Sunday, September 12, 2010

what do Books Do?

Okay, please know that I was in no way contacted or asked to talk about these books. I just think it's interesting when I stopped by the site to look around.

In case you haven't heard, Penguin POV (point of view) is basically "a program for Young Adult novels. These novels fill the silence that surrounds difficult topics. They are perhaps the rarest and most special sort of books*". Novels include many well known, "edgy" ones such as:
  • Looking for Alaska by John Green
  • 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  • Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
  • If I Stay by Gayle Forman
  • a lot more.
I'm not here to talk much about the books however, this post is more specifically about video of a book signing for John Green that I found on the site (link). I watched the entire thing (about 45 minutes) and just thought it was really great and got me thinking.

Basically, Green speaks about the most important thing books can do.

Now it's your turn, what do you think books do? Escapism? Entertainment? I know that's what came to my mind.

His very valid point is this: books help us think about what to think about.

Not how to think. Not whether or not to think. It's because we choose what we want to think about, so what he means by this is that books can help direct us into thinking about something more.. meaningful. He brings up some simple but very common examples.

I don't want to keep elaborating because I know I will just get everything confused and twisted. All I want to do is recommend you to go to this link and watch the video (mostly the first 20 or so minutes), then if you want, come back here and leave a comment telling me what you got out of it. There are a lot of other videos from various authors as well (I liked the Jay Asher one too) if you're interested.

My Thoughts:
I don't think the video necessarily changed the way I feel about reading, but more like it brought out another aspect of reading into focus. Now being aware of something like this, I think it might change the way I interpret books after finishing, maybe now instead of thinking love triangles, I will be thinking character journeys and underlying themes.

What do you think is the most important thing books do?

*source: POV website


  1. For me, the most important thing that books do is show me what life is like through someone else's perspective. Many people get stuck in their own worlds, their own problems, their own day-to-day, but when I read about another culture or way of life or a problem that someone needs to overcome, I am aware of others. I love to be reminded that I am not the most important person in the world. There are others out there and they need to be heard!

    Great question.

  2. Mrs DeRaps- thank you for such a thoughtful answer, your opinion is really great! :D

  3. I don't have time to watch the video now, but I'm bookmarking it!

    This is a really fascinating idea, and I love to think more about what we can get from books. I love reading books because I love to be mystified, but I also love to find more things to love (if that makes any sense.) Thanks for discussing this!

  4. I tried to watch it but he talks waaaayyy to much XD
    but I got the gist of it I think and I'll go back and look for spots where he is talking about his book

    We are for the most part self-centered its always me me me me but when you read a book like the ones stated and possibly others you realize that yes you may have a paper due in five weeks and still haven't started and school drama but there are

    A. people who understand that and go though the same thing

    B. those same people also have worse things to deal with ( being hunted by vampires and such, being prego at a young age, life or death disions, etc) and that the world does not solo revolve around you

    that being said that doesn't mean ignore the self centered part if it has to do with work or school but then after getting school or work done for the day lose yourself in a book and remember that there are other people with worse problems and look they find a resolution and such

    and basically what the first commenter said
    and what do books do...well I'll blog about it on my blog after the 18th

  5. First of all... this is too funny, because I was actually at this signing by John Green and I remember it very well. I think the main thing that books do is put us in the shoes of other people, let us live other lives safely and really understand how the world works, how other people view the world and really just learn about life. I think books make us think and help us problem solve.



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