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Author Topic: NYTimes Op Ed: The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Reader  (Read 2768 times)  

Offline jackz4000

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Re: NYTimes Op Ed: The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Reader
« Reply #25 on: January 05, 2014, 04:52:29 PM »
What they all seem to forget is that it's the words on the page that are literature, not the page itself. But this was always going to happen - I have several friends who swear that music on vinyl is better than cd, and still others who swear music on cd is better than digital files. In a world where so many people have vested interests in the status quo, subjectivity will often trump reality.

Well the music is easy. It can be scientifically measured which format has the top sonics, but literature is more interpretive. I have no vested interest in either.

Offline Ty Johnston

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Re: NYTimes Op Ed: The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Reader
« Reply #26 on: January 05, 2014, 05:13:41 PM »
Well the music is easy. It can be scientifically measured which format has the top sonics, but literature is more interpretive. I have no vested interest in either.

But "top sonics" isn't always what the listener wants, not necessarily. I remember the first time I ever heard music on a CD. It was the very early 1980s, I was in a Sears where a demonstration of the great new technology was being given by a salesman. He played "Love Me Do" by The Beatles. The first comment from a customer was something along the lines of, "Yeah, but I like to hear all those scratches and bumps in my music. Makes it seem more real."

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Offline heidi_g

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Re: NYTimes Op Ed: The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Reader
« Reply #27 on: January 05, 2014, 05:58:09 PM »
From the other article:

"My iPad, for example, offers an experience not only with the written word, via the iBooks and Kindle apps, but with the moving picture, be it Netflix, Angry Birds or the mesmerizing Google Earth. Deep engagement with an e-book can therefore be quite challenging."

Wow, is it really that hard to stay focused on a book? If the answer is print, then it sounds like a cry for external limitations where internal focus simply isn't present? Sorry that's weird to me, but I guess I'd rather read a great book than play Angry Birds :P

And again, with the boundary issues:

"The closed network of a printed book, on the other hand, seems to offer greater serenity. It harks back to a pre-jacked-in age. Cloth, paper, ink: For these read helmet, cuirass, shield. They afford a degree of protection and make possible a less intermediated, less fractured experience. They guard our aloneness. That is why I love them, and why I read printed books still."

I would understand if these readers were 10 ;D What am I missing, lol


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Offline Terrence OBrien

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Re: NYTimes Op Ed: The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Reader
« Reply #28 on: January 05, 2014, 06:47:08 PM »
Faced with a dizzying array of choices and receiving little by way of expert help in making selections, book buyers today are deciding to play it safe, opting to join either the ever-larger audiences for blockbusters or the minuscule readerships of a vast range of specialist titles.

I hope these folks believe this.
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Offline D.L. Shutter

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Re: NYTimes Op Ed: The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Reader
« Reply #29 on: January 05, 2014, 06:56:05 PM »
Quote
So sad. My upcoming release was a NaNo book. I'm not helping readers!

Exactly! You're part of the big problem and admitting that is the first step towards literary recovery and wellness.

Now stop what you're doing and e-mail every publisher you know and announce that you're finally ready to sign everything away to the first BigPub offer you get. It may be tough but remember that you'll be helping to turn the tide of the end of all important books and book culture.

Now, don't you feel so much better.  :P

Offline EllenWaite

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Re: NYTimes Op Ed: The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Reader
« Reply #30 on: January 05, 2014, 07:03:06 PM »
Translation: "Unless you're Murakami or Franzen, STOP putting out new books, losers!"


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Offline Evie Love

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Re: NYTimes Op Ed: The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Reader
« Reply #31 on: January 05, 2014, 07:04:31 PM »
Wow, thanks for the link! That article really opened my eyes. This thing I've been doing where I thought I was writing and publishing isn't actually writing! The people who buy my books aren't really readers! All those things on my kindle aren't actually books and I haven't been reading at all!

I was shocked to find out that my friend's recommendations are bad for me. OH NO. This must be why I like romance novels! I've been tricked by the bloggers making a living off reviewing books! NO WAIT, it's not possible to make a living reviewing books because newspapers are dead and no other medium could possibly exist for book reviews!

I need to take a trip to a deserted beach and rethink my life decisions.


Offline TiffanyTurner

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Re: NYTimes Op Ed: The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Reader
« Reply #32 on: January 05, 2014, 07:22:18 PM »
From the other article:

"My iPad, for example, offers an experience not only with the written word, via the iBooks and Kindle apps, but with the moving picture, be it Netflix, Angry Birds or the mesmerizing Google Earth. Deep engagement with an e-book can therefore be quite challenging."

Wow, is it really that hard to stay focused on a book? If the answer is print, then it sounds like a cry for external limitations where internal focus simply isn't present? Sorry that's weird to me, but I guess I'd rather read a great book than play Angry Birds :P

And again, with the boundary issues:

"The closed network of a printed book, on the other hand, seems to offer greater serenity. It harks back to a pre-jacked-in age. Cloth, paper, ink: For these read helmet, cuirass, shield. They afford a degree of protection and make possible a less intermediated, less fractured experience. They guard our aloneness. That is why I love them, and why I read printed books still."

I would understand if these readers were 10 ;D What am I missing, lol



The whole attention span thing is affecting everyone. Think back 5 years ago before you were addicted to that phone. Everyone's attention span is shorter. I'm sure the results of this won't come out for a few years yet. Takes awhile to do a study. It's why I noticed Close Reading might be a new way to approach teaching reading. People can't focus on more than 5 paragraphs anymore. Which makes Flash Fiction even more viable as a form of literature for the new generation.

Plus, I'm guessing the audience this article was written for wasn't us. ;)  I'm sure the people reading this particular article are still people that might buy the paper as a newspaper from a stand. I don't think I've done that except once or twice in the last 5 years. Or even people that are self-published authors that will object, just to get the controversy out there. Doesn't that sell papers?
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Re: NYTimes Op Ed: The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Reader
« Reply #33 on: January 05, 2014, 07:29:08 PM »
Wow, thanks for the link! That article really opened my eyes. This thing I've been doing where I thought I was writing and publishing isn't actually writing! The people who buy my books aren't really readers! All those things on my kindle aren't actually books and I haven't been reading at all!

I was shocked to find out that my friend's recommendations are bad for me. OH NO. This must be why I like romance novels! I've been tricked by the bloggers making a living off reviewing books! NO WAIT, it's not possible to make a living reviewing books because newspapers are dead and no other medium could possibly exist for book reviews!

I need to take a trip to a deserted beach and rethink my life decisions.





Welcome to the Writers' Cafe!

This is the part I found the most presumptuous and full-of-it:

But to express discomfort at the attrition of expert opinion is not to defend the previous orders prerogatives. Nor is it elitist to suggest that making the values and personnel of such professional hierarchies more representative is preferable to dispensing with them

Offline Terrence OBrien

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Re: NYTimes Op Ed: The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Reader
« Reply #34 on: January 05, 2014, 07:30:34 PM »
Quote
The whole attention span thing is affecting everyone.

So, who is buying all those books?
When ideas become weapons, modern Templars make a last ditch attempt to stop
terrorists from using an ancient treaty to rally moderate Muslims to their Jihad......

My Web Site: www.OBrienTerrence.com
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Offline dkgould

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Re: NYTimes Op Ed: The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Reader
« Reply #35 on: January 05, 2014, 07:42:17 PM »
First of all, what's so wrong with lonely?  When I read I don't take the friend that recommended the book in with me.  Or the librarian, the reviewer, the professor, or the parent.  No, not even the writer.  They might point out the door, but what's beyond the title page is different for each.  A world complete and tailored to one person; the reader.  It's PRIVATE.  Like singing in the shower.  Or daydreaming.  Or praying (if you do those sorts of things).  Sure, maybe I discuss books with friends, but I don't expect them to have the same experience as me.  And I don't expect them to tell the whole truth about it either.  Because I don't tell them everything I thought about it either.

And that's why I don't need a personal book shopper.  I'm not an empty vessel just waiting to receive information and be told how to react to it.  Relying solely on a reviewer, book seller, or librarian to tell me what I should read is kind of like asking them to pick out what dreams and passions I should have.  I'm a capable person.  I have independent thoughts and tastes.  I stopped letting people choose what was acceptable for me to read and to know years and years ago.  The fact that this guy wants people to be told what and how to read is frankly extremely scary.

Lastly, as a reader who makes up her mind regularly about what to read and when: Proliferate away.  Overwhelm me.  Bury me with choices.  Bring on the deluge.  Let those book bunnies get to it.  I love the choices.  I don't understand this mentality of "too many books being published."  It's like people are afraid we're going to blow through our collective imagination and someday have a shortage of literature.  I love that I can read about every conceivable subject at the touch of a button.  I love that I can read a literary classic or the latest comic or what the neighboring housewife/office worker/mechanic/bartender/whatever is writing.  If I have to have one regret when I die, I sincerely hope that it is that I didn't get to read all the good books in the world.  I hope by then my to be read list is miles long.  We don't have to ration the stories.  We aren't going to run out.

Offline Herc- The Reluctant Geek

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Re: NYTimes Op Ed: The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Reader
« Reply #36 on: January 05, 2014, 08:32:37 PM »
Well the music is easy. It can be scientifically measured which format has the top sonics, but literature is more interpretive. I have no vested interest in either.

It should be easier with literature than with music because words are the same regardless of the media they are presented through. Words do not change meaning going from paper to electronic device, metaphors don't unwind because the reader is using an ereader, allegories do not lose their crackle when read on a tablet.

It's all crap.

I've been reading these arguments for three years now, and they haven't evolved or changed because they have nowhere to go. Ever since KDP popularised ebooks, the staunch defenders of paper books have been trotting out the same old, nonsensical arguments. Real books do not necessarily have to be printed on paper, nor is the smell and feel of a paper book part of the reading experience.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2014, 09:43:49 PM by Herc- The Reluctant Geek »

Offline Sara Rosett

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Re: NYTimes Op Ed: The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Reader
« Reply #37 on: January 05, 2014, 08:46:33 PM »
Slogged through the article, and now I'm off to slit my wrists. I had no idea that I'm a pitiful, lonely reader with no one to guide me...




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Offline Evie Love

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Re: NYTimes Op Ed: The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Reader
« Reply #38 on: January 05, 2014, 08:50:50 PM »


Welcome to the Writers' Cafe!

This is the part I found the most presumptuous and full-of-it:

But to express discomfort at the attrition of expert opinion is not to defend the previous order’s prerogatives. Nor is it elitist to suggest that making the values and personnel of such professional hierarchies more representative is preferable to dispensing with them

Thank you! I'm really liking it so far. Glad I finally found these kboard things I kept hearing so much about. I was supposed to be getting writing done... but that's what tomorrow is for, right? :)

(To be honest, I enjoy these crazy new york times articles. I read them out loud to my roommates while laughing hysterically. My favorite was the one that got mad at amazon for not slashing prices enough on books that weren't selling well. Good times.)

Offline nobody_important

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Re: NYTimes Op Ed: The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Reader
« Reply #39 on: January 05, 2014, 09:06:57 PM »
Anyone see this in today's Times? Thoughts?

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/05/opinion/sunday/the-loneliness-of-the-long-distance-reader.html

Read it. What he really means is:

1. Readers are lost w/o elitist white men telling them what to read.

2. Reviewers aren't reviewing my company's books, which I object to because that's free advertising.

3. I'm not paying crap to my midlist, but then nobody is, so who cares?

Offline TiffanyTurner

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Re: NYTimes Op Ed: The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Reader
« Reply #40 on: January 05, 2014, 09:21:00 PM »
So, who is buying all those books?

Those taught by the old system of what a book is. Literature will adapt. If you read any novel from 100 years ago, or even Jane Austin, you can tell. But the book might morph into some new kind of fiction. I'm hoping to witness and be a part of it.  ;)
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Offline EmilyG

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Re: NYTimes Op Ed: The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Reader
« Reply #41 on: January 07, 2014, 12:02:37 PM »
The BookRiot blog posted a nice rebuttal of the NYTime article that pretty much sums up my thoughts. 
http://bookriot.com/2014/01/07/decline-fall-book-reviewing-empire/

Quote
But now? Oh my god you guys now things are pretty bad! According to the article, readers are on the internet in the millions, butwell, theyre just recommending books to each other without any academic or professional credits whatsoever. Its appalling, these filthy commoners just saying to each other you might like to read this like theyre allowed.

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Offline jackz4000

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Re: NYTimes Op Ed: The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Reader
« Reply #42 on: January 07, 2014, 12:29:30 PM »
Those 2 NYT elitist writers are pathetic. I guess they also need someone to guide them to buy music or tell them what TV show or movie to watch or what toiletries to buy. Maybe an elite guide to tell me what to buy at the supermarket too?

Seems obvious most readers don't need the NYT or any of those old guard sentries to tell them what they should read. Why whatever has happened to our grand old cultural eunuchs pushing their pals new book on the NYT? I'd rather read a paint can.  :P

* grabs a paper book and looks for a lonely beach to stroll on "

Offline Heather Walsh

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Re: NYTimes Op Ed: The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Reader
« Reply #43 on: January 07, 2014, 03:35:01 PM »
The BookRiot blog posted a nice rebuttal of the NYTime article that pretty much sums up my thoughts. 
it turns out that oh my god its pretty bleak and unbearable out there. At least, if youre a petulant, hand-wringing white New York male writer who has some idealized vision of the book world which possibly existed for ten minutes, sometime in the mid-20th century.


That was a nice rebuttal. I liked this line:

"it turns out that oh my god its pretty bleak and unbearable out there. At least, if youre a petulant, hand-wringing white New York male writer who has some idealized vision of the book world which possibly existed for ten minutes, sometime in the mid-20th century."

Offline Terrence OBrien

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Re: NYTimes Op Ed: The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Reader
« Reply #44 on: January 07, 2014, 08:50:12 PM »
Those taught by the old system of what a book is. Literature will adapt. If you read any novel from 100 years ago, or even Jane Austin, you can tell. But the book might morph into some new kind of fiction. I'm hoping to witness and be a part of it.  ;)

Sure they adapt. They change with tastes and preferences. But I have been hearing about the lack of attention spans and the inability to read a book for quite a few years now. When is it going to hit? Books keep selling while folks tell us people don't read and can't handle them. Long books keep selling. Tom Clancy, Stephen King, Dan Brown, GRRM, Tom Wolfe.

Its reasonable to speculate  fiction will branch in different directions. Too bad McLuhan isn't around. It would be great to get his take on eBooks and eReaders. Hot or cold?
When ideas become weapons, modern Templars make a last ditch attempt to stop
terrorists from using an ancient treaty to rally moderate Muslims to their Jihad......

My Web Site: www.OBrienTerrence.com
For UK Readers At Amazon UK
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