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Why do people like to read novels?

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posted on Jul, 3 2016 @ 03:12 AM
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I have never read a novel that wasn't required for a class in school. Novel is synonymous with boring in my mind.

For instance, I recently started listening to the audiobook of "VALIS" by Philip K. Dick. I listened intently because I love Dick's work. However, what I heard was a meandering mess. How many detours can a novel take? I gave up around the fifth chapter. I wanted to hear of Dick's vision of his "Vast Active Living Intelligence System" but it was barely mentioned in the first five chapters. You know what was mentioned? Seemingly endless details that had nothing to do with the theme I was interested in.

That may be a bad example. I believe novels frequently end up being a meandering mess, however. What's enjoyable about that?

When I think of fiction, I want important themes to be explored so you can learn something significant from the story. I want that to be done as painlessly as possible. I consider a meandering story to be nothing but pain.




posted on Jul, 3 2016 @ 04:34 AM
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a reply to: Profusion

It is about meeting another mind. Then seeing another point of veiw. And seeing new laguage use. Novels helps one grow.

Try different generes. Try Christopher Moore for a laugh. Check out the Lit. forum for great ideas for what to read.

Don't give up just yet!




posted on Jul, 3 2016 @ 04:39 AM
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a reply to: Profusion

Because reality kind of sucks and people want an avenue to escape this fact.



posted on Jul, 3 2016 @ 05:06 AM
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a reply to: Profusion

Read Essays by Jean Michelle Montaigne. You will meet a modern person living in Renessance times (sp? Drunk...)

Will give more when not so late (and drunkies) but that is a great start.

Love,

-TEOT



posted on Jul, 3 2016 @ 05:22 AM
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a reply to: Profusion

Its a good way to fall asleep




posted on Jul, 3 2016 @ 05:46 AM
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a reply to: Profusion




I believe novels frequently end up being a meandering mess, however.


If you haven't read a novel since school, how would you know?

The beauty of a good novel is how it keys into the creative side of our personalities and temporarily severs us from the real world. It's escapism, but I believe it's much more than that. Novels can cultivate someone's imagination and potentially lead to changes in reality; it's what Brecht referred to as 'Life imitates Art.'

For example, some scientists were drawn to their careers by reading sci-fi and some became sci-fi authors to express their dreams. Then we have writers like Gogol and Kafka puncturing the Soviet system with absurd mockery or Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness lacerating the integrity of Western businesses in North and Central Africa. Fiction can change our understanding and interactions with reality.

A 'good' novel is anything that suits our individuality too. Harry Potter or those Twilight books are as fulfilling to their fans as any Post-Modern literary classic. I used to like James Lee Burke and there probably wasn't a saving grace in them aside from being great page-turners.

Incidentally, yeah, I agree that VALIS sucks.



posted on Jul, 3 2016 @ 06:26 AM
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A novel is simply a literary form. Most novels are not literature in the sense of what you read in high school. Your dime a dozen romances are actually novels.

Maybe you are complaining more about works that are considered literature, and well, not all of those will be to your taste. Generally literature is about a big idea or theme in ways you might not expect and it can time to develop that idea. Five chapters may only be scratching the surface. And with Philip K. Dick, the novels are usually less about the gross story and more about the underlying psychology of his characters.

That's what made Do Android's Dream of Electric Sheep? so good, not the surface story of chasing replicants, but the underlying psychology of the replicants themselves. THAT was the thriller in many ways.

So with this book, I expect you need to be looking at the introspective. How is this premise affecting Dick's characters' minds more than their day to day lives? What might the psychology of the VALIS be and how does that interact? And if that still doesn't flip some switches for you, then maybe this isn't the novel for you. I don't hear anyone talking about VALIS as a book club selection. Most of them read The Man in High Castle or Ubik when they go for Dick, assuming they aren't reading Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?.

And if that is too far, maybe you need to break yourself in with something more "pulp" to get a feel for reading novel-length stories again and then work yourself back into literature.



posted on Jul, 3 2016 @ 06:41 AM
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I have never read a novel that wasn't required for a class in school. Novel is synonymous with boring in my mind.

Reading isn't for everyone.


However, what I heard was a meandering mess. How many detours can a novel take?

What you consider detours, a meandering mess, could all be pathways to the end goal. Each bit holding an added detail that culminates into something glorious at the end. If I read a novel and it did NOT meander, it was basically "This is the protagonist. Oh, here they are meeting the antagonist. Battle ensues. Protagonist triumphs!" I would feel pretty let down.


What's enjoyable about that?

It's enjoyable for myself, personally, because I like to escape into other worlds. Each added "meandering" detail to the story, each chapter that holds more information about events, more information about the characters, the lore of the world... you fall into the story. You appreciate the story. Well, not "you" you, but the reader.

edit on 3 7 2016 by kaelci because: more detail.



posted on Jul, 3 2016 @ 08:11 AM
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originally posted by: Dark Ghost
a reply to: Profusion

Because reality kind of sucks and people want an avenue to escape this fact.


^^^^ this



posted on Jul, 3 2016 @ 08:25 AM
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It IS a great escape, plus you can get lost in a world of your choosing, go any place you like. I would be inclined to ask why people DON'T like reading novels



posted on Jul, 3 2016 @ 09:02 AM
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a reply to: Profusion

I am a huge fan of Philip K. Dick, and I have read VALIS a few times. What I find interesting though is that it was that book that seemed to drive you to ask the question "why do people like to read novels?" The self-doubting highly introspective narrator/protagonist, Horselover Fat, would probably have asked the same question about the novel he was producing with his own memoir.

Also, it is important to note that Dick was dealing with his own mental illness when writing the VALIS trilogy and some of that plays a major role in the novel. Sadly there is more biography in those books than DIck would have liked to admit.

If you have a distaste of meandering and details, then I would say that little of Dick's fiction is for you for even his short stories seem to wander around looking for little moments of details that will somehow come together in the last few sentences of the story to create a wonderful and enlighting twist to the overall narrative. This type of writing demands a lot of work from the reader and as others have more eloquently stated is not for everyone.

Perhaps I might suggest Kurt Vonnegut. Like all novels, he meanders some, but his wit is often spot on and he tends to focus on the story and not the details like Dick.

Anyway, give novels a chance, I am sure you will find something out there to read.




posted on Jul, 3 2016 @ 09:35 AM
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Well, Im reading a novel right now in a different language...Theyre great for vocab acquisition..
But I like to read for entertainment too.

I like how some authors describe things, people places. When you get vivid pictures painted in your mind, reading seems to be worthwhile..



posted on Jul, 3 2016 @ 11:38 AM
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a reply to: Profusion

Different strokes for different folks. Transformers could make a good series of novels...

The young man stood in horror as the mechanical monstrosity transformed into a fighter jet before his eyes. Peter watched on as the decepticons afterburners fired and suddenly he was met with conflicting thoughts; he was in awe of the marvel he just witnessed but he was also terrified of it's destructive capabilities.

And then you have Michael Bay's interpretation

EXPLOSIONS! CGI! MEGAN FOX! RINSE AND REPEAT FOR ANOTHER TWO MOVIES!

Many of the movies and TV shows you have seen would've been based on Novels. On rare occasions the 'visual' media is better than the novelization such as Fight Club but the drawback of the visual media is that it removes imagination and interpretation.


edit on 3-7-2016 by Thecakeisalie because: (no reason given)

edit on 3-7-2016 by Thecakeisalie because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 3 2016 @ 11:45 AM
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I like them for the reasons others have stated, also because novels are great for inner dialogue that doesn't translate well to the screen.



posted on Jul, 3 2016 @ 01:20 PM
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I also love reading novels, both pulp and literary, because authors can do things with the written word medium that visual media like television and movies just can't do.

The written word can take you a lot deeper into scenarios through description: word choice, turn of phrase, added information in the form of those meanderings you weren't fond of or back information (sometimes called info dumps).

For example, read a Lauren Hillenbrand novel like Seabiscuit or Unbroken and you not only get the raw narrative like the movie gives you, but she will also give you all kinds of interesting historical details the fill in the full historical context to the story. Seabiscuit was loaded with details about what life was like for a Depression era jockey, for example. And these are the things that a movie just really can't show you because there just isn't time in the script to fit it in properly. The closest they came was the bit about Red barely having food on his plate, but it couldn't nearly touch the full horror of that situation.

You can pick up all kinds of odd bits of knowledge along with an expanding vocabulary depending on what you read.



posted on Jul, 3 2016 @ 02:15 PM
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I think you may have a better chance finding what you want in short stories. I love short stories.

I think reading is good for the brain, the people I know who don't read suck at conversations.



posted on Jul, 3 2016 @ 07:09 PM
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I've always had the same question; I prefer reading voluminously for information (non-fiction) but almost all fiction just puts me to sleep or bores me. Since one only has so much free time, read what you like or get the most out of.



posted on Jul, 3 2016 @ 07:21 PM
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a reply to: Profusion

For me, novels are the expressions of our human past. I carry my Kindle with me everywhere, just in case I might be stuck somewhere, waiting for something or somebody. I can endure almost any waiting period if I have a book.

I have been in and out of the local hospital for the last two months. It is an exercise in waiting in This place, then waiting in That place, the getting to the treatment room (in my case for a change of unna boot/bandage). I can handle it, if I have my book.

Look at some of the classics. They are timeless and include history of the time in their works. I admit fully here that I've yet to finish Dumas's Count of Monte Cristo, but it's there when I want to "work" on it. Every time I think the novel is done and finished, it moves on to another place.



posted on Jul, 3 2016 @ 07:33 PM
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I can't let it go at that. I think of all the great novels I've read, and it makes me hunger for more. There is SO much out there:

Atlas Shrugged - Any Rand. Wonderful.
To Kill a Mockingbird -- Harper Lee.
1984 - George Orwell -- re-reading that right now.
Native Son - Richard Wright
Illusions - Richard Bach -- this novel actually influenced me.
One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest - Ken Kesey
Sometimes a Great Notion - Ken Kesey
A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
Animal Farm -- George Orwell
The Iliad and The Odyssey -- Homer

That's just off the top of my head. I'm sure that I've disremembered the titles of FAR more books that I've read that I've just now recalled. These are the expressions of our existence. They really matter.



posted on Jul, 3 2016 @ 09:50 PM
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originally posted by: SentientCentenarian
I've always had the same question; I prefer reading voluminously for information (non-fiction) but almost all fiction just puts me to sleep or bores me. Since one only has so much free time, read what you like or get the most out of.


I like non-fiction too, but sometimes, I need the creative/speculative bent of fiction.

It's a useful skill to be able to read both.



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