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(Easton Star Democrat)   George Will explains, "What we lost when we stopped binge reading." TL;DR   (stardem.com) divider line
    More: Misc, Reading, Adam Garfinkle, George Will, The Reader, Literacy, Erosion of Deep Literacy, Populism of the illiberal nationalist kind, social skills  
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874 clicks; posted to Geek » on 19 Apr 2020 at 5:00 PM (10 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2020-04-19 2:09:53 PM  
He explained why the politicians are idiots now. I skimmed the article to get that.
 
2020-04-19 2:19:16 PM  
George Will has to be the last real conservative left.
 
2020-04-19 2:29:41 PM  

cretinbob: George Will has to be the last real conservative left.


Probably. And not everyone has stopped binge reading, it's a lifelong habit for some of us.
 
2020-04-19 2:34:06 PM  

lindalouwho: cretinbob: George Will has to be the last real conservative left.

Probably. And not everyone has stopped binge reading, it's a lifelong habit for some of us.


That's why your on Fark and not in the WH.
 
2020-04-19 2:57:47 PM  
Obviously less people read when they have TV shows to watch because some people never cared for reading anyway but had nothing else to do. Personally i don't read as many books anymore because i listen to audiobooks as i can listen to them while driving, working, jogging, or cleaning the house.
 
2020-04-19 3:03:48 PM  

Anenu: Obviously less people read when they have TV shows to watch because some people never cared for reading anyway but had nothing else to do. Personally i don't read as many books anymore because i listen to audiobooks as i can listen to them while driving, working, jogging, or cleaning the house.


I think audio books still count. As far as what they bring to the listener, it's the same as reading except for having the spelling of a word new to you.
 
2020-04-19 3:29:20 PM  
Ok, Boomer.

Wait, it was the boomers who put us in front of the TV when we were toddlers in the first place.
 
2020-04-19 3:31:05 PM  
One of the "smartest" conservatives. Still a moron.
 
2020-04-19 3:31:05 PM  
Will forgets that in the age when novels were popular entertainments, many if not most were not written to be read from cover to cover in one sitting. Dickens' works, originally serialized in magazines where readers would get to see one chapter an issue, are good examples of this.

Modern readers have much less patience for writers who never use one word where twenty will do just because they're paid by the word and they have no incentive to get to the point. If a limited word count negatively impacts Will's bank balance, too bad for Will.
 
2020-04-19 3:45:43 PM  

Anenu: Obviously less people read when they have TV shows to watch because some people never cared for reading anyway but had nothing else to do. Personally i don't read as many books anymore because i listen to audiobooks as i can listen to them while driving, working, jogging, or cleaning the house.


When I was growing up, we rarely simply sat glued to the TV.  We'd generally be doing stuff while we watched -- including reading.
 
2020-04-19 3:48:13 PM  
I remember hearing about how much more well read millennials were than us Gen-Xers because they read all those 1,000 page Harry Potter books. So are their kids idiots like us?
 
2020-04-19 4:00:32 PM  
Will is one of those conservatives allergic to googling. And I refuse to believe he reads very much other than D'nesh D'Souza and Charles Murray--if that.
 
2020-04-19 4:04:32 PM  
The value of what was lost is directly proportionate to the value of what was being read in the first place.
 
2020-04-19 4:10:12 PM  

cretinbob: George Will has to be the last real conservative left.


George Will isn't a conservative. He's a rich liberal's idea of what a conservative should be like, and his media role is to provide a fantasy opposition rich liberals can spar with in genteel debate.
 
2020-04-19 4:10:30 PM  
Deep reading, like deep writing, is difficult, hence unnatural

WTF?

This guy needs to be put out to pasture.
 
2020-04-19 4:12:49 PM  

MikeyFuccon: Dickens' works, originally serialized in magazines where readers would get to see one chapter an issue, are good examples of this.


Radio, and then television, were lifted directly from this model.

90% of everything is crap, and that includes written material.
 
2020-04-19 4:19:48 PM  

Mugato: Ok, Boomer.

Wait, it was the boomers who put us in front of the TV when we were toddlers in the first place.


That's because the boomers were put in front of the TV when they were kids, so that's what they know.
 
2020-04-19 4:28:14 PM  

pkjun: cretinbob: George Will has to be the last real conservative left.

George Will isn't a conservative. He's a rich liberal's idea of what a conservative should be like, and his media role is to provide a fantasy opposition rich liberals can spar with in genteel debate.


You're confusing conservative with neoconservative.
 
2020-04-19 4:36:35 PM  
"I wrote this book about why you should read more books. So trust me...read it!"
 
2020-04-19 4:41:24 PM  
If you don't teach your kids that reading is cool, and more importantly, if they don't see you reading, then they will likely not be readers.

I'm glad to see that George Will has finally come around to John Waters' viewpoint.

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-04-19 4:49:30 PM  

hubiestubert: If you don't teach your kids that reading is cool, and more importantly, if they don't see you reading, then they will likely not be readers.

I'm glad to see that George Will has finally come around to John Waters' viewpoint.

[Fark user image 500x442]


Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-04-19 4:54:29 PM  

lindalouwho: Anenu: Obviously less people read when they have TV shows to watch because some people never cared for reading anyway but had nothing else to do. Personally i don't read as many books anymore because i listen to audiobooks as i can listen to them while driving, working, jogging, or cleaning the house.

I think audio books still count. As far as what they bring to the listener, it's the same as reading except for having the spelling of a word new to you.


I'm way too loopy recovering from what I'm pretty sure is mild CV, so I'll just say that there are some classical works in the humanities and philosophy that might be complicated and nuanced enough that they need to really be read.

Audio won't help you, you need a quiet place where you can read for a few hours, notice a trend, flip back 100 pages, have an "a ha!" moment, take notes, etc.

OTOH there are plenty of lengthy works which could be closely cut..

One of the problems when it comes from translations into English is that the translators seldom want to potentially be blamed for editorializing, so when in doubt they normally include everything.
 
2020-04-19 5:07:34 PM  
He's a good looking man.
 
2020-04-19 5:11:46 PM  

Mugato: Ok, Boomer.

Wait, it was the boomers who put us in front of the TV when we were toddlers in the first place.


Nope. It was the boomers who were first put in front of the TV as toddlers.
 
2020-04-19 5:14:12 PM  

MikeyFuccon: Modern readers have much less patience for writers who never use one word where twenty will do just because they're paid by the word and they have no incentive to get to the point. don't like long reads.


If a limited word count negatively impacts Will's bank balance, too bad for Will.


George Will doesn't get paid by the word.
 
2020-04-19 5:25:07 PM  
Yeah, then we could all be as wise and learned as George farking Will
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-04-19 5:29:08 PM  

hubiestubert: If you don't teach your kids that reading is cool, and more importantly, if they don't see you reading, then they will likely not be readers.

I'm glad to see that George Will has finally come around to John Waters' viewpoint.

[Fark user image image 500x442]


So true.  Unfortunately, I'm the Kindle age, it's hard to tell.  Most of my books are in storage because I got tired of moving them.  I'm about 50% Kindle/50% physical book now.

I was an early and voracious reader and was trying to get Naido Jr interested when he was very young, and it wouldn't take.  Then I realized that no one *tried* to get me interested.  As long as I wasn't raising too much hell, my grandparents and mother would ignore me and read a book.  So naturally I wanted to see what they were up to.

That kind of thing is seen as anathema today; I didn't feel like I could just seem to ignore my then-toddler.  But I did it and not only did it work, it was great for my mental health.

TLJ;dr:  you're absolutely right: do the thing that you want your kids to do.  Pretty obvious in retrospect.
 
2020-04-19 5:32:55 PM  

hubiestubert: If you don't teach your kids that reading is cool, and more importantly, if they don't see you reading, then they will likely not be readers.

I'm glad to see that George Will has finally come around to John Waters' viewpoint.

[Fark user image 500x442]


I have this on my bookcase just for the lols it brings. Of course I bought it when I saw it for $2.

i.gr-assets.comView Full Size


/aliens vs. vampires, government conspiracies, sarcastic detective noir, hookers, dame(s) in distress, nudist resorts, sex positions and Florida
 
2020-04-19 5:36:37 PM  

wiredroach: MikeyFuccon: Modern readers have much less patience for writers who never use one word where twenty will do just because they're paid by the word and they have no incentive to get to the point. don't like long reads.


If a limited word count negatively impacts Will's bank balance, too bad for Will.

George Will doesn't get paid by the word.


Okay, you got me :)
 
2020-04-19 5:59:35 PM  
He might want to stop accepting that as a young person problem and take a look at the illiterate older morons in this country.
 
2020-04-19 6:06:59 PM  

Xanadone: Anenu: Obviously less people read when they have TV shows to watch because some people never cared for reading anyway but had nothing else to do. Personally i don't read as many books anymore because i listen to audiobooks as i can listen to them while driving, working, jogging, or cleaning the house.

When I was growing up, we rarely simply sat glued to the TV.  We'd generally be doing stuff while we watched -- including reading.


The spouse does lots of things when watching TV.

Then he comes back and asks a dozen questions about the plotlines and new characters he missed while he was "multitasking".
 
2020-04-19 6:44:57 PM  
I never stopped.  The distaffbopper is always complaining about me having books all over the place.
 
2020-04-19 6:47:12 PM  

lindalouwho: Anenu: Obviously less people read when they have TV shows to watch because some people never cared for reading anyway but had nothing else to do. Personally i don't read as many books anymore because i listen to audiobooks as i can listen to them while driving, working, jogging, or cleaning the house.

I think audio books still count. As far as what they bring to the listener, it's the same as reading except for having the spelling of a word new to you.


Rubbish.

If content and not delivery is what matters, then reading doesn't matter at all.

Can I not challenge my mind with a puzzle video or one with ethical dilemmas? Or watch a documentary?

And reading can be garbage fiction. You get no more out of reading a book with Fabio on the cover than I get playing Wizards and Warriors 2, probably less.

I guess I'm just saying I don't get the fetishising of reading, and those who push it are rarely the deep thinkers they pretend reading makes them.


I've read hundreds of books, I'll be honest I haven't read more than a couple a year this decade though. I think reading is an excellent skill to have to succeed in life and if I ever have a kid I'll definitely push it.

Used to be you almost always got a better story from books than video, but with modern serials I don't that's true anymore. Cutting things for time are becoming less and less a priority.
 
2020-04-19 6:51:06 PM  

MikeyFuccon: wiredroach: MikeyFuccon: Modern readers have much less patience for writers who never use one word where twenty will do just because they're paid by the word and they have no incentive to get to the point. don't like long reads.


If a limited word count negatively impacts Will's bank balance, too bad for Will.

George Will doesn't get paid by the word.

Okay, you got me :)


No he didn't. A long winded writer doesn't have to be paid by the word in order for word count to affect his income due to impatient readers.
 
2020-04-19 7:19:54 PM  

Smackledorfer: lindalouwho: Anenu: Obviously less people read when they have TV shows to watch because some people never cared for reading anyway but had nothing else to do. Personally i don't read as many books anymore because i listen to audiobooks as i can listen to them while driving, working, jogging, or cleaning the house.

I think audio books still count. As far as what they bring to the listener, it's the same as reading except for having the spelling of a word new to you.

Rubbish.

If content and not delivery is what matters, then reading doesn't matter at all.

Can I not challenge my mind with a puzzle video or one with ethical dilemmas? Or watch a documentary?

And reading can be garbage fiction. You get no more out of reading a book with Fabio on the cover than I get playing Wizards and Warriors 2, probably less.

I guess I'm just saying I don't get the fetishising of reading, and those who push it are rarely the deep thinkers they pretend reading makes them.


I've read hundreds of books, I'll be honest I haven't read more than a couple a year this decade though. I think reading is an excellent skill to have to succeed in life and if I ever have a kid I'll definitely push it.

Used to be you almost always got a better story from books than video, but with modern serials I don't that's true anymore. Cutting things for time are becoming less and less a priority.


Opinions, we all got 'em.
 
2020-04-19 8:13:22 PM  

Mugato: Ok, Boomer.

Wait, it was the boomers who put us in front of the TV when we were toddlers in the first place.


They take no responsibility.
 
2020-04-19 8:57:22 PM  

ruudbob: He explained why the politicians are idiots now. I skimmed the article to get that.


I hadn't thought of it that way, but it's not a bad summary.

What it's really about is why the people who vote for politicians are idiots now, whether they live in a 900K condo in San Francisco or a 250K duplex in Kansas.

IF the people who vote for politicians are idiots, you have to get lucky to have a smart one - it's worse than H.L. Mencken could have imagined now.
 
2020-04-19 9:01:04 PM  

Mugato: Ok, Boomer.

Wait, it was the boomers who put us in front of the TV when we were toddlers in the first place.


It may surprise you to learn that not all old people are boomers and not all young people are millenials.  Weird, I know!
 
2020-04-19 9:01:49 PM  

Smackledorfer: If content and not delivery is what matters, then reading doesn't matter at all.


The problem with audiobooks is 2-fold:
1.) I always listen to them while I'm doing something else.
2.) It's hard to go back and get your head around something that challenges your brain, the way you can with a book or e-reader, which allow for making connections rapidly, visually..

Still, even if audiobooks were the same, the content is a BOOK.  So you are still reading in that sense, and there are only two delivery systems, text and audio (plus Braille for the blind).  So instead of hairsplitting, you should compare it to a completely different medium such as television.
 
2020-04-19 9:02:13 PM  

Anenu: Obviously less people read when they have TV shows to watch because some people never cared for reading anyway but had nothing else to do. Personally i don't read as many books anymore because i listen to audiobooks as i can listen to them while driving, working, jogging, or cleaning the house.


I mean, back in the day, tv straight up went off the air after Carson and maybe the late movie, until the farm report at 5am, so if you wanted to fill the hours, reading it was.
 
2020-04-19 9:04:26 PM  

MikeyFuccon: Will forgets that in the age when novels were popular entertainments, many if not most were not written to be read from cover to cover in one sitting. Dickens' works, originally serialized in magazines where readers would get to see one chapter an issue, are good examples of this.

Modern readers have much less patience for writers who never use one word where twenty will do just because they're paid by the word and they have no incentive to get to the point. If a limited word count negatively impacts Will's bank balance, too bad for Will.


Maybe I'm misreading but Dickens wrote like he was being paid by the word. In fact most of the 19th century novelists do, unfortunately loving before movies and television gave a visual shorthand instead of having to tediously describe every stone and flower around the estate of Madam M-
 
2020-04-19 9:35:39 PM  
"Writing will create forgetfulness in the learners' souls, because they will not use their memories; they will trust to the external written characters and not remember of themselves. The specific which you have discovered is an aid not to memory, but to reminiscence, and you give your disciples not truth, but only the semblance of truth; they will be hearers of many things and will have learned nothing; they will appear to be omniscient and will generally know nothing; they will be tiresome company, having the show of wisdom without the reality."

- Socrates
 
2020-04-19 10:03:39 PM  

ruudbob: lindalouwho: cretinbob: George Will has to be the last real conservative left.

Probably. And not everyone has stopped binge reading, it's a lifelong habit for some of us.

That's why your on Fark and not in the WH.


you have to be a good clown to be in the WH.

by the time a politician gets to the level of running for president, he's been bought ten times over.  ---Gore Vidal
 
2020-04-19 10:05:10 PM  

AppleOptionEsc: Mugato: Ok, Boomer.

Wait, it was the boomers who put us in front of the TV when we were toddlers in the first place.

They take no responsibility.


the plug in baby sitter.
 
2020-04-19 10:14:17 PM  

Linux_Yes: the plug in baby sitter.


Benjamin Spock called TV the third parent.

Harlan Ellison called it the glass teat.
 
2020-04-19 10:34:35 PM  

SomeAmerican: "Writing will create forgetfulness in the learners' souls, because they will not use their memories; they will trust to the external written characters and not remember of themselves. The specific which you have discovered is an aid not to memory, but to reminiscence, and you give your disciples not truth, but only the semblance of truth; they will be hearers of many things and will have learned nothing; they will appear to be omniscient and will generally know nothing; they will be tiresome company, having the show of wisdom without the reality."

- Socrates


"All we are is dust in the wind. Dude".

- Bill S. Preston, ESQ and Ted "Theodore" Logan
 
2020-04-19 10:40:54 PM  

Practical_Draconian: hubiestubert: If you don't teach your kids that reading is cool, and more importantly, if they don't see you reading, then they will likely not be readers.

I'm glad to see that George Will has finally come around to John Waters' viewpoint.

[Fark user image 500x442]

I have this on my bookcase just for the lols it brings. Of course I bought it when I saw it for $2.

[i.gr-assets.com image 264x400]

/aliens vs. vampires, government conspiracies, sarcastic detective noir, hookers, dame(s) in distress, nudist resorts, sex positions and Florida


It's on my ever-growing pending stack too. I paid a princely $6, but the author autographed it at a local comic con. The title sold me, too.

Reading is pretty different than watching TV or even live theater. The minimal input of text seems to engage my brain much more deeply as I do lots of the story-telling work translating the words into mental images and sounds. I never get "lost" in a film like I do with a decent book.
 
2020-04-20 12:05:43 AM  
the thin thinking of a political class of non-deep readers who are comfortable only with the shallowness of tweets

This entire article's premise comes tumbling down. The 'political class' they are talking about are old people whose brains were wired in the days before the digital devices of today. Trump uses Twitter like Batman uses darkness, not like Bane does. Trump thinks Twitter is an ally but he merely adopted Twitter. Today's young people are the ones who were born in it, molded by it.
 
2020-04-20 1:38:03 AM  
There's nothing quite like getting a new book and tearing through it in the next 24 to 48 hours. It's much harder to do these days, with work and such, but binge reading lives on.

Of course, I listen to audio books a lot more now, since they can be listened to during my commute or while I'm doing data entry.
 
2020-04-20 4:37:59 AM  

OccamsWhiskers: Practical_Draconian: hubiestubert: If you don't teach your kids that reading is cool, and more importantly, if they don't see you reading, then they will likely not be readers.

I'm glad to see that George Will has finally come around to John Waters' viewpoint.

[Fark user image 500x442]

I have this on my bookcase just for the lols it brings. Of course I bought it when I saw it for $2.

[i.gr-assets.com image 264x400]

/aliens vs. vampires, government conspiracies, sarcastic detective noir, hookers, dame(s) in distress, nudist resorts, sex positions and Florida

It's on my ever-growing pending stack too. I paid a princely $6, but the author autographed it at a local comic con. The title sold me, too.

Reading is pretty different than watching TV or even live theater. The minimal input of text seems to engage my brain much more deeply as I do lots of the story-telling work translating the words into mental images and sounds. I never get "lost" in a film like I do with a decent book.


I bought the author's other books after reading the Undead Kama Sutra (fun stupid read, plus I enjoyed the pulp novels that came from Vampire the Masquerade in the '90s), spending a bit more than $2 though. Came at a time when I couldn't play video games for a few years (hand surgery) so I was reading a lot. Also kept my mind off wanting more painkillers; glad I didn't get addicted.

Those other books ... couldn't finish. Like watching a .198 baseball player striking out badly, but you recall he hit a game-winning homer in a memorable July game you just went out on a whim for and that's why he sticks in your mind.
 
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