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It's too bad boys don't (can't) read.


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#1 Stosh

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Posted 06 August 2016 - 05:17 AM

http://r.search.yaho...tV7apHTQHiBSd8-
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There's a reason why I don't always answer the phone, doorbell or comments on forums.  :)


#2 qwazse

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Posted 06 August 2016 - 08:34 AM

I'm not complaining about our boys anymore.
I had a talk with a young missionary who, in the country she was serving, started implementing an accelerated reading program, piloting it in a rural school. Roadblock #1 (of many): the curriculum required reading story-books to students (obvious to us ... to a culture steeped in oral recitation, not so much), but teachers were barely at 3rd grade reading level. For one teacher, who it turned out was assessed at 1st grade level, story time didn't happen at all.

Maybe sending her back with some Pee Wee Harris comics could motivate some adult men to improve their skills!
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#3 TAHAWK

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Posted 06 August 2016 - 09:09 AM

The Boy Scout fiction of the pre-WW II period is very inexpensive on eBay,


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#4 Chadamus

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Posted 06 August 2016 - 11:38 AM

The world's literacy rate continues to increase. I dream for the day a thread like this is fiction.

Edited by Chadamus, 06 August 2016 - 11:39 AM.

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#5 NJCubScouter

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Posted 06 August 2016 - 01:27 PM

Is the thread title supposed to be sarcastic?

Some boys like to read, some don't. I think boys of today would find the kind of stories written by this author (starting 100 years ago) to be boring. They are more likely to want stories that are a little different, like Harry Potter. (Of course, Harry Potter books are so 10 years ago now. I don't know what teen and pre-teen boys are reading now. Assuming they are reading and not playing video games. Maybe someone could create some Scouting-related video games.)

Edited by NJCubScouter, 06 August 2016 - 01:28 PM.

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#6 Chadamus

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Posted 06 August 2016 - 02:02 PM

Boys now are reading both classic and contemporary fiction. The things we read as youngsters are still being read today. And I say 'we' because whether you're a dad or a granddad it still holds true.
Unfortunately it's also true that not all boys like to read. Reading text on the screen as they play their games doesn't count. ☺
P.S. new Harry Potter book was released earlier this week.
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#7 Stosh

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Posted 06 August 2016 - 03:55 PM

Graphic novels, fantasy escapism, etc. are not a valid replacement for the classics.

 

Yeah, I agree, once college was for reading the classics, now the big hit is remedial reading.


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#8 NJCubScouter

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Posted 06 August 2016 - 04:17 PM

Yeah, I agree, once college was for reading the classics, now the big hit is remedial reading.


That's a big over-generalization. It is wrong paint an entire generation with the same brush. I would grant that a higher percentage of college students today need to take "catch-up" classes, partly because a larger percentage of students go to college than in "my day." Though I can't say that my son spent much time in college reading the classics, he was too busy taking advanced calculus and physics and engineering courses that I didn't even understand the names of.
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#9 Stosh

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Posted 06 August 2016 - 04:36 PM

That information doesn't seem to be the case with the half dozen college professors I know just from my church.  We just had this discussion and college English professors all seem to be in agreement that today's youth are becoming very attuned to video, digitial and other technologies, but simple reading seems to be taking a backseat with the college bound youth of today.

 

My boys were talking about reading and they had an acute understanding video games, Harry Potter, etc. but things like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Huckleberry Finn, Ben Hur, Call of the Wild, Moby Dick, etc are not only not read, but the majority of boys didn't even recognize the titles.....unless they had seen the movie....  They know the stories from sources other than books.


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#10 TAHAWK

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Posted 06 August 2016 - 04:47 PM

We found that getting our son to read anything (Dungeon Master's Guide) led to more and more reading.


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#11 Stosh

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Posted 06 August 2016 - 05:02 PM

My children are avid readers,  My son's favorite author is Steven King.  My oldest daughter reads 250 books a year, and that doesn't count the 500 books she reads out loud to her 2 year old daughter.  My other daughter doesn't do near as many books as her sister, but excels in art that consumes a lot of her time, but she reads constantly to her daughter as well.  She's the one that was the full ride scholar to a prestigious school in engineering.  Both of the girls home school their children.  Both children could communicate before they could talk.  The older granddaughter's favorite author is Dr. Seuss and may not read, but she knows the difference between those books and others.

 

Needless to say, my oldest daughter's reading is rather unique because even if it is for her own enjoyment, she still reads out loud so her daughter can hear the story.  Yes, my 2 year old granddaughter knows the stories about Harry Potter AND Dr. Seuss, but prefers Dr. Seuss. That may change when she gets to 3 or 4 years of age.

 

Oh, by the way, With camp this week, I got in 3 books.  It was great.


Edited by Stosh, 06 August 2016 - 05:05 PM.

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There's a reason why I don't always answer the phone, doorbell or comments on forums.  :)


#12 CalicoPenn

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Posted 06 August 2016 - 05:21 PM

Define "Classic"

 

I graduated high school in 1979.  The only books I would consider "classics" that I read for school were Julius Caesar (Shakespeare) and Romeo & Juliet (again, Shakespeare).  In college, the only book I read that might be considered a classic was Walden.

 

Everything else I read would probably be considered "Contemporary" (though some might now be considered classics like Elie Weisel's Night.) or short stories.

 

By 1976, literature classes in a lot of the "top tier" hgh school districts (read well-supported by taxpayers in white big-city suburbs) were following the latest teaching trends including a heavier use of short stories in class to cover a greater ground of styles. 

 

In college, I experienced the same - lit classes were dominated by short stories and contemporary stories - and were starting to become more diverse in choices as well (less dead white guys, more women and minorities).  I read Walden because I took a class titled "Thoreau and other Transcendentalists".  Of course we were doing to read Walden.  At the small, private college I went too, many of our "textbooks" weren't textbooks at all - they were just books.  Sure, we had text books for mathematics and some of the science classics but most classes used just plain old books for a lot of the curriculum.  For Geology for the Naturalist, we spent more time dissecting On Basin and Range by John McPhee then we spent on the text book.  (I think some would consider John McPhee's books to be classics these days). 

 

Other memorable authors I read in college were John Muir, Rachel Carson, Sigurd Oleson, Aldo Leopold and Edwin Way Teale.  All non-fiction - and I would argue all classics.

 

I didn't read my first Hemingway book until this year when I read The Old Man and the Sea.  I've not read Steinbeck, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Chaucer, Melville, or a lot of other folks that people would label classics.    But I don't think I've missed out.  Most of the folks I know who had to read these authors in high school or college could only say it was a long slog to get through most of these books.  Most of them are also no longer readers - they may read a couple of books a month but they aren't likely to choose sitting and reading over watching television. 

 

I didn't read "the classics" and maybe because I was spared from slogging through them, I read an average of 250 books a year (last year I read 325).  Maybe "the classics" aren't all they cracked up to be.

 

Oh - and I remember reading a number of those Boy Scout books when I was in 6th and 7th grade - they were fun to read but just didn't hold a candle to The Hardy Boys and My Side of the Mountain.


Edited by CalicoPenn, 06 August 2016 - 05:26 PM.

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#13 qwazse

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Posted 06 August 2016 - 06:41 PM

Anything you read just for a grade is a slog. And you haven't read English until you've read Chaucer.
I chose my college English classes based on the reading list, not the other way around. (Cantaberry Tales was on the list for a course titled "The Comic Idea.")

I'm not an avid reader, so I choose the books I pick up judiciously. The most recent was thanks to my son's Eagle project (relocating and recatalogue the church library). There was a box of discarded biographies that poor Mrs. Q had to welcome into our family room. That included Mednick's Teresa d'Avila, which I then sent to a venturer who was having a tough time in basic training, and a bio of Cam Townsed, which I gave to my mother-in-law who need a little something inspiring.

I try not to let too much stay on my shelf (Josephus, Tolkien, Lewis), I think I might add El Dishad at some point.

But truth is, we have a profusion of really good writers. I've resigned myself to never reading them all.

Edited by qwazse, 06 August 2016 - 06:42 PM.

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#14 Chadamus

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Posted 06 August 2016 - 07:15 PM

The number of definitions for the term 'classic' are only limited by the number of people attempting to define it. Most of us probably agree that Don Quixote is a classic. Night? Maybe not so much. (It is IMO.) This post gives another possible definition:

 

 

They know the stories from sources other than books.

 

If a book is popular enough to warrant a movie or TV show does that make it a classic? Possibly. Time seems to be the true indicator. Chances are the list of 'classic' books in your head have been translated into another medium. What's noteworthy from Stosh's post is that "they know the stories" regardless of whether or not they were experienced as originally presented. Would I rather my son read To Kill A Mockingbird rather than see the movie? Absolutely. Watching a movie or reading the Cliff's Notes version is never a replacement for the text. However, that's not to say there's nothing to be learned from an adaptation.

 

Is it enough to know the stories? To some it is. Note the absolute lack of books in the Star Wars movies. No one is shown reading for pleasure. Text does exist. People are clearly shown reading information on screens. Just not off bound pieces of paper with words printed on them in ink. Is that where we're headed?

 

Qwazse, i'm with you on one thing: the day I realized I didn't have enough time to real all the books I wanted was a sad day indeed.


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#15 packsaddle

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Posted 08 August 2016 - 06:45 AM

Graphic novels, fantasy escapism, etc. are not a valid replacement for the classics.

 

Yeah, I agree, once college was for reading the classics, now the big hit is remedial reading.

Spock: Admiral, may I ask you a question?

James T. Kirk: Spock, don't call me Admiral. You used to call me Jim. Don't you remember "Jim"? What's your question?

Spock: Your use of language has altered since our arrival. It is currently laced with, shall I say, more colorful metaphors-- "Double dumb-ass on you" and so forth.

Kirk: You mean the profanity?

Spock: Yes.

Kirk: That's simply the way they talk here. Nobody pays any attention to you unless you swear every other word. You'll find it in all the literature of the period.

Spock: For example?

Kirk: [thinks] Oh, the complete works of Jacqueline Susann, the novels of Harold Robbins....

Spock: Ah... The Giants.


Edited by packsaddle, 08 August 2016 - 06:50 AM.

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#16 UncleP

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Posted 08 August 2016 - 03:43 PM

The Boy Scout fiction of the pre-WW II period is very inexpensive on eBay,

 

You can get a great many of these books for free on "archive.org".  They even have recorded readings of some book:

 

https://archive.org/...audio?and[]=boyscouts

 

Much of this literature is before WWII and even WWI, and some was done with the Boy Scouts authorization.


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#17 Stosh

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Posted 08 August 2016 - 05:13 PM

Percy Keese Fitzhugh was commissioned by the BSA to produce the various series he penned.  His book "Along the Mohawk Trail" is a fantastic book for boys to read and are the basis for the characters in his series.  A lot of them are in re-print as well and I have picked up some of the books for <$5 so it's not all that expensive for some of the books.  They are an easy read and quite addictive even for adults.


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Stosh

 

There's a reason why I don't always answer the phone, doorbell or comments on forums.  :)





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