Thursday, April 10, 2008

Youngest and reading

Youngest has been making fashion designs...I love it, she is a real tomboy in so many ways, but she also loves making outfits...as we cannot upload the video she made a couple of days ago, we are offering you these instead.















She's having a lot of fun with it.



On another note altogether, I went to a talk last night about the importance of reading, of honouring the word.

The speaker LOVED words. He was an old guy, who had written a whack of books, and he raised several interesting points (that I understood, I imagine he raised more, but I didn't get them all...MAN could he talk fast).

One person in the audience asked how he felt about kids reading on-line, blogs, papers, whatever...his response was that a word is a word, and reading is reading be it on paper, or electronically. He maintained that there are blogs out there that are incredibly literate, and beautiful to read, that he can get the news he wants faster on-line than through the paper, that the political and analysis pieces he can find on-line are more timely, thoughtful and well written than much he finds elsewhere.

I was surprised a bit, I think partially because somewhere inside me lurks a paper snob. I don't value reading on-line the way I value reading a book somehow, which is strange considering the proportions of time I spend doing each; though if I had access to more written media in English, that ratio would change...

Somehow, I don't feel that reading on-line is of the same qualitative value as reading a book. Simultaneously, I don't agree with myself (aren't we humans amazing!?!) This is something else I have to work my head around, I am still not sure what I think. I am not sure that placing a value judgement is even relevant, like trying to decide whether writing with a pen is or isn't really writting. Maybe only writting with a pencil is true writting.


Sounds silly that way doesn't it.

Hmmmm.

Do you feel a qualitative difference between the two? How much do you read on line vs. on paper?


I feel a survey coming on...



....later, make that three...they're up there, please be counted.

9 comments:

elPadawan said...

the lighter note: great designs!

the serious note: I agree with the "a word is a word" statement. I'm a software developer, living in front of a screen [insert less than 24] hours a day working. Still, I am fond of books. I love the smell of paper, though the guilt makes me wonder if the paper comes from renewable forests. I prefer a pen and paper to put down my thoughts. I like calligraphy, and enjoy using a quill. I just consider online reading as another medium. Blog entries are shorter than books. I wouldn't read an e-book. I'd prefer its paper counterpart. I wouldn't read the printout of a blog archive. Books feel... outside of time, for me. Whereas online content is intricately mixed with time. You can find literary wonders, deep thinking, and even if the statements can be universal, the moment they're published will be mixed with a timely event happening within "range of awareness" of the writer. "Range of awareness" including either a local event, a global event heard on the news, an epiphany triggered by a very particular event that is related in the blog post, etc...

kate said...

Yes, neat designs!

I prefer to read books and long pieces on paper, but there is a lot of really good stuff out there online-- articles, essays, even some blogs. Good writing, good reading. Of course there is also a lot of mediocre stuff (not to mention absolute crap) out there as well.

I don't feel that there is a qualitative difference inherent in the medium (in the sense that I value one more or less.) I do lose myself in a book in a way that I don't when reading stuff online, but I guess I just see the two media as being different experiences, each to be evaluated on its own terms.

I also tend to agree with elpadawan-- insightful comment, there.

Beth said...

Rocky!! Your girls are so talented!!! Sheesh! Quit hogging all the talent, will ya? ;)

Beth said...

I think I should hire your daughter as a fashion consultant. She's that good (and I'm that bad...)
I prefer reading and writing on paper but considering the amount of information I now read on-line, your question makes me pause and think. But I believe I will always prefer reading a book - something I can hold and have with me anywhere.

Hilarious Catastrophes said...

I did a degree in English Literature, where we had a debate in creative writing about how we'd feel if books were phased out in favour of hand-held portable machines you could download books onto elcetronically. Everyone agreed that while it wouldn't change what you would be reading, it would take away the tactile experience of reading a book, with the quality of the paper and the smell that books have (which varies I admit!) Gadgets are fun, and the internet allows me to look for things to read and to generally choose what I look at... But books are such a different experience I don't think that it can be compared. I'm a bit of a paper snob too. I feel that books and online reading are equally creative forms of media, and worth having in their own rights. As for the writing thing, I always feel more creative (and a bit pretentious I guess!) when I write in fountain pen in my writing book than when I type on the computer! Alice :o)

oreneta said...

elPadawan, I particularly agree with your comments about the timely-ness of online reading, it does sit so squarely in context; both a strength and a weakness.

Kate, though a lot of people loose themselves on line, in tangential discoveries, which can be either a colossal waste of time, or startlingly enlightening, don't you think?

Beth, Sorry there, you have posted photos of some pretty amazing stuff you've made my dear!

Beth, I think I will always prefer a book, on a personal and sensual level, right now though? I'm finding better content on line by and large.

Alice, it's interesting that you feel more creative when you are working by hand with paper and pen...especially as almost all written creative work is now done on computer (I imagine) I too am a paper snob deep down, I have to say though that I am not walking the walk...

kate said...

Yes, I definitely lose myself online, but not in the same way...

dawn said...

I can see what you are saying. I tend to not value the kids reading on line. I on the other hand think what I am reading is educational. I agree with Alice there is a certain tactile element to it and I believe there are limits to the amount of time one can spend on any one thing before it starts to hamper other areas of life and becomes starts working backwards on it's value line.

Your daughter is doing some interesting designs. They are great.

oreneta said...

Kate, getting lost on line can be serendipitous, or like going astray in a particularily dense and fascinating jungle...

Dawn, I too am very cautious about my kids online use...you tube doesn't rank high with me, then again it is vital knowledge for good social integration for them....balance balance balance...