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View Diary: A totally expected journey to the 7:45 showing of The Hobbit (35 comments)

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  •  Retired teacher here (11+ / 0-)

    Sad that many kids will flock to see the movie, but won't ever read the book.

    When the Harry Potter books first came out, we rejoiced to see so many 12 year olds reading 600 page books, but with time, as the movies came out more and more of them just watched the movies instead. Sigh.

    Good thing we've still got politics in Texas -- finest form of free entertainment ever invented.- Molly Ivins

    by loblolly on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 07:10:15 AM PST

    •  Meta-sad that we're now pining away... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lily O Lady, michaeloberg

      ...for a past in which kids read middlebrow fantasy novels.

      You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

      by Rich in PA on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 07:25:49 AM PST

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      •  Reading is reading. Our school district has (14+ / 0-)

        finally come to that conclusion.

        I managed to get a degree in English, but chose to read comic books as a child. After that, I read Middlebrow fantasy and science fiction.

        A kid who chooses to read a book, no matter how mundane, is doing it right.

        Take back the House in 2014!!!!!!!!!!!! (50 state strategy needed)

        by mungley on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 07:43:26 AM PST

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      •  I think we revere obscurity too much (5+ / 0-)

        and don't value the quality of writing that makes you want to turn the pages obsessively until there are no more pages. I don't think reading needs to be painful to be valuable.

        One of the things reading fiction does is develop empathy, as you find yourself in new places and different people and new situations. Books that we consider "classics" are probably less good at that than many contemporary pieces.

        Perhaps the real danger of too much TV is that can quench the native thirst we all have for storytelling before the habit of reading is fully developed.

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 09:03:18 AM PST

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      •  age appropriateness matters (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elfling, Caipirinha, alrdouglas, BYw, kurt

        when I was a kid I read a lot of middlebrow fantasy and scifi novels, and even more lowbrow fantasy and scifi novels (Xanth, the Stainless Steel Rat),  and I really enjoyed it  and got about as much out of it as one would expect.

        But, I also got ambitious and tried my hand at reading above my level (Don Quixote, Moby Dick, other classics).  I got some of the basic adventure plots, but the reading was slow due to the harder vocabulary and more complicated sentence structure and archaic styles, and I always felt like I was "missing something". Because I was. Maybe it was good practice for something, but it wasn't as much fun as the popcorn

        35+ years and a college degree since then, I've gone back to reading those "classics", and I can see... yeah, I missed a lot on the first attempts of Don Quixote and Moby Dick and Great Expectations, and yeah, Tolkien isn't the be-all end-all of English literature (but he's better than the haters give him credit for) and Xanth was light entertainment for a middle schooler in the first book and just crap in the sequels.

        BUT... I don't think I would have ever developed the ability to comprehend other books or any sense of literary taste had I not gotten all the practice reading that I got when reading the popcorn.  

        And hell, maybe if people lived to be 200 years old and could keep refining their reading abilities and literary tastes into extreme old age, maybe then we'd consider all the current "classics" to be childish pap.

    •  I don't think much is lost in the case of Tolkien. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Garrett

      I never drew any enjoyment from reading him; I felt he was much improved in the film treatment. Also wasn't really a big Harry Potter fan.

      Still think the approach, if you want to get people into writing, is Terry Pratchett's Discworld. It's among the few book series where I feel something -must- be lost in the transition from written word to silver screen, due to heavy dependence on the narrator. This is also true for Tolkien, granted, but I really hated his writing style...

      •  Love the Discworld novels. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        belinda ridgewood, ferg, BYw

        I've gotten a few of my friends into fantasy with them, especially "Hogfather" and "Going Postal".

        I do like Tolkien, but my gosh the man can go on for pages about trees, LOL.  We're planning a family movie day for the Hobbit, but we're also the family that took the 11 year old to the theatrical screenings of the LotR extended editions, which he adored (he even brought his toy Sting with him), so it's not too surprising.  :)

        Pity? It was pity that stayed Bilbo's hand. Many that live deserve death. Some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them, Frodo? Do not be too eager to deal out death and judgment. Even the very wise cannot see all ends.

        by talismanlangley on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 08:23:14 AM PST

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    •  And some are leaving movies for video games. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      loblolly, wader

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