Does anyone else find it hard to read fiction?

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clthomps
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23 Jan 2012, 2:53 pm

My wife is an English teacher, and is always trying to get me to read fiction. The problem is I really can't get into it, I will read halfway through a book then just set it down and never pick it up again.

I think It might be because I am missing certain emotional cues that tend to be important to the story. Case in point, on a long car trip we listened to the audio book "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" and while I enjoyed certain aspects of the book (mostly the animal bartering) it came off as a mediocre sci-fi / action book. In the conversation with my wife that followed she mentioned a deeply involved and carefully crafted plot that was met to show that human emotion in this bleak future was degraded to a point where the difference between androids and humans was becoming harder to tell. Or something to that effect, I am still not really sure what it she means.


Anyone else have this problem?



mar00
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23 Jan 2012, 3:34 pm

I rarely can get into fiction. It doesn't make much sense and at times I find it to be so arbitrary that reading it is almost unpleasant. And I miss most of emotional aspects also. It just really doesn't make much sense.. I fail to understand motives behind and characters seem to be irrational and subjective, incomplete. Behind fancy wording and vocabulary I don't find much meaning. I can only read something as an illustration of a more general idea. Some things such as robots' dreams just don't bother me.



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23 Jan 2012, 3:41 pm

I enjoy fiction more than factual accounts, but factual accounts (history, science, et cetera) have provided more for me in the way of useful information.



proxybear
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23 Jan 2012, 3:48 pm

I have a hard time imagining the story, what's happening; the scenario, how they look, their voice, the mood of the story etc. I just can't get into the story when it comes to fiction unless I have pictures, such as reading a manga. If I read a mange I can very much enjoy it.

Though, when I read I often tend to enjoy hard facts more. Such as a subject that interests me, may it be history, animals, astronomy, science and whatnot.



antimuda
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23 Jan 2012, 4:00 pm

I can not bring myself to read fiction as it presents a world completely devoid of rules. A plot can easily include frequent low probability events, blatant contradictions of the laws of physics and a determined ending (which is either obvious or can be quickly googled) . In regard to the last point I am aware that there is scientific literature to suggest that the enjoyment of a work is actually increased on average for an individual by knowing the ending. But for me this is not the case and the quality of the prose is insufficient for me to allocate hours of my time to finding out what happens to a character whom I do not care about.



GuyTypingOnComputer
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23 Jan 2012, 10:14 pm

I have read one fiction book in the past 30 years.

When I read, I am looking for information. That is how I process what I am reading. It's not an experience I am drawn into, it is a source of information I am processing.

I also have trouble sticking with a plot. If the author isn't getting quickly to the point then my mind wanders. It's a work of fiction so I can change it as I see fit. I have trouble getting through one chapter without losing interest.

More my speed is a condensed version of a fiction book, like the "Book Summary" from CliffsNotes or the "Plot Summary" on Wikipedia.



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23 Jan 2012, 10:26 pm

I actually enjoy reading most fiction more than non, even though I always find myself thinking, "What? That couldn't happen." I'm kind of at war with myself because I like facts and things that are concrete, yet I'm fascinated by fantasy and the limitless imagination.



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23 Jan 2012, 11:11 pm

I love stories that revolve around intricate, fictional worlds.



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24 Jan 2012, 2:46 am

I read fiction quite a lot.


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Alexender
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24 Jan 2012, 3:48 am

I enjoy fiction a lot, im an avid reader.

One of my favorite authors is Michael Chriton (think I spelled it wrong). He wrote jurassic park as an example. He added scientific facts and images into his books. Chaos theory for example was a big idea in the jurassic park book.



clthomps
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25 Jan 2012, 11:14 am

hm... seem rather split.



I enjoy some comic books, and graphic novels. The watchmen being my favorite work of fiction so far. Also the occasional sci-fi book catches my attention for long enough to read, Slaughterhouse five, Dune, Flowers for Algernon, etc.


But other than that i stick to my books on Falconry, bonsai, and the like.



AspieAshley
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26 Jan 2012, 10:01 pm

Oooooooh :pale: *dread* I hate most fiction books for this very reason. All of them are either too distressing to read, or they have some condecending "moral of the story." I do have to say that the author of the book you mentioned raises a good point, though. That's why we need websites like Wrong Planet, we're not connected enough in the real world...


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abacacus
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26 Jan 2012, 10:47 pm

Alexender wrote:
I enjoy fiction a lot, im an avid reader.

One of my favorite authors is Michael Chriton (think I spelled it wrong). He wrote jurassic park as an example. He added scientific facts and images into his books. Chaos theory for example was a big idea in the jurassic park book.


Ever read Sphere? Good book.


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elliterations
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27 Jan 2012, 8:34 am

I read a whole lot of fiction, but the recurring issue is that I do struggle to pick up on certain cues or themes, or sometimes completely miss subtleties or events. It's not that often though – somehow I'm much better at analyzing things when they are written rather than acted out, so to say. I love fiction but some stories I do struggle with, and it comes and goes in bursts of what kind of fiction I can read. While I do read on average 50 works of fiction a year (+ lots of textbooks and such) I leave at least 30+ books half-read, or even just begun.

One "plus" with fiction is the variety of genres and styles. I'm particularly partial to creative non-fiction, for example, but in the end I'll devour anything as long as it appeals to me. I also like how two people can read the same fictional text and come away with two completely different interpretations. It's just... It's all very interesting to me.



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27 Jan 2012, 5:06 pm

I enjoy reading fiction, but I find it very difficult to sit down and read a book all the way to its conclusion.


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