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Thread: Do you ever feel alone in loving literature and liking to read?

  1. #16
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    I feel isolated because of my love for books. When someone visits my home and sees my library the usual question is what do you need all those books for? I have also been accused of being a snob, that only reads to make others feel stupid, clearly anybody that would say something like that dose not need me and my books to look stupid.

  2. #17
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    Many of my friends read. Many don't. Some only read newspapers. No one has ever accused me of being a snob for being a reader. (They wouldn't dare) Some friends have borrowed books and some have never been returned. I reckon there's over ten grand of books in the house. That's enough to "build a (little) bridge"

  3. #18
    Pièce de Résistance Scheherazade's Avatar
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    While I have been a reader all my life, I do believe that book lovers have a tendency to be a little snobbish... We want people to read but then again they rarely read the "right" books... Or they do not understand good literature... We must own the books we read... Definitely not the dreaded ereaders; hard copies - with hand bound hard covers if you please - and so much better if they are rare or first editions.

    While I do carry a grudge against people who do not read, I am not an exemplar book lover... Tend to read books from different genres indiscriminately, borrow them from libraries or charity shops, write on them, break their backs, fold the pages (during holidays, dropped two different books into the pool) and once I am finished with them, I either leave them at public places or return back to charities.

    Having said all that, I am quite alone in my love of books as well... While there are couple of friends around me who claim to be book lovers, they rarely seem to have the time to read because they lead very busy lives so I usually keep it to myself. Twitter and goodreads are good places to exchange ideas, I find.
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    "It is not that I am mad; it is only that my head is different from yours.”
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  4. #19
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    I'm bit of an orgiastic party beast. By which I mean I like to sit and "get lost" in a book, savouring the sensuality of words and ideas for, oh, minutes on end.

  5. #20
    A User, but Registered! tonywalt's Avatar
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    I am a member of 2 book clubs. These 2 clubs led me to other artistic organisations: The National Gallery, Cayman Arts Festival and other smaller less formal groups. Yes, it's true that only a small percentage of the population read literary fiction and non-fiction, but once meet you will become fast friends with these people(most likely).

    The social dynamic will add so much to the whole experience of reading, finding books, ''discovering''authors - the whole damn thing. Do it. Also, as with many readers I'm a MASSIVE film buff. Here again: New connects, new crossover reader/film/movie/dramatic play lovers and on and on. Make some good effort and you'll get unexpected results.

  6. #21
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    My friends were into sports, playstation, art and laziness. I'm the only one who really read full novels with some regularity, though I'm not a bookworm. I was into all of the above. My family has quite a few readers in it, nearly all the women. I was second to my grandfather in reading books. I don't feel all alone as a reader, I consider reading books a quiet time activity and I don't discuss them with people. When I was a teen I do recall book discussions, recommendations.

  7. #22
    To be totally honest, yes -- even so, I don't think I ought to feel that way. Why should I feel lonely? I recognize that there are plenty of people out there who do read, and communities that I could in theory join. But the truth is, as pretentious as it sounds/is, I don't want just any group... And besides, I tell myself the pleasure in reading should come from the act itself, which is generally done in solitude. I think, Scheherazade, you are right about the snobbishness, at least in my own case. It may be something like that. A person may elevate their sense of pride by imagining they are alone in engaging in an intellectual act such as reading, choosing to compare themselves to the little samples-size of the world they happen to be acquainted with -- and yet, at the same time, despite that pride, people do generally feel the desire to be understood, in good company. So what we want is perhaps to feel a little bit lonely in the world, to retain our special feeling, but with a few close people who may share in our loneliness. I don't know. Perhaps that didn't make sense. Essentially what I mean to say is that if you feel lonely as a reader, it's likely because you haven't found other readers whose tastes align very well with yours -- but I should think that there are always people out there who we would get along with very well in terms of reading tastes, even if we do not happen to ever cross paths with them in life. But in an attempt to see if I might find people who have similar interests, I think that is why I decided I might as well give this forum a try, this being my first post. I wish you luck as well in trying to discover a nice group of people with whom you may have fruitful literary conversations!

  8. #23
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    Welcome to the site, Roithamer. I hope you find what you are looking for.

  9. #24
    Oh, you're definitely not the only one. I think you really have to enjoy reading and the whole internal journey. Many people prefer to get their stories in the form of movies and TV. Those are great sometimes, but they also make for lazy imaginations. In a book, you generally get a few details about a person and have to decide what they look like from there and most people picture the same character in many different ways. With a visual medium, that's already handed to you. So I think it takes a certain type of person to find a lot of joy in reading. But don't worry. I'm the only regular reader in my house and you are in your house. If we can have one reader per household, then we're doing great, given the number of households out there.

  10. #25
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    I'm curious, how many people here have friends in real life in your circle who read books, any books, not just literary fiction.

    If you don't have such friends, is it that your friends are not the culture vulture type at all or they ARE that type but still don't read books. By culture vulture I don't mean someone who goes to the opera, I just mean someone who's interested in anything intellectual or cultural, be it film, politics, science, good TV, whatever.

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by ennison View Post
    I'm bit of an orgiastic party beast. By which I mean I like to sit and "get lost" in a book, savouring the sensuality of words and ideas for, oh, minutes on end.
    Just make sure you don't overdo it.

  12. #27
    Tralfamadorian Big Dante's Avatar
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    I get the impression that the world today is filled with the same ratio, if not, a higher one, of people who enjoy higher level conversation about stories, characters and the meaning behind them. What I think has changed is that there are several new mediums that can sate such desire. For many people watching a movie or playing a video game is a lot more accessible, and it gives people an avenue to reach such discussions with their friends. This is both a good and a bad thing in my eyes. It's good as all of these newer mediums have produced fine works of art, however, none of these contain the same level of depth literature has the potential to reach. Yes, there are some movies and games that can rival literature, but literature has the potential to go further due to the recruitment of imagination, and what it demands of the reader in uptaking the story. A lot of people are saying that their friends will have conversations about all these things, but are too busy to read. I think they have settled with the more accessible mediums and have no reason to go beyond as their needs are being met. This concerns me as such people will miss out on a lot that books have to offer, but many of my friends are like this, and I can have some interesting discussions contrasting stories across the mediums.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Dante View Post
    I get the impression that the world today is filled with the same ratio, if not, a higher one, of people who enjoy higher level conversation about stories, characters and the meaning behind them. What I think has changed is that there are several new mediums that can sate such desire. For many people watching a movie or playing a video game is a lot more accessible, and it gives people an avenue to reach such discussions with their friends. This is both a good and a bad thing in my eyes. It's good as all of these newer mediums have produced fine works of art, however, none of these contain the same level of depth literature has the potential to reach.
    This is generous to video games and unfortunately also to most of the movies Hollywood makes these days. But okay, common interests make for happy discussions, and once you make friends you can talk about less superficial things. And to be fair, video games involve stories (stories about things you machine gun), which is better than nothing. It only becomes really negative when one form begins to strangle another (no more character development, for example, because of iconic something or other or superheroes or something). So okay, it's a good and bad thing, as you say; or at least a bad thing that can potentially lead to something better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Dante View Post
    Yes, there are some movies and games that can rival literature, but literature has the potential to go further due to the recruitment of imagination, and what it demands of the reader in uptaking the story.
    Bingo. Written fiction (as distinct from cinema and video games) requires a special intimacy between the writer and the reader, and it is at that interface the art actually occurs. The relationship is unmediated by a director's vision or a programmed cartoon (that's what a video game is, right?). This makes the reading experience unique to each reader to a greater degree than a movie or game would be. (You'd be amazed how many people want to fight me over this).

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Dante View Post
    A lot of people are saying that their friends will have conversations about all these things, but are too busy to read. I think they have settled with the more accessible mediums and have no reason to go beyond as their needs are being met.
    People who say they are too busy to read should add: but I'm not to busy to...play video games, watch idiot sitcoms, smoke dope, shop for the sake of shopping, etc. Of course those in new marriages, or those in any marriage with kids, or anyone with a pressing or challenging career probably doesn't have very much time to read. But I promise you they are not playing video games, either. Having time to read literature has been one of the best parts of my retirement. But it's something most 20-somethings I know could easily manage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Dante View Post
    This concerns me as such people will miss out on a lot that books have to offer, but many of my friends are like this, and I can have some interesting discussions contrasting stories across the mediums.
    Ah, they'll grow up. And they seem to be enjoying themselves for now. There are worse things than that.

  14. #29
    Alea iacta est. mortalterror's Avatar
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    Hell, I feel alone in a literature class surrounded by people who love to read because they don't like reading the same things I do.
    "So-Crates: The only true wisdom consists in knowing that you know nothing." "That's us, dude!"- Bill and Ted
    "This ain't over."- Charles Bronson
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  15. #30
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    I understand you mortalterror. For me a forum where people love and discuss 19 C and early 20 C literature was a total surprise.
    Contemporary bestseller forums are much more usual
    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

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