Old 4th May 2004, 01:28   #1
Fickle
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Do you Read?

Alright, all you self-proclaiming intellectuals and ironically substandard folks out there, what are you reading? And I'm not talking about the manuals to your favorite video games, or the booklet that came with your new Web cam (which you will undoubtedly send naked pictures of yourself and the girl you're currently shtoinking to your grandmother by accident).
I'm talking real books, the ones you can get on Amazon.com, in a WaldenBooks or Borders near you. The ones where you can't skim through them and know whats going on. Ones that have plots, sub-plots, dialogue, drama, true-blue thought.
Does anyone read anymore? When I take a book with me to work, people are always interested in it, but they never accept it. "Sounds good." They say, and when I offer a book like it, or even the book itself (many times I re-read), they always decline. "I don't have the time." "I'm so busy." Busy doing what? Waiting to get your hair done? Busy holding on the phone to argue with your insurance company? Busy wasting your life away on the television being force-fed ideas and ideals, hopes and dreams, thoughts and wants? Wasting your life staring at code, internet forums and hot chicks you couldn't meet?
What is it people do that makes them so goddamn busy they can't read for an hour before succumbing to sleep? Or are we all treating ourselfs like lab rats who will race around chasing cheese all day and sleep with empty stomachs when the day is done as if we'd been heavily drugged?
People seek knowledge but nobody wants to work to get it. Audio books are garbage. They take that paper smell, the words printed on paper, the stepping into another world, and throw it all into the incinorator. Everybody wants instant gratification. God forbid you have to learn something over a few weeks instead of a few seconds. I'll admit, I'm a lazy bastard, but I know to take a good book with me to the barber, because I know I'm going to wait. If I'm without a book to bide my time with a fidget and roam.
So tell me, all you outstandingly interesting idividuals, Do you read? If so, what?

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Old 4th May 2004, 01:31   #2
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I'm currently working on Great Expectations by Charles dickens. I have been reading it for 4 days, and am about 100 pages in.
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Old 4th May 2004, 01:31   #3
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I'm not reading that shit.

Oh for fuckin' hell... like a goddam rhesus monkey with the fuckin' reply button, aren't we? Just BING! BING! BING! BING!

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Old 4th May 2004, 01:32   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Loveless
I'm not reading that shit.
proves fickle's point.

Edit: I was STILL IN THIS THREAD when you posted. I had just posted my reply, and I saw you had posted, so I replied.(sp).
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Old 4th May 2004, 01:36   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by squakMix
I'm currently working on Great Expectations by Charles dickens. I have been reading it for 4 days, and am about 100 pages in.
In the original French, I presume?

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Old 4th May 2004, 01:38   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Loveless
In the original French, I presume?
...

The original was in english

Edit: Yes, the original.
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Old 4th May 2004, 01:46   #7
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People are obtuse and generally ignorant, Fickle--while others would most likely not be able to handle all the information in their lives. That might sound uppity, but I know several people who have gotten thrown into such situations that between jobs and education they're having serious identity/morality issues as it is; in this day and age, there's such a thing as intellectual overload in volatile situations.

As for me, I read mostly science fiction or classical-type fantasy (none of the Harry Potter stuff, thanks) for recreation, and philosophical papers or books when I actually want brain exercise/development.
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Old 4th May 2004, 01:46   #8
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I'm currently reading Demian by Hermann Hesse.
IT's an incredibly good book and It's difficult to put down (although obviously I have). It's about a boy who seems to be slowly corrupted by a classmate. I haven't read any synopsis simply because I wanted to go into the book fresh and new.
Hesse was a Nobel Prize Winner, by the way, and despite the book being published in 1928, it calls to me in some strange fashion that is anything but modern. Timeless, I think. And I'm not even 50 pages in (145 pages).

[edit: phyltre, what kind of Sci-fi? My cousins are into that shit pretty hard, and any reccomendations are welcome. Also, I like to dig into a little Sci-fi now and then, although I must admit I have read all the Harry Potters, and come to think of it, I'm not ashamed.]

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Old 4th May 2004, 01:48   #9
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From the non-fiction department: Universal Principles of Design

This is a great book whether you are in software interface design, product design, architecture, or any walk of life where you have to design things for people to use.

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Old 4th May 2004, 01:59   #10
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The idiot by dostoyevsky. Not that far into it yet though. Not enough to form an opinion anyway.

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Old 4th May 2004, 02:01   #11
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One of the greatest books I have ever read was breakfast of champions. Incredibly bold.
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Old 4th May 2004, 02:05   #12
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Well, if you want harder science fiction, then I'd imagine you'd like Stephen Baxter--he incorporates all sorts of theories and principles into his writing, while still keeping an active and readable storyline that explores various facets of humanity.

If you can find sci-fi much from Piers Anthony (usually people read just his fantasy novels) then that's probably a good lighter side; there's not so much of a scientific anchor, with more emphasis on interesting plots and characters making tough decisions while learning about their own nature.

I'd consider reading Battlefield Earth, (absolutely nothing like the movie, thank God) maybe some Isaac Asimov or Arthur Clarke for the classical sci-fi deal. The whole Space Odyssey was fairly interesting and followed the advances in science fairly well.

That's all I can think of for now, I'm sure I've forgotten more than I've remembered.
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Old 4th May 2004, 02:05   #13
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go vonnegut! the greatest living American writer.

right now im reading The World According to Garp-John Irving
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Old 4th May 2004, 02:05   #14
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at the moment I am on my fourth reading of The Salmon of Doubt by Douglas Adams. It is a collection of a few of his lesser known and uncompleted works that were compiled after he died. It's a great read.
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Old 4th May 2004, 02:23   #15
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I just finished a religous book. It was the last in the series. Not exactly intellectual, but interesting. It's from the Left Behind series.

Other than that, I am still trying to get a copy of Divine Comedy or The Inferno both by Dante.

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Old 4th May 2004, 02:33   #16
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The Inferno for 15 cents

OR

The whole thing for free. I think this is a prose translation, I didn't look it over really closely.

I recommend also buying a good concordance or explication. Or a humanities professor.

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Old 4th May 2004, 02:59   #17
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I have the inferno. It was easy only because we read it in school and the refrences in the back. It was not easy the second time I read it two years later.

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Old 4th May 2004, 03:44   #18
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think i've got to agree mainly with phyltre, isaac asimov is the sci-fi genius (love his short stories), and i think the last book i read was one from the DUNE series (i think it was : leto god emporer of dune, not entirely sure but i believe it to be the fourth book) quite a hefty read and kind of a nice change of pace from my norm of finishing in about a week (when i do read a lot)

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Old 4th May 2004, 04:36   #19
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I burned through a couple of Piers Anthony's Xanth novels the other day. Personally if those are anywhere near representative, I'd say he's a crappy writer. The writing is clear, however simple to the point of childishness. In fact i'd call them young adult books if it weren't for the numerous less than subtle sexual references in them.

I guess I liked them well enough but i wouldn't ever spend anymony to read them, or read them at all if I had anything better to read.

Some scifi recomendations, anything by Larry Niven, Homecoming Series by Orson Scott Card, Enders Game collection by Orson Scott Card, Most of Frank Herbert's stuff. The first four books in the Dragon Riders of Pern Series By Anne McCafferty, Anything by William Gibson, Heinlein is good for an entertaining read, Crytonomicon & Snowcrash by Niel Stephenson, A good bit of Asimov (short stories are better), a good bit of Clark.

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Old 4th May 2004, 04:39   #20
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Those Xanth novels definitely aren't for everyone. Personally, I never could stand all the puns, even if I did like a few of the characters...
...I guess it's one of those acquired tastes nobody cares to acquire but some are born with.
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Old 4th May 2004, 06:53   #21
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Currently reading Last Exit To Brooklyn by Hubert Selby Jr (RIP)

Next on the list is I, Claudius by Robert Graves.

Good thread Fickle.

It's been said that I could start an arguement in an empty room.....I see no reason to disbelieve this.
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Old 4th May 2004, 07:35   #22
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Just finished Life of Pi by Yann Martel. I really enjoyed it but it's strange fiction, I really couldn't describe. The last line in the book is brilliant, they managed to include a final satisfying twist in that one sentence.

Bought from one of those really old-skool dark, ancient, cramped bookshops we have in town here too, instead of one of the new chain stores. Those sort of book shops are the best.
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Old 4th May 2004, 07:52   #23
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yeah they are. Personally I'm a big fan of the used book shop.

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Oh for some tasty moon cheese.
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Old 4th May 2004, 08:16   #24
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I'm not reading much fiction right now. I'm about halfway through "Programming Interviews Exposed" (which I'm reading more for the overview on logic than in hope of it's use in interviews). I'm also about three-quarters through "Hacking: The Art of Exploitation".

Stuff on the backburner includes: "The Bell Curve", "Intelligence, Race, and Genetics - Conversations with Arther Jensen", "The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide (to the Universe)".

Stuff I want to read: The first book in the "Wheel of Time" series, and "Neuromancer" by William Gibson, as well as some fiction book I got as a gift. I also *need* to finish the Lord of the Rings series. "Return of the King" promises to be a great read.

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Old 4th May 2004, 08:33   #25
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I've read lord of the rings series few times. Silmarillion was difficult to read, since it contained so much characters. Last book I read was 1984 by George Orwell. But unfortunately it was about a year ago. Been a bit lazy reading anything

I also read science fiction. Frank Herbert, Asimov and some other classics. Also like Horror novels by Stephen King and by some other writers..
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Old 4th May 2004, 08:55   #26
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Right now I'm working my way through the Wheel of Time series, in the middle of The Dragon Reborn. Wheel of time kicks serious ass.
The other series I can't stop reading for some reason is the Coldfire Trilogy by CS Freidman. I've probably been through it 5 or 6 times.

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Old 4th May 2004, 09:10   #27
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Quote:
Originally posted by Spazz333
Right now I'm working my way through the Wheel of Time series, in the middle of The Dragon Reborn. Wheel of time kicks serious ass.
Initially. I encourage you to give it up around book 6ish. It fizzles quickly after that.

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Old 4th May 2004, 09:11   #28
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.seye ym struh ti dna cixelsyd m'I esuaceb hcum daer ot elba ton m'I
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Old 4th May 2004, 09:11   #29
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I agree with Fickle, although at this time, I'm generally too busy to get any good time in to actually read even a bit. By the time I get home, I'm barely able to to eat my dinner here at 4:00 am. But right now, I'm currently reading The Anti-Federalist Papers. It's a pretty good read.

As for Xanth, I personally like the series a lot. Although I haven't read the whole series yet, I have I think at least 6 or 7 books from the series.
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Old 4th May 2004, 09:12   #30
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I've currently reading A Short History Of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

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Old 4th May 2004, 14:12   #31
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forgot to add another one of my favorite sci-fi reads : 'the practice effect' that one was really good just on the premise of the story....
no i don't remember the author if anyone wants to know

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Old 4th May 2004, 15:40   #32
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Dune

again.

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Old 5th May 2004, 13:22   #33
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I've tried to read Dune so many times it's horrifying. Just something about how it drags in the beginning. I read a lot of Stephen King (I own at least 1/2 of his books and have read nearly all of them), including The Dark Tower Series, which many people really dig, even if they really don't like his writings.
I just bought The Switch by Elmore Leonard. I read the first chapter in an Amazon preview (funny, normally they only give you the title, copywrite and dedication pages on the previews, as if that's an excellent reason to purchase the book. "Oh, well now that I've read the book was published in 1976 by The Syndicate Press, I'll have to buy it!" I know it's probably because of copywrite laws, but Christ, don't have a preview if you can get allowances for the first couple of text pages.)

Another good book I read around Autumn last year was The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides. It's a darkly humorous book, and quite enjoyable if you're a fan of such works like The Darwin Awards by Wendy Northcutt which make light of very serious situations like, life, death, and over protective parenting.

A lot of the books I read I identify with, which is probably why I don't read non-fiction all that much. The Darwin Awards is a welcome exception, but there are many books I just have a hard time getting into. I need story, plot; someone lecturing to me is just too dry for my taste. Granted, there are non-fiction stories, which I enjoy quite a bit, but you'd be surprised how hard it is for me to read a book on say, stem-cell reasearch with there having no plot to follow.

Another thing is when I write (As I try to do often), I have picked up many styles of writers which I've read. But when it's a badly written book, I always feel dirty reading it. Like "I can write better than this sad sack--why aren't I? I should go write some now!" Sometimes it's the language used, sometimes it's the plot sequence, but mostly it's just simple mistakes that I couldn't live with myself if it'd been me. Misnaming streets I've already named (I read one book where River Drive and River Street seemed to be the same thing, but I didn't pick that up until halfway through the book.) It's annoying when you find an authors mistakes and they aren't anything you could find yourself doing. I mean, how hard is it to find the street name further back in the text?
But on another note, it is very encouraging as an amateur writer not yet published to see that even morons who write worse than you can get published.
Okay, I've probably made this message too long for anyone who has a short attention span to read it (Hell, I'm doubting a reread by me in the future), but that's okay. Most of you can deal with it and the rest can take a long swim in a septic pool.

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Old 5th May 2004, 15:44   #34
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Fickle? You're a damned perfectionist/seeker of enlightenment.

Sci-fi: Definitely digging Isaac Asimov. He showed entertaining brilliance in extrapolating global history into a believable theory about entropy regarding societies stretched beyond the distant stars of the galaxy. I find myself pulled into his books... and this was science theory from EONS back. Forget Star-Trek novellas *chuckle*

For anyone into the classics, get into Chaucer. I've read the Canterbury Tales countless times and I still get a good laugh out of the intricacies that point out the absurdly simple.

So trash all your e-mails (at least the naughty ones) and crack open a good book. Coughing? Yeah, the dust'll get ya when you're starting in on a book you've used for a substitue sofa-leg for the last decade. But breathe it in. Serves you right for spending hours on end suffering the violent rays from you monitor (TOTAL self deprication here).
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Old 5th May 2004, 15:52   #35
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Oddly enough, while doing a 10 day jail sentence for no car insurance (pathetic justice system) I read 6 Louis L'Amour novels. The guy is a true American icon.
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Old 5th May 2004, 16:03   #36
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Quote:
Originally posted by Fanthrop
Fickle? You're a damned perfectionist/seeker of enlightenment.
uh, so? When writing, I like it when the entirety of the world is flawless. This can be done in leaving out extreme details (Like Crichton needs to do, a lot) or by just keeping the details straight. I fail to see how this makes me a perfectionist, but I am one, so I wont deny anything other than the theory that demanding a straight story from an author makes me one.

And yes, I seek enlightenment. There's got to be something in this world that makes sense. How does one become enlightened? Does it just happen? Does it grow from ones beliefs? I don't know. I'm curious about people and why they do the things they do, the things that affect thier behavior. Enlightenment? Sure, it's something I want. But I'm doing fine without it.

And I've read Asimov, he's quie entertaining.

And there's is absolutely nothing wrong with dirty e-mails. They're the only e-mails I look forward to. Everything else is someone reminding me they exist. Gah, how boring.

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Old 5th May 2004, 18:32   #37
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I hate reading, mostly because of the way reading was taught at my school. In North Carolina (maybe in other states too) we have a horrible program called Accelerated Reader, in which students are expected to read books, not for pleasure, not to understand the plot and characters, but to memorize details and earn points for taking tests. Point goals were different for every student, but they were based on a student's vocabulary level. I have had a college-level vocabulary since 6th grade, so my point goal was very high, but I also have ADD, which means it takes me a long time to read a book, so my grades in English class were low throughout high school.
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Old 5th May 2004, 18:37   #38
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mike H.
I also have ADD, which means it takes me a long time to read a book, so my grades in English class were low throughout high school.
In my day, if a clever person took a long time to finish reading a book, they would be called "lazy". How times have changed.

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Old 5th May 2004, 18:39   #39
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It's not worth it, Will. People who don't have ADD don't understand, and I don't feel like defending myself today.
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Old 5th May 2004, 21:14   #40
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I don't read as often as I'd like to... I practically never have the time, except on holiday when I end up getting through about a novel per day.

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