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Boys don't read unless it is gory?

taerictaeric Registered User, ClubPA regular
edited August 2008 in Debate and/or Discourse
So.... I just found this article in today's WSJ.

Was it really necessary to add gore to get any of you guys to read when you were younger? I don't recall this.

And if they are having to cater towards boys now, is this because they have been catering to girls before? Or are we just going to ignore them for a while? (Separate reading lists?)

taeric on
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Posts

  • Vrtra TheoryVrtra Theory Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    The call for gore is just absurd. The titles mentioned by the other teacher (Tom Sawyer, Jules Verne) were amazing when I first read them. The younger "pulp" stuff like Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew was great too, I think I read all of them when I was in the 10-11 range.

    On the other hand, Little House on the Prairie. Wow. I mean, who can blame a kid for not wanting to read that snoozefest?

  • DehumanizedDehumanized Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    I'm trying to think back to what I read when I was a grade schooler... uh, Goosebumps and Animorphs, and a lot of the young adult Star Wars books. Sometimes 'scary' (well, for an 8 year old!), but certainly not extremely gory or whatever. Some of the stuff I read now is more gory (eg: Terry Goodkind's books), but that's certainly not the reason why I picked them up in the first place.

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  • Dunadan019Dunadan019 Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    my first book was green eggs and ham! (probably not but i remember having that one)

    i guess the first real book would have been those illustrated classics books like 2000 leagues under the sea and journey to the center of the earth. they have tons of em.

    u know the ones where every page has a picture on one side and text on the other which makes the book twice as big as it really is.

  • durandal4532durandal4532 Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    It's less that you need gross or disgusting books than that you need entertaining ones. Part of why I learned to read was that my parents read out loud to me and my sister really awesome books and always ended each night on climactic scenes.

    It made me actually interested in reading the rest of those books as soon as possible, rather than seeing reading as a chore that adults forced me to do.

    That, and comic books totally help. Early runs of Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, and X-Men are really easy to read and entertaining and don't look "kiddie" like a big ol' picture book.

  • jungleroomxjungleroomx Aaron Hernandez shot me through the heartRegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    I read a lot of Stephen King when I was little, but most of his stuff isn't terribly gory, so much as creepy and full of naughty words.

    The Stand had it's moments.

    Spoiler:
  • Dunadan019Dunadan019 Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    i used to read those "choose your own story" type books and fold the pages where a choice was made, once i got to an ending or a junction i had already read i went back and took a different path. i made sure i went backwards and didnt just skip around to random choices too.

  • taerictaeric Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited August 2008
    I almost put a list of what I remembered reading.... but I honestly don't remember reading much until I read the Hobbit. Even that took a long time to finish. (Once I did, I immediately read everything else by Tolkien I could get.)

    I do recall Where the Sidewalk Ends. I liked a lot of quick poetry as a child.

  • MahnmutMahnmut Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    The bible is pretty much full of gore. Crazy fundie kids.

    I love this Cracked article: The 9 Most Badass Bible Verses.

    Okay, admittedly II Kings 2:23-24 is one of my favorite parts of the Bible. Sometimes, when I share with Christians, they think I've made it up.

    It's like that one guy's avatar:

    "Hey smelly old dude! Got a weather forecast in loser-town?"

    "Why, yes! It is cloudy, with a chance of BEAR!"

    Steam/LoL: Jericho89
  • subediisubedii Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Bullpies!
    /Farnsworth


    The stuff that really got me interested in reading as a kid was sci-fi stuff like Dune and Ender's Game. I was also big into Terry Pratchett, I had a lot of the Discworld books (So. Many. BOOKS).

    Neither of them could really be classed as "gory". I can't really remember much of anything that thrived on viscera for its own sake.

  • TomantaTomanta Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Dunadan019 wrote: »
    i used to read those "choose your own story" type books and fold the pages where a choice was made, once i got to an ending or a junction i had already read i went back and took a different path. i made sure i went backwards and didnt just skip around to random choices too.

    Choose your own adventure and Hardy Boys were staples of my youth.

    This reminds me of my favorite Calvin & Hobbes comic. My brief google-fu couldn't find it, but it has him reading a very violent comic, puts it down and goes over to the tv all googly-eyed. His mom turns the TV off and says "it's too violent, why don't you go read something?".

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  • Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt Damn you, eidetic memory! Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    'cause the Berenstein bears just wouldn't have been worth reading without the maulings.

    And I will cut any bitch that talks shit about Laura Ingalls Wilder.

    Origin ID: Null_Cypher
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  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    I mostly read the pared down versions of classics, like Tale of Two Cities, Three Musketeers &c. when I was young. (like 8-tweens not when I was 4) Then I read There and Back Again and...yeah. Probably the goriest stuff would have been something like Goosebumps.

    The only challenge to getting little boys (or girls) to enjoy reading is to have them read/read with them enjoyable books. This shouldn't be so difficult to understand. Hell, I can't wait until I become a dad/have to babysit my cousins in a couple years. I haven't read The Wind in the Willows in decades, and I've never read Rutabaga Stories. The first time I get to introduce a certain Hobbit to my future kid is going to be so awesome.

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  • taerictaeric Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited August 2008
    It probably helps to not ostracize them while reading. I mean, if I was constantly being told to go read while everyone else did something else, I would not like reading either.

    That is, you want your kids to read? Why don't you try picking up a book?

  • SpoonySpoony Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    I doubt that the "gory" is as much a decent descriptor as "action-packed" is.

    I remember the books I read from third grade through high school and the common element in them was that there was a great deal of activity and action. Ender's Game and The Hobbit were two of my favorite books. I also remember a book about baseball. I think it was about a Russian immigrant who really wanted to play little league or Babe Ruth. It's all pretty fuzzy since it was almost 20 years ago. I read a lot of Tom Clancy in junior high since they were pretty easy to read and they'd last a while. Books about war were always interesting. Red Badge of Courage and The Things They Carried were great.

  • MKRMKR Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Mine were full of grotesque, but very little gore.

  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    "Action-packed" is definitely a better descriptor then gore. The first books I distinctly remember reading (there were ones before) were the Deepwater Blue series which were great because they were sci-fi in a fantastic setting.

    Of course those had the trites, which scared the hell out of me. But the spaceship was the appeal.

  • Nova_CNova_C Sniff Sniff Snorf Beyond The WallRegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    I grew up reading Hardy Boys and Black Stallion. I dig the gore, but I don't read for the sake of the gore. I read because there's a lot of books out there with good characters and stories.

    I did read Fear Street as a kid, too (Stine's work before Goosebumps for the kiddies here).

  • MetacortexMetacortex The Prettiest Zombie Coeur d'CoeursRegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    It doesn't take gore, it just takes interesting literature. The shit they make you read all through school just doesn't cut it 95% of the time.

    The first time I actually enjoyed something I had to read for school was 1984, and that was when I was a senior.

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  • TrevorTrevor Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    That explains why I read all those goddamn Redwall books. Now I know what to blame if I become a murderer, a chef, or a furry.

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  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited August 2008
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    The bible is pretty much full of gore. Crazy fundie kids.

    I love this Cracked article: The 9 Most Badass Bible Verses.

    Has Cracked always been hilarious?

    Maddie: "I named my feet. The left one is flip and the right one is flop. Oh, and also I named my flip-flops."

    I make tweet.
  • insane00insane00 Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    This is a ridiculous and annoying article. As others have already stated it is largely not true.

    My favorite book before kindergarten was The Lion the Witch and The Wardrobe. In grade school it was The Hatchet, and my favorite book since high school is still The Lord of the Rings.

    Not only that, wasn't the biggest book getting kids (boys and girls) to read recently Harry Potter? Magic, check. Action, check, adventure, check. Sadness and death, check. Gore, well even the nastiest curses in the book keep it all nice and clean (Ava Kadavra leaves just an intact dead body and while the Creciahootawhatsit curse may result in madness, but it doesn't exactly tear people limb from limb).

    Go on, keep reading...
  • taerictaeric Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited August 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    The bible is pretty much full of gore. Crazy fundie kids.

    I love this Cracked article: The 9 Most Badass Bible Verses.

    Has Cracked always been hilarious?

    I was wondering the same. I think this is the first time I've had to send a link to all my friends over IM. I was close to tears on some of it.

  • Witch_Hunter_84Witch_Hunter_84 Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    My first book was Where the Wild Things Are. I read gory books now, but i don't think that's the point they're trying to make with children. And doesn't this draw a scary parallel to all the hubbub that parents and teachers tried to create around playing Grand Theft Auto? I mean, gory books help children get interested in reading, but gory video gams help children shoot up their classmates and the cops?

    . . . just sounds odd.

    If you can't beat them, arrange to have them beaten in your presence.
  • DasUberEdwardDasUberEdward Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Did anyone else read Everworld? Oh I was a big Redwall fan sometimes the badgers got a little out of hand.

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  • DarkCrawlerDarkCrawler Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    The bible is pretty much full of gore. Crazy fundie kids.

    I love this Cracked article: The 9 Most Badass Bible Verses.

    Has Cracked always been hilarious?

    Yes. Very much so. The 5 Most Badass Presidents of All-Time had me on stitches.

    "When the 1828 election rolled around, a lot of people were terrified when they heard Andrew "Old Hickory" Jackson was running. If you're wondering how a guy we're calling a bad ass got such a lame nickname, it's because he used to carry a hickory cane around and beat people senseless with it, and if you're wondering why he did that, it's because he was a fucking lunatic."


    I can't comment on the reading issue though, nobody ever had to force me on reading. My mom was a librarian, she made me read everything as soon as I was able to comprehend stuff...I think I learned to read around the age of three or something. Reading is the most awesome thing in the world, honestly, and all the TV in the world can't beat an excellent book in my opinion.

    I know people who haven't read more then one or two books, though...and only when forced to do so in school. :|

  • Nova_CNova_C Sniff Sniff Snorf Beyond The WallRegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    My favorite cracked article is "The five most endangered species that aren't endangered enough."

  • subediisubedii Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Metacortex wrote: »
    It doesn't take gore, it just takes interesting literature. The shit they make you read all through school just doesn't cut it 95% of the time.

    The first time I actually enjoyed something I had to read for school was 1984, and that was when I was a senior.

    Man, I read "Animal Farm" for my schoolwork, and let me tell you, the overanalysis of absolutely everything completely sucked up any enjoyment I could've gotten out of the book, I ended up hating it.

    Now I feel differently, but largely because I don't have to troll through every sentence pointing out the obvious and seeking meaningful "connections" throughout the story (especially when I thought those connections were really, really tenuous).

    If English Lit taught me anything, it's that there's usually only ever one valid and acceptable interpretation that the examiners are looking for, so you better freaking well learn it! <img class=" title=":lol:" class="bbcode_smiley" />

  • MetacortexMetacortex The Prettiest Zombie Coeur d'CoeursRegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    subedii wrote: »
    Metacortex wrote: »
    It doesn't take gore, it just takes interesting literature. The shit they make you read all through school just doesn't cut it 95% of the time.

    The first time I actually enjoyed something I had to read for school was 1984, and that was when I was a senior.

    Man, I read "Animal Farm" for my schoolwork, and let me tell you, the overanalysis of absolutely everything completely sucked up any enjoyment I could've gotten out of the book, I ended up hating it.

    Now I feel differently, but largely because I don't have to troll through every sentence pointing out the obvious and seeking meaningful "connections" throughout the story (especially when I thought those connections were really, really tenuous).

    If English Lit taught me anything, it's that there's usually only ever one valid and acceptable interpretation that the examiners are looking for, so you better freaking well learn it! <img class=" title=":lol:" class="bbcode_smiley" />

    I HATE the analysis of literature. A lot of this stems from the fact that I'm not particularly good at it, but mostly because it seems like a bunch of stupid, meaningless fluff.

    I remember a class I had before, the teacher asked "What's the point of writing literature?" We got 7-8 answers deep with shit like "to make social commentary" and I got infuriated because, to me, the main point of writing a piece of literature should always be to tell a fucking story.

    I understand that writing can be used for social commentary and the like, but fuck. Can't I just read something to immerse myself in a fictional world?

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  • ShinyoShinyo Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    I read the title as 'Boys don't read unless it is orgy?'

  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited August 2008
    Shinyo wrote: »
    I read the title as 'Boys don't read unless it is orgy?'

    Which, ironically, is likely far more accurate.

    Maddie: "I named my feet. The left one is flip and the right one is flop. Oh, and also I named my flip-flops."

    I make tweet.
  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    I read 'My Side of the Mountain' and 'Hardy Boys' and the Boy Scout Handbook when I was growing up. I learned so much from those books.

    Knots, edible plants, wilderness survival, not to sass my Aunt Gretrude, etc. etc.

    Best growing up books ever.

  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited August 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    The bible is pretty much full of gore. Crazy fundie kids.

    I love this Cracked article: The 9 Most Badass Bible Verses.

    Has Cracked always been hilarious?

    I think they picked up the funny that Mad dropped back in the 90s.

  • DmanDman Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    I have always read a lot and I've never gone for especially gory stuff. The only good book I was given in school was The Hobbit.
    I love all the books people are posting about, I've read many of them, Redwall, Hardy boys, LoTR, Narnia, hitch hickers guide, Foundation,shanara, endar's game....

    I was also into some Dragonlance, forgotten realms.

    I got into some tom clancy and similar books, wheel of time, man I've forgotten half the books I've read!

    I appreciate a page or two of violence and/or sex in my books but it is hardly a determining factor, most of the books I've read don't really have anything I'd call gory in them.

  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    One of my favorite early series was Dealing with Dragons.

    Combat was done with SOAPY WATER. Oh noes!

    Earliest book I can remember caring about as a teeny weeny kid was this one about a kid rescuing a sea turtle and making a habitat for it.

    Clearly this explains my raping and pillaging.

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  • HacksawHacksaw J Duggan Wrestler at LawRegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Bama wrote: »
    I think titties would work better.

  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Hacksaw wrote: »
    Bama wrote: »
    I think titties would work better.

    National Geographic?

    National Geographic.

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  • HacksawHacksaw J Duggan Wrestler at LawRegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Hacksaw wrote: »
    Bama wrote: »
    I think titties would work better.

    National Geographic?

    National Geographic.
    Nice titties, not droopy titties. I have standards, man.

  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Hacksaw wrote: »
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Hacksaw wrote: »
    Bama wrote: »
    I think titties would work better.

    National Geographic?

    National Geographic.
    Nice titties, not droopy titties. I have standards, man.

    That's why Masai.

    Also they have cheek bones like French models. <3

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  • HacksawHacksaw J Duggan Wrestler at LawRegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Hacksaw wrote: »
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Hacksaw wrote: »
    Bama wrote: »
    I think titties would work better.

    National Geographic?

    National Geographic.
    Nice titties, not droopy titties. I have standards, man.

    That's why Masai.

    Also they have cheek bones like French models. <3
    Starving Africans never did it for me.

  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited August 2008
    Did anyone but me ever read anything by Tom McGowen? He wrote a bunch of pretty cool kids' fantasy novels - including one where dragons, elves, and humans teamed up to save ancient Atlantis from the Borg - back in the late Eighties and then basically vanished from sight. I've never met another soul who's read anything by him and he's barely mentioned on the internets.

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