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May 30, 2008

Comments

Mindy Class

I've started and stopped 2 newspaper subscriptions in the last few years. Only subscribe to "This Old House" - more so for the pictures, for remodeling ideas. As far as books - I wonder if it's age, as well? I remember thinking I'd NEVER, no matter how bad, not finish a book, but it's *gasp* happened in recent years. My attention span isn't as good as it used to do, because I've got more going on. I don't have a lot of quiet time to just read without still monitoring what's going on around me. Those of you with kids will *really* understand what I mean. So maybe it's a bit of both - who knows? :D

Janelle

Hmmm....I think I went about the whole reading to internet thing the "wrong way"! I have NEVER been able to sit through a non-fiction book unless it was just written exceptionally well and had a great story told. In fact, the last nonfiction book I can remember making it through without a hitch was "My Life in the Sandbox" by Bea Chambers which I bought for my (military) husband and ended up reading myself, I know the author and she did an awesome job bringing the reader right into Iraq with her. (Mark, if you haven't read that one I HIGHLY recommend it!) Fiction on the other hand...well, let's just say between my husband and I, we have a medium sized library's worth of bookshelves STUFFED with books and we read...or at least he still does, I do good to squeeze one in every now and then, but once I start reading, I'm on the couch until the book is done.

So when the internet world got going, well, it added a non-fiction element to my life because I can get information so readily, and to the point!

Only problem with the internet is that it does not provide the kennel lining, finger paint barrier for the kitchen table and paper machette (sp?) strips for the kids that all those unread newspapers could have done...

Melanie

I have to agree about reading, the internet and attention spans. This topic actually has come up at least once before with one of the guys at church. I've thought a lot about it since. I seem to have a harder time focusing on anything in the last few years, but not sure if the internet is totally to blame for that one, although it probably does play a part. On the other hand, I only recently started appreciating fiction again through your book club, and prior to that read primarily non-fiction. I have never been so great at reading how-to's, though. LOL I like autobiographical books, books on apologetics, prolife books, true stories, insprational books (not particulary daily devotionals, as I seem to have a hard time reading them for some reason - maybe because they aren't my own?) etc. But I'm determined to read and have been doing better. I am currently reading The Pilgrim's Regress. A book that really holds my attention I can read rather quickly, but I do find I lose patience easily with more difficult books. Anway, once again another opportunity to thank you for broadening my horizons. Stick with the reading. I don't think you'll regret it.

Lisa

Ok. Glad I'm not the only one. I do not subscribe to the paper. Never have. I've had internet access in my home since college and can get all I need, news wise, from AJC.com, CNN.com, and a variety of other news sites. If it's a topic I'm very interested in, I have no problem staying with an article, regardless of the length. But, if it's a topic I'm marginally interested in, it better be quick and to the point, or I lose interest. I have a bad habit of not finishing non-fiction books, unless it's something I'm extremely interested in. Fiction I do OK with, but where I used to have a really long attention span, I find that is not quite so much the case. I am (or was) a bookworm and used to be able to pay attention to a good book for long stretches of time. Many times now though, my reading is done in lots of shorter bursts. The only exceptions I can think of are the Harry Potter books and books written by Brad Meltzer, Sophie Kinsella, and Dan Brown. Most of these are written in a quick, page-turning style, so it keeps me engaged. Books that are paced a little slower are the ones that I have a harder time focusing on.
Personally, I think there will always be a place for print media, particularly when it comes to fiction. It's a lot easier to curl up in a chair with a book than a computer. Also, computers, eBook devices, and other means of reading digital books do NOT mix with sand and water at the beach or pool.

Joan Young/Godgrl Gomer

I'm like you Mark, in that I relish the experience of 'curling up' with a good book. Its kind of sacred to me.
I am very old fashioned, especially for this age. With writing my own book, I like to write by hand. The feeling of pen on paper is precious to me. Also with reading my Bible. If I am writing an email or info to someone I find the Bible Gateway really handy. But more often than not, I have looked up the scriptures in my worn out Bible first. I need something to hold, the smell of the paper - something tangible.
I do enjoy blogging and I do like researching on the net. And like you, if something appears long, its gotta catch me immediately or I will just skip over it. However I am prepared to sit through a book - fiction or non fiction - and go through the pages to find what I am after.
On the whole, our attention spans are becoming zip. Its a real shame. Easily distracted means our focus isnt too concrete. In these Last Days, the Enemy is looking to distract us from what God would have us be doing. Its all intertwined. Like Jesus said...Can we not Watch for but one hour? These days we are lucky if we can focus for 5 minutes! Lord have mercy.

stephanie

O.K. Confession time....I read Fanfic. There are certain characters I find in fiction that I really, really like and I kind of "miss" them. For a while I was on this Patricia Cornwell kick and I had to get her books as soon as they came out to find out what crime Kay Scarpetta was solving next. So it was cool when I found a fanfic site that did mini stories geared in that same vein. It's not so long that I can't make time and even the longer ones come chapter at a time so you can get a limited dose and feel satisfied.

Jeff

oops, I meant the link below. (i.e. click my name.)

Jeff

I've been trying to wrap my brain around the whole thing myself. I know this is a can of worms, but there's even a whole modern/post modern thing going on. Modern writing worked its way up a heirarchy to this narrow, specific point. In blogging, the oppurtunity to chase links turns the reader from a passive object into a co-participant with the writing itself, and it gives us the option to kind of skate sideways, across writing, rather than working up to one specific point.

I totally agree with the question about blogging fiction. Since you broached the topic, I wonder if I can engage in a shameless piece of self-promotion. I'm percolating this idea for a cooperatively written fictional environment. My idea is that I'd focus a bit like a producer of a tv show, and utilize a blog as the home for a sort-of setting. I've got the beginnings of a plot worked out that impacts this whole town, so my hope is to attract people to populate this world.

Sometime in the summer I think this will begin. I'll announce it on my blog at the link above.

Mama Gomer

I've never been much of a reader. I try, but it's not often I'll actually finish a book. Mostly it's a time issue. I don't make the time for reading. I feel guilty if I sit down with a book for an hour. Since I've had the internet, I read a millions times more than I used to. And yes, it's all in short articles, which are able to keep my attention. The downside with doing all this reading on the computer is that my eyesight has degraded quicker than it would have had I been reading books.

Seth Reese

I have bought thousands of dollars of books over the past year. For that, I blame school. Most of my non-fiction is assigned in class. What isn't assigned I find through my interest in emerging Christianity and theology. Marcus Borg leads to Dom Crossan leads to Walter Brueggemann.
My fiction comes through my literature major types. Through them I get to Vonnegut, Bukowski, Kerouac and the like.
Magazine and news comes from the internet. That is my window to the world. It is also my first stop in any form of research. Google Scholar is a beautiful starting point for research and I am willing to admit that wikipedia is a major research tool, though never cited.

Seth Reese

I have bought thousands of dollars of books over the past year. For that, I blame school. Most of my non-fiction is assigned in class. What isn't assigned I find through my interest in emerging Christianity and theology. Marcus Borg leads to Dom Crossan leads to Walter Brueggemann.
My fiction comes through my literature major types. Through them I get to Vonnegut, Bukowski, Kerouac and the like.
Magazine and news comes from the internet. That is my window to the world. It is also my first stop in any form of research. Google Scholar is a beautiful starting point for research and I am willing to admit that wikipedia is a major research tool, though never cited.

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      R.E.M.: Accelerate CD/DVD
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      The Rolling Stones: Shine a Light: Original Soundtrack
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