Communicator (communicator) wrote,
Communicator
communicator

Reading as shared experience

This week I'm reading two books: Howard's End and The Half Blood Prince. I'm enjoying both, but Howard's End is better. So why spend time on HBP? (that's not a real question)

Partly because it's exciting waiting for the next instalment. I love this kind of shared experience. It's like when the bells rung in English churches because 'Miss Pamela is getting married'. Or when people rushed out to buy the next instalment of David Copperfield.

This Pandagon thread is against the idea that grown-ups need to be ashamed of reading Harry Potter. A lot of good reasons are proposed. I think this is the best, from a non-fan.


Well, I think a lot of this is the way that the masses as a society use content. We use it as a shared experience, that we all talk about afterwards and discuss. Something to bring us together. Pop-Culture does this. We’re lucky we have pop culture as well done as Harry Potter. (Even though I don’t like it. I’m a stickler for tone, and the tone of the story feels wrong for the dread underneath. But I admit that I’m the one who’s strange in that regard).

Reading “Serious Fiction” #213 isn’t going to bring us together, if you and your friends have all read different books, then it’s very hard to discuss or share them. Along the same lines, we can all discuss the latest episode of Lost, Heroes, or Grey’s Anatomy, or what have you. We can talk about the latest movies (either in theatre or on DVD), so we want to partake of the content ASAP so we can join in the conversation.

The other thing is that it’s easy to share concise facts/factoids, even without knowledge of a bigger text, which is behind the popularity of non-fiction. It’s something that can start a conversation even WITHOUT anybody else reading the actual work. Which makes it very useful.

Yes. It is all about us, as a culture seeking shared experiences. this is without a doubt a good thing.


I think most of what people post about on livejournal is Harry Potter rather than EM Forster. That's not because we are 'dumb' or 'immature'. It's just more of a shared live experience.
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