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Book and Film Discussions > Whom do you consider well-read?

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message 1: by Nik (last edited Jun 08, 2017 02:04AM) (new)

Nik Krasno | 13418 comments Not sure there is a clear definition and thus it's subjective.
So, who's well-read for you?
A person that reads at least a few books a year? Has read over 100-200? Who quotes Shakes or multiple authors frequently? Knowledgeable in many areas, referring to the books s/he's read? Someone who has read your book, if you are an author? -:)
How do you see it?


message 2: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5332 comments I'm not coming up with a clear definition. I guess I think someone is well-read if they've read the classics and the defining novels of each generation. I don't know anyone who quotes much of anything, but they can probably recognize quotes and references to major works. I think this is something you only find out by conversing with someone. If you say, "Out, damned spot!" and someone says, "What spot?" then you know.


message 3: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13418 comments Scout wrote: "is well-read if they've read the classics and the defining novels of each generation.."

That's some definition!
And btw, what's defining of previous/our/younger generation? Harry Potter and 50 shades/cent?


message 4: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5332 comments Oh, now you're just being difficult :) Who knows what the defining novels of this generation will be. I think it takes time to determine that. And, of course, it's all subjective. I'd say that a well-read person recognizes literary allusions to important works. I'm not going to dig myself a deeper hole. What do you think?


message 5: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13418 comments Scout wrote: "I'd say that a well-read person recognizes literary allusions to important works. I'm not going to dig myself a deeper hole. What do you think?..."

Hard to tell today.. In pre-internet era and prior to hundreds of TV channels, books were one the major sources of knowledge and well-read dudes stood out. Nowadays the importance of reading for broadening one's horizons has downgraded, in my opinion..


message 6: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5332 comments You dodged the question :) I agree that reading isn't considered as important today as in past eras, which only makes well-read dudes / dudettes stand out more than ever. Wouldn't you rather talk to a reader than a TV watcher?


message 7: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13418 comments Scout wrote: "You dodged the question :) ... Wouldn't you rather talk to a reader than a TV watcher? "

Quantitatively speaking, I think someone with 100+ books in at least a few areas, can't probably be called a poorly-read, so by default that makes him/her medium-rare/well-read -:)

I'd rather talk to a reader, because I'm a very modest TV-watcher and thus would strike as a narrow-sighted, poorly TV educated dude:
- Nik, have you seen Game of Thrones?
- No
- Bay Watch?
- No
- Any series?
- No

And so on -:)


message 8: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5332 comments Pity the beautiful girl who approaches you at a party and tries to start a conversation about The Bachelor :)


Jen from Quebec :0) (muppetbaby99) | 46 comments "Who knew the old man had so much blood in him?" --Jen from Quebec :0)


message 10: by Jen from Quebec :0) (last edited Jun 27, 2017 10:02PM) (new)

Jen from Quebec :0) (muppetbaby99) | 46 comments I think I can talk to ANYONE who is fun to talk with and somewhat *intelligent*, and gets my sense of humour, regardless of whether or not they read or watch TV or listen to music or watch films or... hopefully? --Hopefully they do ALL of these things! --Jen from Quebec :0)


message 11: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13418 comments Scout wrote: "Pity the beautiful girl who approaches you at a party and tries to start a conversation about The Bachelor :)"

Would have no idea what she's talking about, but might offer her a drink anyway -:)


message 12: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13418 comments Jennifer Lynn wrote: "I think I can talk to ANYONE who is fun to talk with and somewhat *intelligent*, and gets my sense of humour, regardless of whether or not they read or watch TV or listen to music or watch films or..."

That's the spirit!


message 13: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5332 comments Spirits foster communication :)


message 14: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13418 comments description


message 15: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5332 comments Nice sentiment, but that bottle is way too small :)


message 16: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13418 comments Unrealistic bottle, realistic effect -:)
A nice parody on Nokia's past promotional slogan


message 17: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13418 comments Well-read, anyone?


message 18: by Marie (last edited Sep 19, 2019 04:20AM) (new)

Marie | 562 comments This is an interesting thread, Nik! :) I wonder how I missed it?! Love all that light banter from 2017. Also drinks were included and I missed that too!! :)

So back to the original question! :)

To me the definition of "well-read" would be anyone that has read thousands of books in their lifetime including almost all the classics. Not sure if there is someone on this site that is close to my idea of a well-read person.

I know there are people on this site that have probably read thousands of books, but have they read the classics as well? Might be an interesting search to find out, but I would not know how to go about finding that answer on here. :)


message 19: by Roxanna (last edited Sep 19, 2019 04:58AM) (new)

Roxanna López What are "the classics" anyway? It all depends on your cultural background, the language or languages that you read, and access. Not everybody in the world has a local library.

Anyway, an attempt to a definition of a well-read person: A person who reads broadly, accross historical times, cultures, and genres. I guess you can make a distinction about a person who reads a lot of the same stuff, and a person who has breadth as well as depth, and is therefore, well-read.


message 20: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13418 comments I revive those retro threads every once in a while, so those who missed or joined later would have a say -:)

Thousands & most classics? That's a high bar and in my gradation would be an extraordinary well-read even :)


message 21: by Marie (new)

Marie | 562 comments Roxanna wrote: "What are "the classics" anyway? It all depends on your cultural background, the language or languages that you read, and access. Not everybody in the world has a local library.

Anyway, an attempt..."


I am sorry Roxanna for not clarifying "classics". I probably should have gave examples. Classics to me are like Mark Twain, Shakespear, Hamlet, etc. Though for me, I have not read them. But classics could mean different things to different people within different genres too. :)


message 22: by Denise (new)

Denise Baer Anyone who has read my book is well-read. ;)

I consider someone well-read who has read an array of books and genres, and knows the authors. The reason I say that is a friend of mine has a friend who reads books galore, but she doesn't know the title or the author. She just reads and reads without any comprehension or knowledge of what she's reading.

I'd say anyone who has read a few classics, is open to different genres, and whose vocabulary and subject matter has expanded because of reading. :D


message 23: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5332 comments :-) I agree with your definition. If you're a serious reader, you want to discuss books, and you have to remember titles and authors!


message 24: by Lizzie (new)

Lizzie | 1622 comments I agree with Roxanna's statement, "A person who reads broadly, accross [sic] historical times, cultures, and genres."

When I was 20 to 30, that would have applied to me, for my generation. But, since then I stopped reading the equivalent of Dickens and Twain, ignored the Best Sellers list for new books, and read legal fiction and science fiction (and of course case law and legal books for my job). In the last 10 years, I have pretty much read mostly science fiction.

When I was reading hard copy books, I knew the authors and titles. With the e-reader and so many books, I don't, unless it is something I specifically want to remember. That doesn't mean I don't know the contents or meaning of what I am reading.

Since being disabled, I have read over 1,500 books. That doesn't make me well-read; just someone who reads a lot.


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