Fandango’s Provocative Question #191


Welcome once again to Fandango’s Provocative Question. Each week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration.

By provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.

What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.

There was a time in my life when I was a voracious reader. Yes, reader, not eater. I was never a voracious eater. But I digress. My point is, in the days before the internet, before WordPress, before Facebook and Twitter and TikTok and YouTube and binge-watching on Netflix; in the days before having the world at you fingertips with newsfeeds on mobile phones, before…well you get my drift…I used to devour between three and five books a week. Mostly novels.

But these days, I don’t read books much anymore. Maybe I read three to five books a year, not three to five a week. But I don’t think I’m that unusual in that regard. Or maybe I am, which brings me to this week’s provocative question.

With all of the distractions mentioned above, do you read books as much nowadays as you used to ten, twenty, or thirty years ago? Why or why not?

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments. But remember to check to confirm that your pingback or your link shows up in the comments.

Fibbing Friday — Books and Songs

Di (aka Pensitivity101) and Melanie (Sparks From a Combustible Mind) alternate as hosts for Fibbing Friday, a silly little exercise where we are to write a post with our answers to the ten questions below. But as the title suggests, truth is not an option. The idea is to fib a little, a lot, tell whoppers, be inventive, silly, or even outrageous, in our responses. This week it’s Di’s turn and she wants to know who wrote the books and sang the songs.

1. From Here to Eternity by Amelia Earhart
2. The Glass Mountain by The Invisible Man
3. The Shining
by Mr. Clean
4. Little Women
by four-foot tall American actress Meredith Eaton
5. Pride and Prejudice
by Donald Trump

6. I Want It All – Vladimir Putin
7. Bat Out of Hell –
Kim Jong-un
8. Space Oddity –
Jefferson Starship
9. Help! – Mike Pence
10. For Your Eyes Only –
Stevie Wonder

Throwback Thursday — Book Report

Maggie, at From Cave Walls, and Lauren, at LSS Attitude of Gratitude, alternate hosting Throwback Thursday. The idea of the prompt is for them to give us a topic and for us to write a post in which we share our own memories or experiences about the given topic. This week, Maggie chose the topic of “Reading Culture and Books.”

Maggie would like us to think about how our grandparents, parents, siblings, and friends felt about reading. Then consider how this impacted your life as we matured.

1. Who were the readers in your family?

My mother and my two older sisters were avid readers.

2. Were there some people who did not like to read or could not read?

My father was not a big book reader. His reading consisted mostly of the daily newspaper.

3. Did your family subscribe to the newspaper?

Yes, we subscribed to the daily newspaper.

4. If you did get the paper, was your Sunday newspaper considered special? What part did you enjoy?

Yes. It was bigger, the comics were printed in color, it include a local features magazine as well as Parade magazine. I liked the comics, the sports, and the movie sections.

5. Did your home have books strewn around? Hardbacks or paperbacks?

Not really. We had a few bookcases with a mixture of hardbacks and paperbacks. My mother was a fan of Reader’s Digest’s condensed books and my oldest sister was a member of the Book of the Month Club.

6. Did you frequent the library at school?

I did leverage the school library for papers that I had to write for my classes, but I used my local public library more than my school’s library.

7. How about the local community library? Did you have a library card?

Yes, because my school libraries were relatively small, I spent more time at the local public library. I did have a library card.

8. What was the first book you remember reading?

I don’t know. Maybe one of the Fun with Dick and Jane books.

9. Did you have a collection of books (Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, Happy Hollisters, etc?)

I loved The Hardy Boys books and even Nancy Drew, but I checked them out from the library, so no big collections at home.

10. Did you read comic books? If so, what titles?

Yes, mostly DC and Marvel comics. I had a huge collection, but my father threw them all away when I went off to college. To this day that pisses me off.

11. Did you end up a bookworm, a casual reader, or someone who read only when required?

I’d say more of a casual reader.

12. Is there a book from your childhood you would like to read again? If so, what book?

Not really.

13. What book or books have been extremely meaningful or influential in your life?

Again, I’ve read so many books during my lifetime that it would be hard to pick specific books from my youth that were “extremely” influential. Maybe my love for The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew influenced my enjoyment of mystery and suspense books.

BONUS QUESTION: What book(s) do you frequently gift to others? Why?

Other than books for babies and toddlers that I get for my grandchildren, I rarely get books as presents for others. But one year for her birthday I bought my wife, who is a big Jane Austen fan, a vintage (1906) set of all of her books.

Sandman Wants to Know

Sandman, over at The Jazzocracy, posed four interesting questions today and I thought it might be fun to take a moment or two to answer them.

Do you believe in Ghosts and/or a Spirit World?

Sandman prefaced his own answer to this question by writing, “Now some of you might expect that this will be a simple yes or no answer, but I don’t think it is.” Well, I disagree with Sandman. I think it is a simple yes or no question. And the answer is “no.”

I don’t believe that God exists except in the minds and imaginations of men and women. I don’t believe there is an afterlife, or in heaven or hell. I believe that when we die, we no longer exist in any way, shape, or form. So given that, I can’t possibly believe in ghosts or in a spirit world. You should all feel free to believe whatever floats your boat, but for me, the answer is an emphatic “no.”

Who is your favorite literary Detective?

My favorite literary detective is Fred Morrisey. What’s that? You never heard of him? Allow me to introduce you to the crack detective, Fred Morrisey. Go to the top of my blog and, in the Search bar, type in “Morrisey.”

Should a film or TV adaption of a book deviate from the source material? Why?

It would be nice if a film or TV adaptation could stay true to the source book. However, especially when it comes to movies, which often have to try to cram a 400+ page book into less than two hours on the big screen, compromises must be made. It might be easier for a multi-episode TV series, where the book’s material can be spread over four, eight, or more episodes, to not have to significantly pare down the original material.

The other issue I have with movie and TV adaptations is when they deviate in character or venue from what I saw in my mind’s eye when I read the book. That can be a bit off-putting.

Would you ‘video’ yourself and your partner?

I have to admit that back in the day, when we lived in New Jersey and our kids were very young, my wife and I would occasionally take long weekend trips to the Pocanos in Pennsylvania, home to a number of so-called “romantic getaway” resorts.

And I will also admit that I would pack up my clunky VHS camera and when we got to our room, I would mount the camera on a tripod, press record, and video tape our “romantic getaway.”

It was fun, but once our kids got old enough to figure out how to insert a VHS tape into our video tape deck, we destroyed those tapes. But the memories linger to this day.

Friday Fictioneers — The Library

Seth’s parents were not book readers. Everything they read, from the news to novels, was online, using their smartphones, tablets, or laptops. Seth wasn’t used to seeing actual books on shelves, which his why he was fascinated when his kindergarten teacher marched his class to a large room that she called the school library.

The teacher looked at Seth and saw that he was confused, so she handed him a book and asked him if he’d like to read it. Kevin looked the book over in his hands. Still confused, he ask his teacher, “How do you turn it on?”

(100 words)

Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Friday Fictioneers prompt. Photo credit: Ted Strutz.