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Comment: More non-fiction now, for complicated reasons (Score 4, Interesting) 164

by ratnerstar (#49055731) Attached to: How is your book reading divided between fiction and non-fiction?

I used to read more fiction than non-fiction, but that has reversed as I've gotten older. This evolution happened slowly and without me being consciously aware of it most of the time, but recently I've been wondering "why?" What I've decided is that there is more good but non-challenging non-fiction than there is fiction.

Some books are challenging to read -- and that's great. I like a good mental workout. But it can take me a month or so to work through a book like that. For instance, right now I'm reading Anti-Judaism: The Western Tradition by David Nirenberg. It's excellent and I highly recommend it, but it's also exhausting! I can read maybe 20 pages of it a night, four or five nights a week.

So often I want something a little lighter. I might read 2-4 challenging books in a year, but something like 8-10 easier ones. The problem is that while I want something "lighter" and "easier," I still want those books to be intelligent, well-written, etc. In short, I want them to be good. Sometimes this is a problem.

Both fiction and non-fiction can be challenging or non-challenging, as well as good or bad. What I've found is that it's much easier to find non-challenging but still good non-fiction. With fiction, books that are non-challenging are often pretty bad, and books that are good are often fairly challenging. For example, a while back I read the Song of Ice and Fire books. The first few were great! Dead center in the venn diagram overlap between non-challenging and good. But as the series progressed, the books started to get more ... well, bad. The most recently one, while still not challenging, was also not very good.

If anyone can recommend novels that are both good and non-challenging, I'd love some suggestions!

Comment: Re:Not surprised (Score 1) 93

by ratnerstar (#40730021) Attached to: Kids Still Playing <em>Pokemon</em> Like It's 1999

Collecting was never fun for me. I never saw the point. When I was a kid, my dad tried to get me interested in coin collecting. He saw it as good "father and son time", but I hated it. We could have gone hiking or fishing, he could have taught me something useful. He was an electrical engineer, but he never taught me anything about electronics (I learned it all on my own). But instead of any of that, we spend our time going through bags of pennies looking for a rare 1939D. Bleh.

Now that I have kids of my own, we do active outdoor stuff, we build things, we do science experiments. My daughter has a great collection of Barbie shoes, but I was not involved in that (other than as a source of funding).

30 years from, your kids will be posting on slashdot (via direct neural interface) about how their father always dragged them out for stupid fishing trips (what was the point? Anyone could have foreseen that trout would extinct by 2017) instead of doing something useful with them like collecting valuable items.

Comment: Re:Kleptomania is a mental disease (Score 3, Informative) 535

by ratnerstar (#40088055) Attached to: SAP VP Arrested In False Barcode Scheme

As this article illustrates, the root of kleptomania is a desire for revenge upon a world that the person feels has treated them unfairly.

The article you linked to says absolutely nothing of the sort. In fact, citing the DSM, it says the following about diagnosing kleptomania: "The theft is not due to anger, revenge, delusions, hallucinations or impaired judgment (dementia, mental retardation, alcohol intoxication, drug intoxication)."

So I'm not sure what you were reading.

"Consequences, Schmonsequences, as long as I'm rich." -- "Ali Baba Bunny" [1957, Chuck Jones]

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