TED Conversations

cara gittings

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Do you think reading books is bourgeois?

I have had a debate lately about the act of reading where i was told reading books was started by bourgeois women who had not a lot else to do whilst waiting around in manors etc spanning through the 17th century onwards, suggesting it was a lazy pastime not a great source of awareness. i suggested that without reading, books, and documentation we would be completely inept throughout all courses of history, in fact, we would have been completely deprived of knowledge. Can you imagine if Shakespeare, Keats, Homer and indeed the Bible were not blue prints of our literary beings? You can see my slant but I was interested to see if anyone has a different perspective on this.

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    Apr 3 2012: reading books is for the bourgeois. ebook is for the masses.
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    Apr 3 2012: Not a wind up. His argument was that reading books (mainly fiction) is a decadent waste of time which could otherwise be used for all sorts of things including aiding humanity and other unselfish pursuits. I couldn't believe it. Yes Edward, meaning correct but I think intented towards wealthy idle so maybe the question should have been posed as hedonistic pursuit? Great quote, Preposterous debate.
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    Apr 3 2012: May I ask, respectfully, whether this discussion with your friends or your question was posted on April Fools Day?
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    Apr 3 2012: I assume by "bourgeois" you intend the middle class, those who are not wealthy or poor. I cannot imagine any serious proposal being put forward that claims reading is for the idle, wealthy only. Such an idea is laughable. Ludicruous. QUOTE: "Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.--Joseph Addison.