Random Written Word thoughts

Post your thoughts on books, short stories, comics, or any other form of written word.
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Glenn
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Re: Random Written Word thoughts

Postby Glenn » Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:46 am

Anytime i really enjoy and author's work I try and send them an email explaining what I thought was great about it.

I feel like to many people only saying something if they didn't like it. I always get a thoughtful response back.

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Re: Random Written Word thoughts

Postby McNutcase » Mon May 21, 2018 8:09 pm

Games Workshop are launching a new line of children’s books in the Warhammer 40k and Age of Sigmar universes. What.
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Re: Random Written Word thoughts

Postby clintmemo » Tue May 22, 2018 6:38 am

McNutcase wrote:Games Workshop are launching a new line of children’s books in the Warhammer 40k and Age of Sigmar universes. What.



Well, if it gets kids to read...?
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Re: Random Written Word thoughts

Postby McNutcase » Tue Oct 30, 2018 12:27 am

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Re: Random Written Word thoughts

Postby tombombodil » Tue Oct 30, 2018 1:06 am

clintmemo wrote:
McNutcase wrote:Games Workshop are launching a new line of children’s books in the Warhammer 40k and Age of Sigmar universes. What.



Well, if it gets kids to read...?


That's always struck me as an extremely flaccid defense for pablum pop-lit. Do kids all under-go mandatory lobotomies? Kids can, should, and do read stuff that's far more enriching and sophisticated than 90% of the crap that's written "for" them.

Whenever I talk about how the harry potter books are extremely derivative, shallow, inconsistent, and boring in dispassionate terms that are moderately difficult to refute in any kind of objective way that's the response that gets wheeled out and I can't help but think "what kind of defense is that? We don't need to pander to kids with flashy, tea-spoon shallow dross to 'get them to read'."

kids are infinitely smarter than most adults give them credit for and we're only doing them a disservice by assuming the only thing they will read is whatever popular thing all their friends are reading which is inevitably something like Percy Jackson or Harry Potter or The Hunger Games or Twilight, and that the reason that's all they'll read is because it's easily digestible, popular, and unchallenged. And definitely not because we as adults don't have the patience or desire actually teach children how wonderful books are and why reading stuff that's a little more involved than the latest world-wide best seller Young Adult novel is so so worth it.

Wow that really turned into a rant huh. Well I guess this is the Random Written Word Thoughts thread :shrug:
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Re: Random Written Word thoughts

Postby clintmemo » Tue Oct 30, 2018 5:30 am

tombombodil wrote:
clintmemo wrote:
McNutcase wrote:Games Workshop are launching a new line of children’s books in the Warhammer 40k and Age of Sigmar universes. What.



Well, if it gets kids to read...?


That's always struck me as an extremely flaccid defense for pablum pop-lit. Do kids all under-go mandatory lobotomies? Kids can, should, and do read stuff that's far more enriching and sophisticated than 90% of the crap that's written "for" them.

Whenever I talk about how the harry potter books are extremely derivative, shallow, inconsistent, and boring in dispassionate terms that are moderately difficult to refute in any kind of objective way that's the response that gets wheeled out and I can't help but think "what kind of defense is that? We don't need to pander to kids with flashy, tea-spoon shallow dross to 'get them to read'."

kids are infinitely smarter than most adults give them credit for and we're only doing them a disservice by assuming the only thing they will read is whatever popular thing all their friends are reading which is inevitably something like Percy Jackson or Harry Potter or The Hunger Games or Twilight, and that the reason that's all they'll read is because it's easily digestible, popular, and unchallenged. And definitely not because we as adults don't have the patience or desire actually teach children how wonderful books are and why reading stuff that's a little more involved than the latest world-wide best seller Young Adult novel is so so worth it.

Wow that really turned into a rant huh. Well I guess this is the Random Written Word Thoughts thread :shrug:


Kids have to start somewhere and Moby Dick is probably not a good place to start. Think of Harry Potter is a gateway drug. Maybe they'll move on to something more challenging. Maybe they won't. That means some of them will and some of them won't. Even if they don't, it's better to have people read books than not, no matter how unoriginal the content.
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Re: Random Written Word thoughts

Postby Knaight » Tue Oct 30, 2018 3:23 pm

tombombodil wrote:Whenever I talk about how the harry potter books are extremely derivative, shallow, inconsistent, and boring in dispassionate terms that are moderately difficult to refute in any kind of objective way that's the response that gets wheeled out and I can't help but think "what kind of defense is that? We don't need to pander to kids with flashy, tea-spoon shallow dross to 'get them to read'."
...And definitely not because we as adults don't have the patience or desire actually teach children how wonderful books are and why reading stuff that's a little more involved than the latest world-wide best seller Young Adult novel is so so worth it.

Implicit in this argument is that there is no role for less involved fiction - that difficult reads are inherently better, that this is how it works for adults and we do a disservice to children by treating them differently. This is, to put it bluntly, horseshit. Entire genres have operated in flagrant defiance of this, starting with pulp, which is less a single genre and more a genre family. Adults routinely read stupid thrillers, and even literary fiction snobs read plenty of easily digested works that could be easily deemed garbage*.

Sometimes you want something complicated, and open up a book of french poetry, a classic centuries old, or some highly unorthodox piece of experimental writing that can't be read simply. Sometimes you want the literary equivalent of fast food, which explains a huge amount of writing for adults. Children's writing isn't some special exception here, but one that fits in that pattern.

*The single most insipid book I have ever read was literary fiction, and plenty of others that come in close are as well.
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Re: Random Written Word thoughts

Postby tombombodil » Tue Oct 30, 2018 3:33 pm

I have nothing wrong with popcorn media. And i disagree that it's implicit anywhere in my point.

I simply dislike that defense of it because that argument absolutely does implicitly insult the intelligence of the kids who "wouldn't read otherwise".

The purpose of popcorn literature is pretty clear: to be read when you feel like decompressing with something completely unchallenging.

It's primary purpose, in my opinion, shouldn't be to "get kids to read" because that's how we end up with so God damn much of it, and less good stuff gets printed.

Same with TV, if it wasn't for creators who respected their young audiences intelligence, we wouldn't have shows like Avatar the Last Airbender, Steven Universe, Adventure Time, or Samurai Jack.

Anyway my beef was strictly with that particular defense for bland pop-lit, especially since it is almost always wheeled out when a flaccid attempt at defending the books actual merit was made and easily rebutted.

Just say "sometimes I want to read bland pablam because life is hard and I don't always have the energy for something really emotionally involving." because that's what I say when people ask why I read Warhammer novels.


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Re: Random Written Word thoughts

Postby clintmemo » Tue Oct 30, 2018 4:58 pm

While "getting kids to raed" may not be it's primary purpose, to dismiss it as an advantage is wrong and elitest.
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Re: Random Written Word thoughts

Postby tombombodil » Tue Oct 30, 2018 11:04 pm

clintmemo wrote:While "getting kids to raed" may not be it's primary purpose, to dismiss it as an advantage is wrong and elitest.


I'm not saying they everyone needs to start with Machiavelli; there is TONS of absolutely fantastic fiction written for kids and targeted at that reading level. I've read lots of it. I'm talking about books I consider to be the literary equivalent of junk food. Junk food isn't a gate-way drug to a balanced diet, and reading and re-reading derivative tripe (which kids will absolutely do instead of moving on to other books) isn't going to effectively graduate kids into reading stuff that's actually fulfilling and enriching, or even just well written derivative pop-corn novels.
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