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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 5:04 pm 
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Greetings everyone,

As an emerging science fiction author, I sometimes wonder about the continuing value of reading novels in our video-dominated world. Mega block buster movies, high-definition computer video games, Blu-Ray DVD media, HD multi-channel television programs and those all invasive audio and video I-pod devices seem to be making reading a novel a historical past time. The younger generation’s focus seems to be more on electronic entertainment. Many publishing houses are becoming fearful of this trend. In my conversation with many young people on reading novels, they often answer with; “I’ll wait until it becomes a movie,” or “I don’t like to read.”

Granted, some novels do extremely well in regard to their publishing success and, as such, are received eagerly by the reading public. Yet, most novels, by far, are akin to ships passing in a dark and stormy night.

If an author sells more than a few hundred books, then he or she will be considered somewhat of a success. Yet, in spite of all of this, people continue to write more novels. Could it be that despite all the overwhelming technological gadgetry, many people still like curling up in their favorite chair to read a good novel? Could it be that a simple pleasure, such as reading a good novel, is something that will never vanish into history? Books have lasted for thousands of years. It is a safe assumption that books will last for thousands of years more.

I would appreciate some, hopefully positive, feedback.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 6:41 pm 
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Not to be down or anything, but until recently writing hasn't ever been very popular. Mainly due to the price and the iliteracy rate. That said, now a days it is true that more and more children are exposed to video games and electronic entertainments while books are easy to come by. I myself am very proud and fortunate of my Lego and all that I've accomplished without a video game. While a movie does also tell a story like a book, it takes far less time and in some cases is more pleasing to the eye as no description is needed of events or people or places. You will still hear about how movies do not do justice to books.

My writing of fiction is not so much about making novels but just getting out ideas and stories in my head so that a new one can come in. I greatly enjoy writing (except for english class damn the teacher) as it is, to me, an art form. As for reading, I find it very difficult to find good books. Maybe because I do not try, maybe because the summary on the backs of books is vague. But of a thousand books in a book store, finding the right book to read does prove challenging. That is why it isn't as addicting to me as a computer or other forms of entertainment.

I think a thousand years might be long, but for the next while there will still be authors writing books on paper or computers about everything and anything. Just like a blog diary or an encylopedia.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 7:44 pm 
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The joy of reading over a mere movie is immense.
The leading actors/actresses always perfectly suit, the scenery is exactly right, the accents are not annoying and, with a very rare movie exceptions the story is precisely as written.
Movies often stray considerably from the book, leading parts are cast on likelyhood of a famous face attracting ticket sales, rather that fitting the part. Politics at the time of making influence the script, driving the movie ever further from the original story.

To illustrate, read then watch a Steven King, then do the same with a Dean Koontz.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 10:36 pm 
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As far as i'm concerned reading has way more value than any movie because while reading you give it your own meaning and own thought, & yet at the same time other people can read the same exact book & pull a diff. meaning or importance from it. Movies are that visual cut straight to the point version of what the director pulled from the book which means we don't get to interpret what the author has to say for himself/herself. So honestly i don't think reading honestly can be replaced.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 12:02 pm 
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People continue writing because books are vaults of accumulated human experience. They safeguard the seeds of imagination and the ideas that move humanity forward.

Without books...

Well, we'd be in Fahrenheit 451. :)

I detest the instant culture that America and the West in general seem to endorse. Instant entertainment, instant politics, instant food... we take everything to go. Nobody stops, nobody looks around and takes in the scenery. Or too few and too far in between.

We'll see how things develop in the future. Keep writing dude. There's hope, if nothing else. :D

che

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 1:22 pm 
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Great Topic, Nice Replies. My Score-- A+

Any good movie maker is going to say that it all starts with reading and writing. After that, the movie is easy.

To many youth, reading is put on the back-burners in lieu of their social standings. Pop culture has stressed the use of appearence over substance, thus leading to a stylish, yet dumb populace.

I was a rarity in my school, because I cared about what I was reading and not just because I was told to. I grew up mostly without a T.V. and learned the value of a good book.

Those that are few and far between didn't have to worry about the status quo, because of a strict or humble upbringing. Impoverished children learn the joys of reading over a mind-numbing sitcom, but not always by choice.

The loss of the parenting due to economic struggles has had backlashes into the basic knowledge and principles that we, as a human race, have come so far to accomplish. Instant gratification seems to be ahead in this race.

But fear not good people of Earth, there will come the day when books are once again dominant. The cycle is never ending. Kind of like Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time saga. (When is he going to end the frickin' war!?!?) :x

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:18 pm 
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cheGuevara wrote:
Well, we'd be in Fahrenheit 451. :)


Time to start memorizing.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 5:44 pm 
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Hi Eugene
Welcome and thanks for a great topic. Here are some more thoughts to support the survival of books.

There are millions of people in the world who do love reading and do enjoy books. They are aware of the amount of easy electronic entertainment available to today’s children, therefore they are going to make an extra effort to ensure their own children are introduced to and encouraged to enjoy books. That is made easier because children’s books today are wonderfully illustrated and carefully designed to encourage reading about thoughtful but funny, happy subjects.

When I learned to read, in the dark ages, it was Peter and Jane and Spot. A seven year old I know adores”Captain Underpants and the Attack of the Talking Toilets” and can’t wait to read “Captain Underpants and the Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman”…………
How lucky is he?
Many children will gladly leave a computer game if offered a story instead and all this helps to encourage an understanding of the joy of books which they will keep in later years and in turn pass on to their children. So, there are all these parents and many more to come keeping the flame alive.

Whilst agreeing that it is a shame that some people will wait for a film rather than read a book, just sometimes it may be that a well made film in a certain genre may encourage someone to seek more of the same in books. Maybe LOTR has touched a spark to read Dragonlance or Shannara, which may lead on to Pratchett, Eddings and Feist and so many more. Just possibly the BBC production of Pride and Prejudice encouraged someone to read more Jane Austen.

Children and young people such as considered above are the lucky ones. There are so many countries where poverty and lack of education means that books are no priority at all in the struggle for everyday survival. This cannot last for ever even if improvement is slow. In time, education and living standards will improve and be more available and then the demand for books in such countries will increase, and be even more appreciated and enjoyed than in the spoiled countries where they are easily available.

Think of the demand there will also be in those countries where most literature has been banned, once repressive regimes are gone. There will also arise a whole new generation of writers in countries where their voices could not previously be heard, where they will want to record histories and experiences which a tv programmme or a film cannot adequately cover and these will be in demand by their own people as well as those in other countries.

Final point, how can you ever stop a writer from wanting to write? As long as good writers write, we will have books.

GT

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 Post subject: Why write?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2008 7:26 am 
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I write because I won't "shut-up". When I write, no one interrupts a train of thought. I write because it is my "path".

I write because I'm afraid to say some things out loud.
Real Live Preacher

:?:


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2008 1:29 pm 
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Literature and cinema are different art forms in their own right and have their own things to take from them. Films give you things that you cannot get from a novel. Novels give you things that you cannot get from a film. Both can be appreciated in their own right and should not be compared.

The trouble is, people have lost the attention span needed for reading a novel. They can demand as much or as little from their audience as a film can, only a film can do it in 90 minutes, where as a novel takes a lot longer. Films are more accessable than novels.

Keep writing, even if its for your own pleasure.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 9:30 am 
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I like the idea of creating your own world. Building every block, person and idea that exists. It is a fantastic way to let the mind glide.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:05 am 
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Why people still read novels... the reason is simple.... you have the remote in your hand... you are in control.... sit or lay down ... relax and read with silence and no sound polution or harmful rays of TV or laptops... taking your own sweet time....

Why people still write novels..... we dream alot and have alot of un fullfilled imaginations that we love to share with everyone... so we pen them down creatively...

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2008 8:14 am 
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Imagination.

quite simple really. writing allows you to express yourself and allows your reader to create their own 'movie' around your words.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 1:26 pm 
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Greetings people,

As you can see, I was away for "awhile." Yet, I am greatly encouraged by the responses that I received to my post. Thank you Gumtree for your most excellent response. Personally, I truly feel that reading books will always be in style. Reading books have always been a mainstay of civilization for thousands of years. Few other activities have enjoyed such worldwide acceptance and popularity as reading a book.

With all due respect, I would like to mention two other things. First, you never have to worry about a battery going dead while reading a book. Finally, virtually every movie made and every computer game ever created was the result of someone having to read a book or a manuscript.


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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 3:43 pm 
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I don't write.... There's not the tiniest smidgen of creative talent in me, but I love to read.

And not all the younger generation eschews reading. My 15 year old daughter loves to read. To the exclusion of nearly everything else. She loathes tv and only rarely can be convinced to watch a movie with us... and she's been this way for as long as she's been able to read.

She and I both hope that writers keep writing. With a book we can project ourselves into the story in a way that's just not possible with tv and/or movies. WE become the protagonist when we read. It becomes OUR story... we aren't just bystanders watching the action unfold.

So from all us readers to all you writers:

Thank you and please don't stop.

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