just entertainment, but not a bad thing too.

There is a little truth in that 'parasite' and zombie thing. :-p

Good Fiction, or Non-fiction, if we don't learn and apply those changes in our lives, then it was only for entertainment. And sometimes a lot of entertainment has negative effect on other good things in the life.
We can give an excuse that we are doing good, because we are learning, and reading is important.
But, either we should learn, or we should accept that it was only entertainment.

Haha , ok leave it.  I was a book-addict, so this article had affected and still affects me a lot.  I still like books, but now I read in a better way.
If a book is just for entertainment,
while reading it, don't ignore job, studies, sleep, exercise, family and friends.
If you like reading, then include non-fiction (other than studies, professional and religion) and learn too.  Otherwise this reading habit is not good/bad, it is just a neutral habit, like watching masala movies.

More, I'll write later, if necessary.

(I think, I wrote 'above things' for myself :-p  so that I don't start reading too much)
I read a loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooot. :-)
I like this forum.
I haven't browsed much yet.

Edited by Rangan4u - 28 August 2009 at 2:30pm


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Joined: 02 January 2009

Posts: 376

Posted: 30 August 2009 at 6:46pm | IP Logged
I don't agree you seriously have no idea what non-fiction books taught me, I talked english like a master when i was 7 but i never knew how to spell, then i started reading, you don't know what reading has done to me, it expanded my imagination for instance, it taught me how to read, it gave me great ideas, of course whoever reads their fiction book and doesn't read their math book is kinda stupid, i read book and i am alway from the top tens of my class, on top of that my aunt is 17 as she's in high school her room is full of books she read, i call it my own personal library, and she's always the 1st on her class? she never cheats, i know my aunt, and there's my cousin, he reads harry potter and other thing and always brings the first on his class.. so i guess i gave enough examples, i think the author of the article hasn't heard of something called 'balance' no offense Ranagan4u




Joined: 15 August 2009

Posts: 41

Posted: 01 September 2009 at 12:08am | IP Logged

I tried to make that clear in second post, by quoting, "a devil's advocate is someone who takes a position he or she disagrees with for the sake of argument. This process can be used to test the quality of the original argument and identify weaknesses in its structure."

I am sure, 'Author' loves books. She didn't mean to stop us. A leading newspaper won't publish such articles. I found an interesting article, and I tried to find something good out of it for myself. I am here to know, how much wrong I am. I know, this article is 'wrong'. Author is playing as Devil's advocate, and she says so.  Article is not a negative one. If we change meaning of every sentence, and make them to have the opposite meaning, we won't end up with a Good and correct article too.

I thought, 'people will enjoy reading it, for the-purpose it was written'. (If anyone thinks that 'author really wants us to stop reading', then he/she is wrong. Please! Do not criticize the author)
'I put emphasis on 'non-fiction', that was my idea, I should get credit for it (good or bad)  :-p

It affected me, and improved the quality of my reading. And as I wrote earlier, I wrote about myself. I have some bad qualities and weaknesses, and I could see those.

There are few lines which affected me,  like..

"..but not alive enough to ever apply that knowledge..."

"..the reader slouches in his ratty couch, oblivious to love and conflict, the purple sky on a rainy day and the fireflies that light it up at night.."

"And as the world does one more turn on its axis, you turn the page of your cheap paperback, without even realising that life has just passed you by."

I am not going to stop reading. I want to change the way I read, and I will learn 'reading'.

If you don't have problems, it is fine :-)  I know, everyone is not as bad as I am.  I don't say, that everyone should stop reading, or fictions are bad, or non-fiction are good.  I found it useful, so I thought maybe there are few people like me, who may find it useful.

I used to read a lot; I have finished many sets of many authors. And I read pretty super-fast. I read two 'fast-reading' books too. :-p
I still read a lot. Last week I might have finished 8-9 books. Yesterday I read one 'sewing' book. My mother has it. I don't sew, but I enjoyed reading about different types of tools, stitches, darts, hems, buttons, snaps, seams etc. :- )

I thought, everyone here is 16+. Yes, when we are young, we read only fiction. It is good too, and it helps.  Consider it like watching TV. First we like cartoons, and then we grow up and start watching movies, then serials and songs. And later we start watching news, debates, discussions and documentaries too.
Reading covers everything. Reading 'only fiction' is nearly equivalent to 'watching movies'.  It is not wrong though.

I didn't mean to offend anyone. I know that we mostly talk about fictions here, because that is 'something common'.  And many of us read non-fictions too. And it is not wrong whether one reads or doesn't read, whether reads only fiction, or reads only non-fictions. If I read 'sewing-book' or 'science, economy, social.... " It's natural that I will go to different forums, to discuss those respective subjects.  This article is about reading, so I shared it here.

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