Reading Matters by Emily Thorburn

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Reading Matters by Emily Thorburn

Post by the paperboy » Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:31 am

An article on the variety of important reasons why reading matters by Winterwind newcomer, Emily Thorburn

http://www.winterwind-productions.com/f ... g_matters/
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Re: Reading Matters by Emily Thorburn

Post by Joseph » Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:48 pm

I really like this piece, Emily. Being an avid reader helps. Books have been some of my best friends over the years. I rarely watch tele, preferring to read and in my younger days, when my friends were obsessed with going to the clubs every Friday and Saturday night I'd take a pass and stay home enjoying a good book.

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Re: Reading Matters by Emily Thorburn

Post by Gorth » Fri Aug 23, 2013 3:30 am

I'm probably not the best person to give an objective view on reading... for me it was not a hobby or an interest, but the only way to keep sane. Being a "gifted" child can be both curse and a blessing. Most of my childhood in primary school was spent in the school library, because the teachers couldn't offer me a challenge and I needed to use my brain. So, like some naughty kid, I was constantly sent to library to entertain myself while the other kids had class (since I had already done the assignments several months in advance) and I had a "demoralizing" effect on the other kids by finding everything easy. That was a long time ago and I'm told that they are better at developing programs for kids like me these days, 30-40 years later :)

I did become intimately familiar with libraries though, and read everything from Alistair McLean crime novels to 22 volume encyclopedias, working my way through the library over a period of a decade. I still fondly remember the characteristic smell of many books in one place.

These days I'm still an avid reader, although paper books have been reduced to intellectual "junk food" (paperback sci-fi and fantasy), but I still read more natural science and history than ever before. Now it's just easier to access over the internet instead of browsing through endless library cards in the filing cabinets to find interesting titles.

So yes, reading is good for more than one purpose. As entertainment, a time killer, an educational tool, a hobby or just a way to satisfy curiosity.
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Re: Reading Matters by Emily Thorburn

Post by Joseph » Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:26 am

Being a gifted kid is indeed a curse. My school years were almost exactly like yours. The exception being that, picking up easily on the social ostracisation I was encountering (after all, the only kids that like gifted are other gifted kids) I rebelled against the gifted program and became something of the class clown in an effort to appeal to both groups. I'll always remember my vice-principal in high school calling me in to the office and telling me he didn't know if I was the school's worst best student or the best worst student because he was having a hard time understanding how I could have the highest grades in the school one term and then the lowest with the highest absentee rate the very next.

Books, and then music, were my only constant friends.

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Re: Reading Matters by Emily Thorburn

Post by majestic » Fri Aug 23, 2013 12:03 pm

Reading sucks and is infintely inferior to my beloved moving pictures. I spent all my time watching TV and...


...who am I kidding. I used to read an awful lot, especially as a child, but almost always nonfiction, some of them books made for children in particular, some not. I still have many of those, one in particular - a huge (1000+ pages) compendium on the inner workings of things one uses daily (ball pens, matches, locks, etc.). Loved it to bits.

Oh, and weird how my own experience mirrors yours Joseph. I graduated as top of my class during the first 8 years of my education, and oh boy, was I "popular" back then. Being one of two pupils that had to wear glasses certainly didn't help. At some point a few classmates came up and asked how much of my free time I spend on studying. They had to study hard to get passing grades so they figured I'd study even more for my good grades.

So in my naiveté back then I thought they'd leave me alone if I explained to them that I don't study at all, because in their minds I was studying all the time and they thought studying was nerdy.

That backfired. In addition to being unpopular I was now a walking reminder of their inferiority because I enjoyed much more free time than they would ever have. I recognize that as jealousy and petty envy nowadays, but hey, as a kid? Nah. I loathed being the outsider.

So for the final 5 years of my education I made the choice to be more popular, and yeah, that involved having worse grades. Gee, I never became popular, but I was at least left alone. In hindisight, that was a stupid idea. One that luckily had no consequences, at least. I almost messed up in the last year, having 7 failed grades at the end of the first semester.

Oh, back on topic. The concept of reading for entertainment and not to discover new things is something I only picked up at the age of 20. So I have a bunch of mostly fantasy and sci-fi literature lying around in addition to all the nonfiction. There's something I still can't really do though and that's visualize what I read - or in other words use my "imagination" to actually create all the places and people I read in fictional stories.

It's not that I lack imagination per se, I can dream up my own stories and settings, often do. I also do a good deal of daydreaming - actually I always did. Heh. But imagining the story I'm reading? No... no, it just doesn't work that way. Not sure why.

edit:

Being a gifted child is only a curse while being a child. I derive an enormous amount of joy from actually being superior to those sad little bullies at school nowadays. :mrgreen:
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Re: Reading Matters by Emily Thorburn

Post by Joseph » Fri Aug 23, 2013 12:30 pm

I derive the same pleasure with one exception: The saying that the "A" student graduates and winds up working for the "C" student.

I don't know how true that is in Europe but over here it's true all too often.

Another part of my problem, and why I haven't done so well as an adult was that, with all my teachers telling me how bloody brilliant I was, I did become rather arrogant in my youth and just assumed everything would fall into place for me. Naturally, life doesn't work that way. And then there was my decision to focus more on music and martial arts than academics so when other kids were going to university and studying for a career I was busking and playing coffee shops and pubs and out in the woods meditating and doing my katas.

School was funny though, being brighter than those around me. Other kids would hand in their essays and papers and the policy over here was you handed in your rough draft, first draft and final copy. And it was supposed to be typed/printed all nice and neat. I'd hand in mine, just one draft, handwritten, often finished hurriedly during that class, handed in at the end and still have higher marks than everyone else.

Never got bullied though. I was big kid. Hit 6'2" when I was 14 and started studying martial arts, when I briefly reconnected with my father, shortly there after.

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Re: Reading Matters by Emily Thorburn

Post by Trailer Park Jesus » Mon Aug 26, 2013 12:53 pm

reading is good. pretty simple. i know people that are proud of being pretty much illiterate. wtf???

oh and nice to see i'm in a crowd of "gifted" people. raises my brain power just by association.
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Re: Reading Matters by Emily Thorburn

Post by Jez » Tue Aug 27, 2013 9:33 pm

I couldn't agree with you more, Emily -

What an inspiring morning moment; and I love the term 'metaphorical attic'!

Re: book clubs and the like, they really are vital cultural hubs, as well as acting as crucibles to develop a love of reading with others. Perhaps literature is the strongest social glue of all?

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Re: Reading Matters by Emily Thorburn

Post by Trailer Park Jesus » Mon Sep 02, 2013 3:05 pm

what's really great - three articles by three ladies at winterwind - all new comers - that's awesome

this place is growing. nice to see. though i miss trolling and spamming i vow to behave. at least when discussing the articles. :mrgreen:
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