Sunday, November 21, 2010

Interview with a Non-Reader

So I challenged you all to come up with the best questions you could for my boyfriend, and the answers are in!

As I mentioned before, while I am an avid reader, my boyfriend is the complete opposite.  He would never "waste his time" reading a book when he could just wait for the movie to come out.  I wanted to interview him so that I (and hopefully some of you) could get an understanding from a non-readers point of view.  It really intrigues me that reading just isn't something that he likes to do -- I guess because I am so in love with it.

Here goes:

What kind of things do you enjoy doing for fun?
Playing video games & watching sports.

Do you not like reading because it takes a lot of time?  Do you find it hard to stay focused and interested?
Both.  It doesn't move fast enough for me.  I'd rather watch a two hour movie than read a three inch book.  It is a lot easier for me to remember important stuff that happens in the beginning of  a movie than to try to remember what happened in chapter two of a book.  I read slow, and I don't really retain things.  I love magazine articles -- articles that are about 8 pages in length are as far as it goes.  

What is it about reading that doesn't spark your interest?  Is there a type of story that you think would spark your interest?
It is time consuming, to me it is just boring.  I can't get lost in it like you do.  I think I would read non-fiction stuff.  I enjoy reading articles about science and technology.  I read Wired magazine cover to cover -- at the back there are longer stories...they are like "bleeding edge" technological things, like how they might be able to cure cancer in a few years or something like that.  

When did your interest in books leave you?  Did you enjoy reading as a kid?  Did your parents read to you at night?
I don't remember if my parents read to me.  I read in elementary school, but at that age I think it is somewhat forced upon you.  There was a book fair, and other reward programs to encourage reading.

 Do you think that required reading in schools turns children away from leisurely reading?
That makes sense -- the fact that you are forcing kids to read things that they couldn't care less about, yeah I guess.  But then again, I didn't want to sit through Algebra, but I had to.  There are a lot of things that I would change about our education system, but I don't think that is the point.  I don't remember required reading -- I either wasn't assigned it, or just didn't do it. I used to do those stupid tests all the time in the library.  You would read a book and then you could go to the library to take a five question test on it and win a prize.  I wouldn't read the book, but I would go in and take the test and most of the time I would pass it.  If I missed a question, I could just come back the next day and take it again.  It didn't encourage me to read, because I didn't have to read the book and I could still get the reward.

What books did you like as a kid?
The only books I ever remember liking are the Animorph books.

Would you read a non-fiction book, like something about The Atlanta Braves, or another sports team?
I would really be interested in a memoir of Bobby Cox.  If you were to get me a book like that I would read it.  

Is there a book out there that you've heard a lot about that you would like to read?  Like a NY Times Bestseller?
No, I don't really look at things where they talk about "hot upcoming books".  I couldn't even tell you what is on the top ten bestseller list.  I can guarantee you that if it is on the bestseller list I'm not going to read it.  The only reason those books get put on that list is because Oprah likes them and has promoted them on her show.  If she likes a book -- it is number one on the booksellers list. 

You enjoyed the Lord of the Rings movies, would you ever consider reading the books?  Or a book like it?
No.  First of all, I've already seen the movies, so that would bore me to death to read about something I've already seen.  I know how it ends, so no.  Plus, those books are really long.

Would you try reading a graphic novel?
Uh, no...

What about an audio book?
No, I just wouldn't pay attention to it.  I think people that like audio books are people that enjoy reading in the first place.  The only reason to use them is because for some reason you can't read a book. 

What book was a required reading book that you just couldn't stand?  Or what book have you read or tried to read that you couldn't stand?
Honestly, I've read so few books I can't tell you. 

How many books do you think you've read in your life?
20?  I guess the Animorphs books would be about 8 or 9 of them...I've read 1984 by George Orwell.  I don't remember much of it -- I guess it didn't leave that big of an impression on me.  I can only remember a few parts -- I was really interested in politics at the time, so that's why I read it.

What was your favorite book growing up?
I remember liking the book Goodnight, Moon.  I remember being really young, and my aunt took me to a bookstore and really wanted to buy me a book.  I didn't have the heart to tell her that I didn't want a book, so I just picked up Goodnight, Moon because I knew that I liked it.  She wasn't very happy when she found out I already had a copy of it at home...

Did your family encourage you to read?
My mom reads all the time, but no I guess not.

How do you feel about other people reading?  I mean you know how much I love reading...
It keeps you out of my hair.  
No, at this point, you are pretty much obsessed with reading.  You've got the challenge to read 100 books this year, and you've got a blog with followers and stuff.  It doesn't really bother me, I'm not going to start some campaign about not reading or anything, but I'm not going to start reading. 

Do you see the value in reading?  Educational or otherwise?
Fiction books, no.  I don't see how it is any different than watching NCIS or something like that.  I don't see the educational value of reading a non-fiction book.  There is no educational value at all, in a fiction book.  Other than like historical context or something...but you could watch the movie Gone With the Wind and get just as much "educational value" out of it as reading the books.  I didn't get any educational value out of reading Animorphs...people don't turn into animals in real life. I would say a large portion of fiction books have no educational value at all. 

This was so interesting to be.  I love talking books with people, and it was nice to hear things from his perspective as a non-reader.  I honestly don't agree with 90% of what he has to say...but it was interesting.  I will definitely be looking into getting him a Bobby Cox memoir...and hopefully I can get him to review it for us on here!

I would really like to just mention how amazing he is.  He is so supportive of me, and I really appreciate him taking his time to do this interview with me.  I know he would rather have finished playing his video game, or watch a football game (I made sure all the games today were over - LOL). Thanks sweetie! I love you!

What did you think of the interview?  Do you have friends or family members that don't like reading either?  I wonder if they have the same feelings as my boyfriend...

Happy Reading!


Casey (The Bookish Type) said...

This is really interesting! I've never understood how someone could not enjoy reading, so this is really enlightening. I've heard that parents reading to children can make them readers when they're older - my parents apparently read to me all the time and now here we are LOL. It sounds like this holds true here too, since he doesn't really remember his parents reading to him. I'll have to keep that in mind if I ever have kids ;-)

Really neat idea! Thanks to your boyfriend for sharing his POV!

Midnyte Reader said...

This was actually very interesting. The most interesting thing was the comment that fiction books have no educational value or that they have no more value than watching NCIS. I don't agree for myself, but it is something that I will probably think about.

Thank you for the insight!


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