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Author Topic: Adults should read actual literature  (Read 55883 times)
baleful_regards
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« Reply #225 on: April 28, 2012, 5:50:17 PM »

I do admit this:  I read House of the Seven Gables as a Classics Illustrated comic.

Ha!  I first read Huckleberry Finn and The Red Badge of Courage in comic-book form.

Actually, they have been publishing some very nice versions of "classics" in graphic novel form. BalefulTeen has read a couple of them ( when I was volunteering in the children's library here).

Obviously they are abridged, but anything that gets story in the hands of an audience is all right by me.
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systeme_d_
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« Reply #226 on: April 28, 2012, 6:33:58 PM »

Classics Illlustrated!

I loved 'em!
« Last Edit: April 28, 2012, 6:35:24 PM by systeme_d_ » Logged

merce
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« Reply #227 on: April 28, 2012, 6:54:46 PM »



In case anyone was wondering for how long I've been this uppity about what people should be reading:
I remember these. I didn't like the illustrations.
My distaste for cartoons, graphic novels, comics, etc. is longstanding.
I was born an uppity, bitter, old lady.
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walker_percy
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« Reply #228 on: April 28, 2012, 7:13:14 PM »

I don't listen to audiobooks myself, but I'm not understanding the dismissive attitude some people have towards them. We've always, as a family, read aloud for entertainment, long past the time when everyone could read for themselves. The kids are in fact now away most of the time at university, and I still read aloud to my husband.

Experiencing books by listening to them has a very long history, one that's not necessarily correlated to literacy or a lack of it. When Pandarus finds Criseyde and her ladies reading aloud from a book of romance, it doesn't mean that no one in Chaucer's England could read. When Marianne criticizes Edward's reading of poetry in Sense and Sensibility, she's going after his style, not his literacy; for her, true appreciation of the poetry would be revealed by the manner of reading aloud (now, Marianne's a nitwit, but the point is that in Austen's day, too, reading aloud is a standard practice). The Victorians read aloud as adults, too. And then there was the heyday of radio drama, some of it based, yes, on books one could otherwise read silently.

I love to read all by myself, but there's nothing lesser (or new) about listening to books.


Cuban cigar factories had readers reading to rollers to pass the time.
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11thfloor
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« Reply #229 on: April 28, 2012, 8:05:17 PM »

While I have nothing against audiobooks, being able to reread a passage when I say, "what?", and focus on the words at my pace means I retain much more by reading the book than when I hear the book.

I feel the same way.  Having the power to move back and forth and to reread passages is part of what I love about reading. 

Gee, if only someone would invent some kind of "fast-forward" or "rewind" mechanism for CDs and digital audio! ;)


Audiobooks of The Three Little Pigs, maybe. Or The Very Hungry Caterpillar.   

Are you just dismissing the whole audiobook concept? See, from your written words it looks that way, but there's an outside chance that you're not, which would be nice. If I heard you say it out loud, I could tell whether or not you were enthusiastically supporting audiobooks for children or whether you were just being a ... well, never mind.

VP


I wasn't dismissing audio-books, I just had Larryc's original objection to children's literature for grownups in mind.  I was assuming posters who were writing in defence of reading children's books and had somehow got on to defending audio-books might enjoy The Hungry Caterpillar - otherwise it seems rather an irrelevant digression! 
Although quite interesting in relation to the question of whether it is worthwhile reading anything just so as to be reading - does the audiobook count, in which case it can't be about reading for grammar and the look of punctuation on the page? 
 
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baleful_regards
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« Reply #230 on: April 28, 2012, 8:58:58 PM »

Quote
Although quite interesting in relation to the question of whether it is worthwhile reading anything just so as to be reading - does the audiobook count, in which case it can't be about reading for grammar and the look of punctuation on the page? 
 


One of the things I have always told adults readers ( to children) is that part of what we are modelling is syntax, pace, expression, the use of voice in dramatic fashion.

You can hear punctuation in audio books ( or indeed in any aural literary experience) much as you learn to "hear" syntax in choral arrangements.

BalefulTeen has the most wonderful reading (out loud) style and despite other educational challenges, her comprehension and reading levels have always been several grade levels above her age. I firmly believe that having books read to her from infancy - as well as listening to high quality audio books - has developed her ear to nuance in written words.

You can't imagine how painful it is to hear a child read when they have no mental construction for how words sound in flow. I've had children whose parents pushed a phonics program in isolation and while they could decode the word through phonemes, there was no fluidity in the words they read. 

Part of that whole "read 20 minutes a day to your child" agenda is to have children hear an adult reading in order to connect sound and word.
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aandsdean
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« Reply #231 on: April 28, 2012, 9:11:13 PM »

Quote
Although quite interesting in relation to the question of whether it is worthwhile reading anything just so as to be reading - does the audiobook count, in which case it can't be about reading for grammar and the look of punctuation on the page?  
  


One of the things I have always told adults readers ( to children) is that part of what we are modelling is syntax, pace, expression, the use of voice in dramatic fashion.

You can hear punctuation in audio books ( or indeed in any aural literary experience) much as you learn to "hear" syntax in choral arrangements.

BalefulTeen has the most wonderful reading (out loud) style and despite other educational challenges, her comprehension and reading levels have always been several grade levels above her age. I firmly believe that having books read to her from infancy - as well as listening to high quality audio books - has developed her ear to nuance in written words.

You can't imagine how painful it is to hear a child read when they have no mental construction for how words sound in flow. I've had children whose parents pushed a phonics program in isolation and while they could decode the word through phonemes, there was no fluidity in the words they read.  

Part of that whole "read 20 minutes a day to your child" agenda is to have children hear an adult reading in order to connect sound and word.

One of the absolute best strategies for teaching composition is to insist that students read their prose aloud.  They can hear the (lack of) rhythm, stumble over awkward sentences, etc.  A well-read, reasonably well-written audiobook has the advantage of demonstrating what literate prose actually sounds like.  This is priceless for learning to write.

Don't scoff.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2012, 9:11:55 PM by aandsdean » Logged

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eulerian_ta
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« Reply #232 on: April 28, 2012, 9:28:32 PM »

You know, I wonder if during Shakespeare's time the same type of snobbery you see from Joel Stein in this article existed....   Oh, silly me, of course it didn't.  Your average 16th century English peasant who watched the plays in the Globe Theatre was surely more educated and literate of worldly things and more capable of recognizing real literature than your average 21st century American.

And on the subject of arrested development of sophisticated taste in art,  what's with all of the gen X'ers and their taste in music?  Don't they know groups like Pink Floyd, the Sex Pistols, and Led Zeppelin are all producers of "young adult music"?  Stop listening to that tripe and pick up some Bach, John Williams, and Tchaikovsky right now!
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aandsdean
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« Reply #233 on: April 28, 2012, 9:30:55 PM »

You know, I wonder if during Shakespeare's time the same type of snobbery you see from Joel Stein in this article existed....   Oh, silly me, of course it didn't.  Your average 16th century English peasant who watched the plays in the Globe Theatre was surely more educated and literate of worldly things and more capable of recognizing real literature than your average 21st century American.

And on the subject of arrested development of sophisticated taste in art,  what's with all of the gen X'ers and their taste in music?  Don't they know groups like Pink Floyd, the Sex Pistols, and Led Zeppelin are all producers of "young adult music"?  Stop listening to that tripe and pick up some Bach, John Williams, and Tchaikovsky right now!

Shakespeare was just another playwright in his lifetime.  In other words, about the same status as tabloids have now.
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11thfloor
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« Reply #234 on: April 28, 2012, 10:08:21 PM »

I loved reading to my children.  I read to my son for hours some days.  We read classics like Treasure Island as well as Enid Blyton books and Harry Potter when it came out.  He had the most amazing ear for story telling when he was little, and wrote what I thought were extraordinarily poetic stories and songs.  He can't spell, or punctuate though, and he didn't learn to read until I finally worked through phonics with him.  He is coming over today for some grammar lessons.  He doesn't read much anymore either, though he used to read independently.  Maybe I should get him audio-books?  Or maybe it is fine for him to get his narrative fix through television and the movies.  Not even just his narrative fix either - I think what he loved most about The Wire was the poetry of the language. 
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collegekidsmom
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« Reply #235 on: April 29, 2012, 11:32:06 PM »

I'm sorry if I seemed dismissive of audiobooks when I brought this up. I have just noticed that in the particular book club to which I belong, I am one of the only ones left who actually "reads" the book. First a few people started singing the praises of using only audiobooks for pleasure "reading" and then it has become a situation where all of the members listen to the book. So, we get together and talk about the audio book. People used to bring a copy of the book, maybe marked up, then they started comparing ereaders, and now it is mostly discussion of listening to the book while driving.
From reading here and thinking about this more, I can see that listening to the book makes for a slightly different conversation including information about the narrator or presentation, but that this may be no big deal.  I always read the book as preparation for the meeting but maybe will take a break too and listen instead. The meeting today centered around a 700 page book. I had no time for this extra reading-and others at least got through it by listening. My whole book club just listens now.
I also read to my kids for hours, but then they moved to reading long books of their choosing, so I certainly wasn't commenting on kids listening to books read to them, or stories they might be able to listen to.




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daniel_von_flanagan
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« Reply #236 on: April 30, 2012, 12:44:37 AM »

And on the subject of arrested development of sophisticated taste in art,  what's with all of the gen X'ers and their taste in music?  Don't they know groups like Pink Floyd, the Sex Pistols, and Led Zeppelin are all producers of "young adult music"?  Stop listening to that tripe and pick up some Bach, John Williams, and Tchaikovsky right now!
I prefer Floyd and the Zep as graphic novels.  That way you can concentrate on the plot even if the lyrical structure is too difficult for you, and still get something out of the songs.

Side note: Gen X listens to music from the late 60s/early 70s?  I thought they were all about 80s stuff like Madonna, Duran Duran, and Dave Matthews. - DvF
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polly_mer
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« Reply #237 on: April 30, 2012, 7:49:01 AM »

Side note: Gen X listens to music from the late 60s/early 70s?  I thought they were all about 80s stuff like Madonna, Duran Duran, and Dave Matthews. - DvF

Nope.  Think about who got to control the radio and tape decks when we were kids.  Was it us?  Nope, we had to listen to what our parents and/or older siblings wanted.  We had no chance.  That's why to this day, I have a fondness for Tijuana Brass (my parents did not like the mainstream music of their age groups).
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oldfullprof
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« Reply #238 on: April 30, 2012, 10:10:13 AM »

We actually took the Tijuana Brass seriously in high school.  Other faves included "Please Mr. Custer," "Battle of New Orleans," and "Strangers on the Shore."  I can still remember Bobby Darin singing "Somewhere beyond the Sea..."  Some of these were a bit hincky when there was good rhythm and blues available, but they were good musically, some of them.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2012, 10:10:57 AM by oldfullprof » Logged

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« Reply #239 on: April 30, 2012, 10:12:03 AM »

Side note: Gen X listens to music from the late 60s/early 70s?  I thought they were all about 80s stuff like Madonna, Duran Duran, and Dave Matthews. - DvF

Aw, Gramps. Two outta three ain't bad!
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