Nothing But Reading Challenges discussion

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Recommendations, please... > Books or Authors that expose free or independent thinkers?

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message 1: by Ietrio (new)

Ietrio Guys, I badly need your help.

The World around is mostly Platonist. Christian, Socialist, Green, whatever. The Hive above the people. Sacrifice, enlightened leaders, altruism. I need something else. Help me.

The story goes like this: I have near me an avid reader. By the age of six has read all Harry Potter volumes at least twice each. For pure laziness, I kept sending the books of my youth and this is how I start rereading parts of novels I haven't touched in years. And I am terrified by both the rudimentary style of writing and the philosophy exposed.

I want to offer something better. But I can't. I don't find Catch 22, The Tin Drum or Johnny Got a Gun nice for a nine year old. And Atlas Shrugged or The Fountainhead I could not finish myself.

So don't think Tommy the Tank Engine. The little reader has already digested The Lord of the Rings and Battle Royale and something like Lemony Snicket is lasting as much as an after noon.

Also, if it hasn't been translated into English already, French, Italian or Spanish are fine too.


message 2: by Shannon (last edited Jul 05, 2018 12:42AM) (new)

Shannon (countessmom) | 4087 comments I can’t offer much advice really, but I’ll say that I read like that as a child (5th grade level at 5). My rule was that I was allowed to read anything in the house, but my mom says she was careful with what she brought in. The spiritual, philosophy stuff really never interested me in my youth so I avoided it, although there were tons of options in my home. I went through spurts. I’d read nothing but Stephen King. Then I’d read fantasy. Then thrillers. Then science fiction. I also read the normal kid books. Periodically my mom would make me read a classic. I think she spent a ton of time in used book stores. I’d say give him/her some freedom just to dig through your books and see what they want to read. Don’t worry too much about it. I’m sure I read things above my maturity level, I don’t remember it ever bothering me. Personally I’d say being exposed to all those different works, novels, books, genres was actually a good thing.


message 3: by Ietrio (new)

Ietrio Shannon, than you for your kind and thoughtful message. The only one it seems, so people in this group don't read much beyond pulp romance by the crate.

Only things have changed since you were 5. There are about 10 paper books in this home, all on advanced subjects of medicine and maybe some day I will borrow a scanner and a cutter and prepare them for recycling. Thanks for Hive minded politicians, books are behind paywalls and I guess the parents aren't ready to give a 9 year old a credit card.

Now, if you care to spend some time looking back, you have absorbed a lot more religion and philosophy from those early lectures than from sitting a couple of hours at mandatory Sunday sermon. And to my shock, EVERYTHING I have browsed recently is about bowing, no, kneeling for the Hive. Platonism mutated into Christianity, mutated into Marxism, mutated into Ecology. And there are probably billions of Protestant sects, all with a membership of one who is clearly (to self) beyond that.

The goal of this post was to help my friend (the young one) gain the time I have spent with Asimov or the likes of today like Hunger Games and see there is something else beyond the Hive / Borg / Collective / Social Services / whatever.

Maybe there are only the books I have already found. Maybe the people don't care, and the few others are decades out of print. Maybe it's all a Conspiracy and Everybody knows, but they don't talk in order to avoid the checks from the Overseer.

So in case I am not clear, I think I and thus others are all exposed to only one side: die for your beloved God / Leader / Nation / Social Strata. And this is what I wish to make as my gift to this friend. So decades later won't come with the delusion of assuming being exposed to different philosophies simply because there were many author names.


message 4: by Shannon (last edited Jul 05, 2018 09:49AM) (new)

Shannon (countessmom) | 4087 comments You originally put this thread under Reading Challenges, I moved it to the Recommendation folder last night.

Exposure to all different manner of thought, information, style, influences is never a bad thing in my opinion. It allows for one to make their own determinations and come to their own conclusions. It broadens horizons.

It sounds as though you’ve got definitive views, I’d say trust in your young intelligent friend to disseminate information and influence and come to their own conclusions. Censoring information and exposure because it doesn’t adhere to certain views or shows an alternative does a disservice to your friend. You can always discuss the books after they’ve been read. You admittedly read some of those same novels as a child that you now view as abhorrent. It was part of your path. Have faith that your young friend has their own path to follow. Their own influences and experiences that will guide them. Generally those things cannot be skipped over for expedience sake. You are just but one avenue of influence in the fabric of his/her life.

It also sounds as though access to books is limited, and for that I do not have answer. I was, and am, very fortunate in that regard. My whole family were/are voracious readers and I was raised in homes with hundreds of books as well as access to large library systems. You never went to visit without bringing at least 2 large bags of books for swapping.

I still say let your young friend guide you. Ask him/her what they’d like to read. If you have concerns, read it first before sharing, so that you may discuss it afterward. Don’t worry too much about appropriateness. My favorite bedtime story from my grandmother was Jane Eyre. Not usually a story you’d think to tell a 3-5 year old. But I loved it, and she loved telling it to me.


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