Yes I can compare novels and tv shows together. Not all novels, but a lot of them are written in such a way as if they're describing a tv show which is why I feel they're wasting my time. And here I'm not even taking into account whether the story is good or bad. There are more proper formats out there for overly descriptive writers than the novel format.
I disagree completely when you said novels have a ton of educational value. It's simply not true:
- Novels have a ton of educational value.
- Twilight is a novel.
- Twilight has a ton of educational value.
- You can learn a lot about empathy, interpersonal relationships, self knowledge, the nuances of different types of occupations, love, hate, joy, frustration, life, the world, society, etc.
Ok well Twilight is commercial/mainstream fiction. It doesn't stand as a representation for what the rest of literature looks like.
To say MOST novels have no educational value when you actively avoid reading them is like the prejiduce I had against young adult novels before I started reading them. I was on the assumption that there was no cussing, they didn't deal with any real hard hitting issues, and they weren't allowed to get "dark." But it's been my experience that YA actually incorporates all those elements and more.
I learned about bullimia, what a gastral bypass surgery was, what it's like to have obesity, all different types of cancer (I read and watched "cheap" novels and films pertaining to it after my friend died), and like I said. If it's written well you canlearn a ton of things like you quoted me on, but not in the case of Twilight where all it teaches you is that you can be a lame, co-dependant, and lifeless girl, and the essence of love is put yourself in dangerous situations to be saved by some century old pretty boy.
I would go insofar as revising the statment into, "reading the right books can make you smarter." Again it's all just my experience, but it has been my experience that I've learned equally as much from fiction as I have from non-fiction. I have nothing against non-fiction and it's a direct way of feeding information, but I'd personally rather have the mecosystem theatre play up in my head when I read, rather than have my parts sit at desks like it's school all over again.
So Wuzzums, what fiction novels have you tried to read other than Ayn Rand's? That's pretty mainstream in itself and mainstream never ever represents an entire medium.
The fact that the written format provides the best information out there that will make you smarter does not mean it's the written format that makes you smarter per se. It's the information.
What phrases like "reading makes you smarter" do is to clump Ayn Rand and Stephanie Meyer together. Hopefully this is the first and only phrase ever written where those two names are in such close proximity to each other.
To me that sounds like, "the fact that they use distorition on electric guitars is the best use of the instrument out there that will make you rock out does not mean its instrument choice makes you rock out. What phrases like 'electric guitar makes you rock out' do is to clump Jimi Hendrix and One Direction together." Which is true on either account depending on your personal preference of music, or if your taste is so broad ot enjoy both artists, but that's usually unlikely. There's different levels of value between each artist. Jimi Hendrix is highly skilled at guitar and writes some beautiful, sometimes meaningful, sometimes highly abstract lyrics. One Direction has their stuff written for them, and it's usually about admiring some generic unspecific girl...but they're still skilled at singing and dancing. Skill alone of course doesn't determine value, the content itself must have meaningful intent in order to provide any value.
You're painting with a broad brush that because mainstream/commercial fiction is devoid of any educational value, all other fiction must be devoid of educational value.
I don't want to hijack your thread, Grizwald,so in conjunction with trying to prove my point to Wuzzums, I will list a few books as my personal recommendations.
- The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore is the memoirs of the world's first English speaking chimpanzee. What I learned from it: empathy towards animals, particularly the ones taken in for lab expiraments. A fresh biological and evolutionary perspective on the human race and human lifestyle. How ridiculous it is to fit into society even if you're not a talking chimp, but how much harder it would be if you were lol. This book is pretty long, but parts 1-4 fly by because it's so engaging. Part 5 slows it down too much and I personally don't think it had to be there before coming to the conclusion in part 6 of the novel.
- Fight Club on the surface is about two guys who start an underground boxing club, but at its core is more about fatherlessness and the effects of it. It also has social commentary on how complacement people are when it comes to materialism and social status. The narrator is a prime example of the effects of an empty childhood creating an unfulfilling adult life and how one can cling to other couples as if they are replacement parents. This is a much shorter and concise read, I would say start with this as almost every page has a quotable passage and has a narrative voice that's just as fresh as Bruno, if not more so.
- How I Lost You is about a girl who doesn't know what to do about her waste case of a bestfriend. This is actually one of my more recent favourites by a YA author I've come to really enjoy the work of. Janet Gurtler's books invoke a ton of empathy as even the opposition to the lead may seem reasonable at times. The main character's bestfriend is a victim of rape and has the tendancy to go off the rails by acting out like getting drunk and hyper sexualizing herself for a bunch of boys. As you can imagine, she would develop a caregiver complex by wanting to be there for her friend all the time, but it usually costs her her own freedom and independance. If you like the delving into childhood history stuff here at FDR, I'd say you can't go wrong with any Janet Gurtler's books that tackle those issues.