Author Topic: Books are so overrated.  (Read 9462 times)

Kaplin261

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Books are so overrated.
« on: September 02, 2015, 12:24:04 PM »
On my way to work today I saw a bumber sticker that said "Those that read will lead".

How does reading a book make you smarter?

If I want to learn something, there are so many more efficient ways of learning then picking up a book and reading for a couple hours.

abiteveryday

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Re: Books are so overrated.
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2015, 12:48:56 PM »
Yeah well, "Those whose parents led will also lead" doesn't rhyme as nicely.

Lots of ways to learn stuff, I agree.    I'm a fan of books though, and hate that video has become so common when it doesn't need to be.    Here's a video that makes my point :P

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHtJLABTdCE

forummm

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Re: Books are so overrated.
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2015, 12:51:10 PM »
How does reading a book make you smarter?

Sure, there are other ways to learn too. But is this a serious question?

MissStache

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Re: Books are so overrated.
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2015, 12:57:58 PM »
Superlative trolling!  You almost got me.  The typos were a brilliant addition. 

ShortInSeattle

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Re: Books are so overrated.
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2015, 01:20:12 PM »
Interesting question. As a book-lover it makes me bristle. But I went to see if there was any research that highlights the benefits of reading, as it relates to intelligence and success.

A few tidbits on what researchers describe as the benefits of reading:

"Reading books is the only out-of-school activity for 16-year-olds that is linked to getting a managerial or professional job in later life"  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110504150539.htm

Reading literary fiction helps people better assess the thoughts/emotions of other people.  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131003142621.htm

Children who are strong readers are more likely to be intelligent as adults:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140724094209.htm

But as to your question if reading will actually make you smarter, the answer may be no. Studies of children indicate that bedtime reading doesn't positively influence IQ. So it may be more accurate to say that strong readers are smarter because of their genes, rather than saying the reading makes you smarter.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/10/141030114749.htm

This was just a quick review of the available research, I'm sure there is even more data out there. And I didn't even touch on the health benefits of reading, which can be surprising.

To summarize, will reading books make you smarter in the sense of increasing your IQ? Probably not. But reading may make you healthier, more successful, and better able to empathize and understand other people. Books can also be a tremendous source of pleasure (adventure! exploration! emotion!) and many of them contain useful facts.

Cheers.

SIS

Kaplin261

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Re: Books are so overrated.
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2015, 01:30:47 PM »
Interesting question. As a book-lover it makes me bristle. But I went to see if there was any research that highlights the benefits of reading, as it relates to intelligence and success.

A few tidbits on what researchers describe as the benefits of reading:

"Reading books is the only out-of-school activity for 16-year-olds that is linked to getting a managerial or professional job in later life"  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110504150539.htm

Reading literary fiction helps people better assess the thoughts/emotions of other people.  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131003142621.htm

Children who are strong readers are more likely to be intelligent as adults:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140724094209.htm

But as to your question if reading will actually make you smarter, the answer may be no. Studies of children indicate that bedtime reading doesn't positively influence IQ. So it may be more accurate to say that strong readers are smarter because of their genes, rather than saying the reading makes you smarter.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/10/141030114749.htm

This was just a quick review of the available research, I'm sure there is even more data out there. And I didn't even touch on the health benefits of reading, which can be surprising.

To summarize, will reading books make you smarter in the sense of increasing your IQ? Probably not. But reading may make you healthier, more successful, and better able to empathize and understand other people. Books can also be a tremendous source of pleasure (adventure! exploration! emotion!) and many of them contain useful facts.

Cheers.

SIS

The most intelligent answer so far comes from someone who is a book lover!

sheepstache

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Re: Books are so overrated.
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2015, 02:10:15 PM »
But the bumper sticker says nothing about reading books.

Just fyi, you're on a forum. Which is in written form. Based on a blog. Which is also almost exclusively written content.

Lots of ways to learn stuff, I agree.    I'm a fan of books though, and hate that video has become so common when it doesn't need to be.    Here's a video that makes my point :P

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHtJLABTdCE

Ahh ha ha!
Me: [reads a book for two hours]
Me: [reads supporting material online for an hour]
Me: A two minute video!? Fuuuuck I don't have time for thi--oh wait, there's a transcript. Thank god.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2015, 02:14:52 PM by sheepstache »

Bearded Man

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Re: Books are so overrated.
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2015, 02:11:58 PM »
As an IT professional, while reading and courses are helpful, the internet seems to be the best "book" out there. I can google any error, find code to do what I need, find upgrade paths for systems, and ask others who are in the know on forums, such as this one.

The internet is far superior to a book IMO.

Syonyk

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Re: Books are so overrated.
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2015, 02:13:16 PM »
If I want to learn something, there are so many more efficient ways of learning then picking up a book and reading for a couple hours.

Such as... ?

Eric

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Re: Books are so overrated.
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2015, 02:20:36 PM »
How does reading a book make you smarter?


Ooh!  Ooh!  I know!  After reading the book, you know more than you did before reading the book.  It's like magic or something.

PFHC

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Re: Books are so overrated.
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2015, 03:39:25 PM »
Superlative trolling!  You almost got me.  The typos were a brilliant addition.
:)

Well done.

wordnerd

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Re: Books are so overrated.
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2015, 04:46:47 PM »
Interesting question. As a book-lover it makes me bristle. But I went to see if there was any research that highlights the benefits of reading, as it relates to intelligence and success.

A few tidbits on what researchers describe as the benefits of reading:

"Reading books is the only out-of-school activity for 16-year-olds that is linked to getting a managerial or professional job in later life"  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110504150539.htm

Reading literary fiction helps people better assess the thoughts/emotions of other people.  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131003142621.htm

Children who are strong readers are more likely to be intelligent as adults:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140724094209.htm

But as to your question if reading will actually make you smarter, the answer may be no. Studies of children indicate that bedtime reading doesn't positively influence IQ. So it may be more accurate to say that strong readers are smarter because of their genes, rather than saying the reading makes you smarter.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/10/141030114749.htm

This was just a quick review of the available research, I'm sure there is even more data out there. And I didn't even touch on the health benefits of reading, which can be surprising.

To summarize, will reading books make you smarter in the sense of increasing your IQ? Probably not. But reading may make you healthier, more successful, and better able to empathize and understand other people. Books can also be a tremendous source of pleasure (adventure! exploration! emotion!) and many of them contain useful facts.

Cheers.

SIS

The most intelligent answer so far comes from someone who is a book lover!

Reading this helped you learn something? Go figure.

*Take a look, it's in a book, a Reading Rainbow!*

GuitarStv

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Re: Books are so overrated.
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2015, 05:23:28 PM »
Because there's no advertising and there's less of a push to fit a tight schedule, most instructional books are far superior to television programs.  Even reading trashy stuff though is preferable to watching TV.  You use your brain differently.  Television is completely passive (well, maybe with the exception of Dora the Explorer, but few adults will admit to yelling stuff at her).  There's a creative visualization aspect to reading a book that is completely absent when you're staring at a tube.

KittyCat

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Re: Books are so overrated.
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2015, 05:29:53 PM »
Ahh ha ha!
Me: [reads a book for two hours]
Me: [reads supporting material online for an hour]
Me: A two minute video!? Fuuuuck I don't have time for thi--oh wait, there's a transcript. Thank god.
I can sympathize with that :)

Miss Prim

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Re: Books are so overrated.
« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2015, 05:38:14 PM »
By reading books, you gain a greater vocabulary.  My husband constantly is asking me what this word or that word means because he is not a reader.  I don't think I use that big of words, but obviously, my vocabulary is bigger than his.  By having a larger vocabulary, you can appear smarter, which may lead to a better job.  Or, you could just suck up to the boss and have no job skills and just be moved up the ladder!  It's up to you which method you prefer.

Me, I prefer to read books and not move up the ladder so I have more time to read more books.

                                                                                      Miss Prim

Sailor Sam

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Re: Books are so overrated.
« Reply #15 on: September 02, 2015, 05:52:33 PM »
Hrm. Books have given me a large vocabulary. Learning to pronounce the large vocabulary has given me a nimble tongue. Speaking my large vocabulary has given me breath control. So, I can hold my breath for 5 minutes and tip my hat with my nimble tongue. Both these keep my wife happy and...relaxed.

Learning, sure. Sillz, priceless!

Tester

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Re: Books are so overrated.
« Reply #16 on: September 02, 2015, 06:10:15 PM »
For me books helped a lot.
They helped me know a things about "a lot" of things.
They helped me learn about different places and different cultures.
How did that help me?
I don't have examples of direct results.
Indirectly, knowing things about different things allowed me to have conversations with different types of people.
From this I continued learning, plus I made some connections.

And I can tell you what not reading books is feeling:
In the last 10 years I reduced my reading - first to job related books, then to job related blogs/forums.
I started getting kind of "blocked" in interest on only some topics.
Now I am slowly getting back to reading more - like I was reading when I just read any book I would get my hand on, except the ones with too long boring nature description sections :).

Blatant

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Re: Books are so overrated.
« Reply #17 on: September 02, 2015, 09:35:57 PM »
Reading taught me now to spell "bumper" sticker.

And also the difference between "then" and "than".

FLA

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Re: Books are so overrated.
« Reply #18 on: September 02, 2015, 10:46:23 PM »

But as to your question if reading will actually make you smarter, the answer may be no. Studies of children indicate that bedtime reading doesn't positively influence IQ. So it may be more accurate to say that strong readers are smarter because of their genes, rather than saying the reading makes you smarter.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/10/141030114749.htm

This was just a quick review of the available research, I'm sure there is even more data out there. And I didn't even touch on the health benefits of reading, which can be surprising.

To summarize, will reading books make you smarter in the sense of increasing your IQ? Probably not. But reading may make you healthier, more successful, and better able to empathize and understand other people. Books can also be a tremendous source of pleasure (adventure! exploration! emotion!) and many of them contain useful facts.

Cheers.

SIS

The most intelligent answer so far comes from someone who is a book lover!

Reading this helped you learn something? Go figure.

*Take a look, it's in a book, a Reading Rainbow!*

agreed and Reading Rainbow, I loved that show. 

anecdotally, I read like crazy as a kid and always 2-3 books a week as an adult. Reading was my "thing", anyone who knows me, knows that.  All of a sudden, last June I just stopped reading, blamed it on stress I was not having.  Then I started repeating myself to others with no memory I had already said it.  Dropped my other fav, independent film, like a hot potato.  It seemed nebulous at the time, not something to worry about. Turned out I was totally wrong, there's this stuff going on in my brain, right where cognition is. I had to take an IQ test, above average in verbal, failed miserably in every other category.  Let's just say my IQ dropped a "large" amount of points.  I was distraught, I cried, I wanted to retake it (even though this test is to show disability further proof of what's going on, so by trying to do better, I'd actually be making it worse for myself). I could not understand how I could excel at verbal and not one other thing. The doc said, "your reading habits are likely why you still have strong verbal abilities. The rest shows clearly you fail at memory, concentration and following instructions."  I said am I going to lose verbal?  he could not answer but he told me to read, read, read, even when I don't remember anything from the day before, even if I finish a book but in 2 hrs cannot remember what it was about, just do it. And to write something longish and complicated and see if it is comprehensible to others. I'm doing it ten times over, reading might save a crucial part of my cognition. 

Long story long, my reading habits were enough to protect part of what I am losing. And I think the way my IQ test turned out, is proof enough for me that reading contributes to intelligence.  But not if you only do it as "homework", if it's not something that is interesting to or important to you, I can see that it might have little effect. 

have you seen the statistic 80% of adults never read another book after college? I have to snopes that, that cannot possibly be true
« Last Edit: September 04, 2015, 05:51:25 PM by FLA »

patrickza

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Re: Books are so overrated.
« Reply #19 on: September 03, 2015, 12:06:52 AM »
It think it's true, but you don't need to read a book, reading stuff online will have a similar effect. Just gain knowledge however works best for you.

gooki

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Re: Books are so overrated.
« Reply #20 on: September 03, 2015, 12:49:45 AM »
On my way to work today I saw a bumber sticker that said "Those that read will lead".

How does reading a book make you smarter?

How do you know they were talking about books?

dantownehall

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Re: Books are so overrated.
« Reply #21 on: September 03, 2015, 06:06:12 AM »
books ar fer nerds i learnd plenty without em

the internet is better because any1 can put stuff on it so you know its acurite

Kris

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Re: Books are so overrated.
« Reply #22 on: September 03, 2015, 07:12:26 AM »
Superlative trolling!  You almost got me.  The typos were a brilliant addition.

Ha! Agreed.  Nicely put.

mschaus

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Re: Books are so overrated.
« Reply #23 on: September 03, 2015, 08:07:36 AM »
Superlative trolling!  You almost got me.  The typos were a brilliant addition.
Indeed!

Gone Fishing

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Re: Books are so overrated.
« Reply #24 on: September 03, 2015, 08:20:05 AM »
Used to read tons of books before the internet, but in the past 10 years I could probably count the real books I have read all the way through on one hand.  My massive book collection has done little more than take up space and collect dust.  When I do pick up a book, I immediately notice how much slower the pace of information is versus online reading, kind of like watching an old movie.  I'm looking forward to reading more books in a few months, it should fit in nicely with a retired lifestyle!       

sser

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Re: Books are so overrated.
« Reply #25 on: September 03, 2015, 11:11:51 AM »
Used to read tons of books before the internet, but in the past 10 years I could probably count the real books I have read all the way through on one hand.  My massive book collection has done little more than take up space and collect dust.  When I do pick up a book, I immediately notice how much slower the pace of information is versus online reading, kind of like watching an old movie.  I'm looking forward to reading more books in a few months, it should fit in nicely with a retired lifestyle!       

Definitely relate to this. I'm a slow reader, and there's sooo much information to be had! So I really appreciate when things are to-the-point with interesting stories sprinkled in (to spark the imagination or motivate).

midweststache

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Re: Books are so overrated.
« Reply #26 on: September 03, 2015, 08:40:26 PM »
As an IT professional, while reading and courses are helpful, the internet seems to be the best "book" out there. I can google any error, find code to do what I need, find upgrade paths for systems, and ask others who are in the know on forums, such as this one.

The internet is far superior to a book IMO.

But the Internet is a text--a hypertext, but a text nonetheless. We still have to engage in the critical thinking skills associated with reading (basic vocabulary, rhetorical organization, critical analysis of arguments, authorial bias in articles/forum posts/essays, etc.) Even visual rhetorical analysis (looking at memes, photographs, website design and layout, etc.) rely on basic elements of narrative construction and analysis. Think about marketing/advertising/PR execs--they're selling audiences a "story."

The book itself is not what makes people smarter, although I defer to the posters above who have given research-based evidence that those who read more are smarter. It is the act of reading--particularly reading lengthy pieces written for a 10th grade + reading level--that improve one's intellect.

Syonyk

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Re: Books are so overrated.
« Reply #27 on: September 03, 2015, 08:49:09 PM »
You mean reading BuzzFeed doesn't count? Well shit...

FLA

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Re: Books are so overrated.
« Reply #28 on: September 04, 2015, 05:54:49 PM »
we used to write our patient information booklets at an 8th gr reading level, we had to drop it to 5th gr

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Books are so overrated.
« Reply #29 on: September 05, 2015, 10:13:25 AM »
As an IT professional, while reading and courses are helpful, the internet seems to be the best "book" out there. I can google any error, find code to do what I need, find upgrade paths for systems, and ask others who are in the know on forums, such as this one.

The internet is far superior to a book IMO.

But the Internet is a text--a hypertext, but a text nonetheless. We still have to engage in the critical thinking skills associated with reading (basic vocabulary, rhetorical organization, critical analysis of arguments, authorial bias in articles/forum posts/essays, etc.) Even visual rhetorical analysis (looking at memes, photographs, website design and layout, etc.) rely on basic elements of narrative construction and analysis. Think about marketing/advertising/PR execs--they're selling audiences a "story."

The book itself is not what makes people smarter, although I defer to the posters above who have given research-based evidence that those who read more are smarter. It is the act of reading--particularly reading lengthy pieces written for a 10th grade + reading level--that improve one's intellect.

For looking up code, sure the Internet probably is superior to a book. It can be updated more quickly (ie, immediately).

Sometimes it's more helpful to have one sequential set of directions. I just finished making a skirt* from a library book. Came with a traceable pattern and walked you through all the steps in a way that a website isn't going to do--at least not for free. I did supplement with an occasional online tutorial when I didn't understand the way the book explained something. Online tutorials are great for "how to slip stitch." Not so great for "how to make a skirt when you can barely sew."

*If you're curious, it came out wearable but seriously imperfect! These things take practice.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Books are so overrated.
« Reply #30 on: September 05, 2015, 10:56:48 AM »
.

Lots of ways to learn stuff, I agree.    I'm a fan of books though, and hate that video has become so common when it doesn't need to be.    Here's a video that makes my point :P

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHtJLABTdCE

Ahh ha ha!
Me: [reads a book for two hours]
Me: [reads supporting material online for an hour]
Me: A two minute video!? Fuuuuck I don't have time for thi--oh wait, there's a transcript. Thank god.

THIS X 1000.

I used to be a fast and voracious reader as a child and early teen. Some time around sixteen I stopped reading books for fun all the time - something to do with school getting more intense but also to do with the internet (2006) getting more interesting for me. About six months after university, the need to read came back all of a sudden and it felt great! Books are different from the internet and videos because they are so long. In fact, you get to explore many facets of a subject and delve deeply into it. In fiction, you can follow a complex plot. There is some good long-form writing available online (The Atlantic sometimes does good multi-page articles) but nothing to compare to a book.

I understand that not everyone learns well by reading but I really do, so this drive to swing the other way and have everything available on video drives me nuts. I like to speed up and slow down a lot depending on how familiar I am with the material and I hate having to go at someone else's pace.