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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Reading Room Culture

Dreamdeer
Valinor


Mar 13 2009, 5:57pm


Views: 1078
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Reading Room Culture Can't Post

I think we need a separate thread to discuss Reading Room culture. When a general complaint surfaced in "Feedback" about bullying, a number of people other than the original poster chimed in with, "That's the Reading Room!" It surprised me how many people felt driven away--people who love the books very much, people who want to discuss them, but who feel that their perspectives are not allowed. (Some also said that they don't participate any more out of time constraints, to be fair.) I had been feeling somewhat challenged, myself, but assumed that it was just me and sucked it up. Now I see that too many people feel the same way. And that's only counting those who've had the courage to step forward. Others have PM'd me privately. The Internet being what it is, one can safely assume still more who haven't dared to say anything at all, to anyone.

This is a problem.

From what I can gather, the gist seems to be that people feel that the Reading Room now only allows one style of discussion, and all who want to study the books in a different way feel told to shut up and sit down. All inquiries must be closed-ended; that is, have only one answer that can be definitively proven, after which the discussion stops.

Now, I don't want anything to stop. I enjoy factual discussions very much indeed! I would love to see those continue. I just don't see it as healthy when people start to get the impression that nothing else counts. We need the full spectrum, a balanced intellectual diet. Using Jung's four personality types as a model, I see us appealing strongly to the first one listed, yet to varying degrees stifling the others. Those four being:
  • Thinking: These inquiries explore facts that can be proven or disproven, such as details about the history of Middle Earth, the history of the writing of the books, and whatever objective content we can be or become certain of. This orientation primarily focuses on author's intent.
  • Feeling: Feeling inquiries explore how the books impacts the reader, how the characters develop as people, who and what readers like or dislike and why that is, and what philosophical social implications a book has, such as the nature of right and wrong, or social roles. This orientation primarily focuses on the reader's reaction.
  • Intuition: Intuitive inquiries explore art, beauty, lyricism, symbolism and archetypes, and the book's place in the larger human legendarium, as well as any mystical or spiritual leanings. This orientation primarily focuses on the collective aesthetic and how a particular book manifests the larger human picture.
  • Sensation: Sensation inquiries explore fun,, thrills, visceral reactions, the sensuality of descriptions (which does not automatically mean the sensuality of relationships, mind you) and how the book affects one moment by moment. This orientation primarily focuses on the book's impact on the body, in terms of adrenaline, endorphens, etc., usually without naming biochemistry overtly.

Thinking is great! I love it! I just think that we need a more balanced picture. We've had the other approaches come up, and everyone can cite examples, but they come up less and less, and more and more often people perceive that the Reading Room regards these approaches as inferior or unwanted outright.

Does anyone care to discuss this?

I do want people to keep right on with what they've been doing--but I think a lot of people would want to see more room made for other ways of reading the book, besides.

Life is beautiful and dangerous! Beware! Enjoy!

(This post was edited by Dreamdeer on Mar 13 2009, 6:00pm)

Subject User Time
Reading Room Culture Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Mar 13 2009, 5:57pm
    I would love to discuss it. Curious Send a private message to Curious Mar 13 2009, 6:33pm
        That's an issue which probably should've been addressed long ago. Eowyn of Penns Woods Send a private message to Eowyn of Penns Woods Mar 13 2009, 8:10pm
        RE: "I would love to discuss it." Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Mar 13 2009, 8:20pm
    However Tolkien Forever Send a private message to Tolkien Forever Mar 13 2009, 7:01pm
    More is better. Aunt Dora Baggins Send a private message to Aunt Dora Baggins Mar 13 2009, 8:08pm
        What she said, everyone read this! a.s. Send a private message to a.s. Mar 13 2009, 10:14pm
            Well said! Peredhil lover Send a private message to Peredhil lover Mar 14 2009, 8:32am
            Aww... dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Mar 14 2009, 10:13pm
                It was going to be a long epic... squire Send a private message to squire Mar 15 2009, 3:16am
                    "Out of the bedlam, dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Mar 15 2009, 3:48am
                        "rising gorge" is just how I would describe a.s. Send a private message to a.s. Mar 15 2009, 4:02am
                            LOL! dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Mar 15 2009, 12:30pm
                            Yeah, it will be just gorgeous // sador Send a private message to sador Mar 15 2009, 12:43pm
    Admittedly Peredhil lover Send a private message to Peredhil lover Mar 13 2009, 8:20pm
        This is me... cloudland Send a private message to cloudland Mar 14 2009, 12:04am
            Not so long Peredhil lover Send a private message to Peredhil lover Mar 14 2009, 8:41am
        O, you finally got to Tol Eressea sador Send a private message to sador Mar 15 2009, 9:36am
            *stalks up on sador* Kelvarhin Send a private message to Kelvarhin Mar 15 2009, 9:45am
            Thanks, Sador! We're already celebrating our reunion Peredhil lover Send a private message to Peredhil lover Mar 15 2009, 9:56am
                *looks around* Kelvarhin Send a private message to Kelvarhin Mar 15 2009, 10:12am
    keep on reading... batik Send a private message to batik Mar 13 2009, 9:00pm
    It's all about cookies. Darkstone Send a private message to Darkstone Mar 13 2009, 9:27pm
        I dunno, I've eaten my share of cookies in here. Aunt Dora Baggins Send a private message to Aunt Dora Baggins Mar 13 2009, 9:39pm
            Oh, yes! Darkstone Send a private message to Darkstone Mar 13 2009, 10:56pm
                nonsense, I have cookies: a.s. Send a private message to a.s. Mar 13 2009, 11:11pm
                    Mmmmm! Aunt Dora Baggins Send a private message to Aunt Dora Baggins Mar 13 2009, 11:27pm
                Cookie-rating Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Mar 13 2009, 11:43pm
                    But...but... Eowyn of Penns Woods Send a private message to Eowyn of Penns Woods Mar 14 2009, 12:15am
                    Lost Tolkien Forever Send a private message to Tolkien Forever Mar 14 2009, 12:41am
                        Post #9 Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Mar 14 2009, 2:05am
                            OH Tolkien Forever Send a private message to Tolkien Forever Mar 14 2009, 4:24am
                                Something different Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Mar 14 2009, 5:26am
                                    An easy example is when you log into TORn Aunt Dora Baggins Send a private message to Aunt Dora Baggins Mar 14 2009, 1:43pm
                Wish I had NEB's skillz at searching posts, Aunt Dora Baggins Send a private message to Aunt Dora Baggins Mar 13 2009, 11:50pm
                    Wow! Darkstone Send a private message to Darkstone Mar 13 2009, 11:59pm
                        Well, Aunt Dora Baggins Send a private message to Aunt Dora Baggins Mar 14 2009, 1:29am
                            Looking back at this little subthread the next day, I'm ashamed Aunt Dora Baggins Send a private message to Aunt Dora Baggins Mar 14 2009, 2:31pm
                                And why is that a source of shame? Curious Send a private message to Curious Mar 14 2009, 2:39pm
                                    I love you, Curious. Aunt Dora Baggins Send a private message to Aunt Dora Baggins Mar 14 2009, 3:16pm
                                One of the fun things about Tolkien Elizabeth Send a private message to Elizabeth Mar 14 2009, 8:09pm
    Lurker Farawyn Send a private message to Farawyn Mar 14 2009, 1:43am
    Maybe it's just me entmaiden Send a private message to entmaiden Mar 14 2009, 2:02am
        What I'm Doing Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Mar 14 2009, 2:13am
            Sorry - I realize entmaiden Send a private message to entmaiden Mar 14 2009, 2:17am
                I'm reading... simplyaven Send a private message to simplyaven Mar 14 2009, 3:24am
        This is the kind of comment, exactly, that has me cowering under the lurker bench. // Arwen's daughter Send a private message to Arwen's daughter Mar 14 2009, 3:41am
            Agree! // simplyaven Send a private message to simplyaven Mar 14 2009, 3:43am
                I think entmaiden Send a private message to entmaiden Mar 14 2009, 4:02am
                    I'm not waiting but imagine... simplyaven Send a private message to simplyaven Mar 15 2009, 10:33pm
        I don't expect Peredhil lover Send a private message to Peredhil lover Mar 14 2009, 9:01am
            A small reminiscence... Elizabeth Send a private message to Elizabeth Mar 14 2009, 10:16am
                Sounds familiar ;) Peredhil lover Send a private message to Peredhil lover Mar 14 2009, 12:38pm
                    Of course! Elizabeth Send a private message to Elizabeth Mar 14 2009, 7:41pm
                        Of course I want the answer! Peredhil lover Send a private message to Peredhil lover Mar 14 2009, 8:11pm
                        I want to learn Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Mar 15 2009, 12:54am
                Newbies Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Mar 14 2009, 5:38pm
        This post by Simplyaven GaladrielTX Send a private message to GaladrielTX Mar 14 2009, 4:35pm
            I guess what I mean is entmaiden Send a private message to entmaiden Mar 14 2009, 8:31pm
                That's the way I see it. GaladrielTX Send a private message to GaladrielTX Mar 14 2009, 9:18pm
                Change is relative Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Mar 15 2009, 1:08am
            Except that Silverlode Send a private message to Silverlode Mar 14 2009, 8:31pm
                That makes a lot of sense Peredhil lover Send a private message to Peredhil lover Mar 14 2009, 8:38pm
                    Thank you! Silverlode Send a private message to Silverlode Mar 14 2009, 9:07pm
                "Admins do not generally feel justified in requiring people to post to our preferences" GaladrielTX Send a private message to GaladrielTX Mar 14 2009, 9:33pm
                    Rules versus culture Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Mar 15 2009, 1:16am
    For love of the books Altaira Send a private message to Altaira Mar 14 2009, 3:59am
        Scholarship Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Mar 14 2009, 5:20am
        I do challenge theories. Curious Send a private message to Curious Mar 14 2009, 6:47am
            So do I. N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Mar 14 2009, 7:08am
                I would like to say it's evident, but evidently, it' s not a.s. Send a private message to a.s. Mar 14 2009, 12:05pm
                    Another problem Peredhil lover Send a private message to Peredhil lover Mar 14 2009, 12:59pm
                        To answer in RR style. Aunt Dora Baggins Send a private message to Aunt Dora Baggins Mar 14 2009, 2:08pm
                            I'll try! Peredhil lover Send a private message to Peredhil lover Mar 14 2009, 9:27pm
                                Bravo! Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Mar 15 2009, 1:11am
                                    Thank you! Peredhil lover Send a private message to Peredhil lover Mar 15 2009, 6:31am
                        Oh, how well I know what you're saying! simplyaven Send a private message to simplyaven Mar 14 2009, 3:26pm
                            Oh wow! Peredhil lover Send a private message to Peredhil lover Mar 14 2009, 5:39pm
                    *Mods way, way, way up!* Aunt Dora Baggins Send a private message to Aunt Dora Baggins Mar 14 2009, 2:03pm
                    I wish people would say when they are getting frustrated. Curious Send a private message to Curious Mar 14 2009, 2:26pm
                        Curious, my brother, with love and affection and the highest regards: you miss my point a.s. Send a private message to a.s. Mar 14 2009, 2:54pm
                            What, then, shall we do? Curious Send a private message to Curious Mar 14 2009, 3:26pm
                                I am sorry that you are frustrated a.s. Send a private message to a.s. Mar 14 2009, 3:41pm
                    tone Magpie Send a private message to Magpie Mar 14 2009, 3:07pm
                    That's exactly what happens and the fact there is an argument going on is proving it simplyaven Send a private message to simplyaven Mar 14 2009, 3:35pm
                    You hit the nail on the head! Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Mar 14 2009, 5:55pm
                    Well said! Peredhil lover Send a private message to Peredhil lover Mar 14 2009, 6:38pm
                    Thanks, a.s. Altaira Send a private message to Altaira Mar 14 2009, 11:16pm
                It all depends Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Mar 14 2009, 5:34pm
            Excellent suggestion! Aunt Dora Baggins Send a private message to Aunt Dora Baggins Mar 14 2009, 1:48pm
        Very true! simplyaven Send a private message to simplyaven Mar 14 2009, 3:15pm
    "I thought N.E. Brigand was intimidating." N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Mar 14 2009, 6:48am
        I'm not sure how to take Curious Send a private message to Curious Mar 14 2009, 6:54am
        That is one of the very funniest posts I've ever seen on TORn Aunt Dora Baggins Send a private message to Aunt Dora Baggins Mar 14 2009, 1:40pm
        Hey! squire Send a private message to squire Mar 14 2009, 2:25pm
        ROTFL! // Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Mar 14 2009, 5:05pm
        (Smacking his head). I nearly missed that one! sador Send a private message to sador Mar 16 2009, 2:46pm
            A perfect response!// Curious Send a private message to Curious Mar 16 2009, 2:52pm
    You can't intimidate me. Silverlode Send a private message to Silverlode Mar 14 2009, 10:42am
        Thank you Silverlode Kelvarhin Send a private message to Kelvarhin Mar 14 2009, 11:06am
        would not even try! a.s. Send a private message to a.s. Mar 14 2009, 11:39am
            What she said. Aunt Dora Baggins Send a private message to Aunt Dora Baggins Mar 14 2009, 2:15pm
            That's not what I meant Silverlode Send a private message to Silverlode Mar 14 2009, 7:58pm
                oh...DOG TREATS!! a.s. Send a private message to a.s. Mar 14 2009, 10:34pm
                    Oddly enough, Silverlode Send a private message to Silverlode Mar 14 2009, 11:10pm
        I agree with your suggestion. Curious Send a private message to Curious Mar 14 2009, 2:51pm
            I was using Silverlode Send a private message to Silverlode Mar 14 2009, 7:47pm
                Suddenly, this popped up in my head... Eowyn of Penns Woods Send a private message to Eowyn of Penns Woods Mar 14 2009, 8:24pm
                Why folks suffer in silence Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Mar 15 2009, 12:59am
                    Yes! Peredhil lover Send a private message to Peredhil lover Mar 15 2009, 6:41am
        That's exactly how I would put it Magpie Send a private message to Magpie Mar 14 2009, 3:22pm
        Great post! // simplyaven Send a private message to simplyaven Mar 14 2009, 3:23pm
        Very important point! Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Mar 14 2009, 5:44pm
            Yes!! Peredhil lover Send a private message to Peredhil lover Mar 14 2009, 6:44pm
    I've only read half this thread... Magpie Send a private message to Magpie Mar 14 2009, 2:46pm
        Checking it out is doubly important on the internet, because Curious Send a private message to Curious Mar 14 2009, 3:15pm
            Classist simplyaven Send a private message to simplyaven Mar 14 2009, 3:20pm
                everyone should feel COMFORTABLE, but everyone will not ENJOY a.s. Send a private message to a.s. Mar 14 2009, 3:30pm
                    Thanks, you spoke for me pretty well.// Curious Send a private message to Curious Mar 14 2009, 3:32pm
                    When everyone start feeling comfortable... simplyaven Send a private message to simplyaven Mar 14 2009, 3:38pm
                        Yes, and we can hear them loud and clear a.s. Send a private message to a.s. Mar 14 2009, 3:51pm
                            I know simplyaven Send a private message to simplyaven Mar 14 2009, 3:58pm
                            Only because of time constraints sador Send a private message to sador Mar 14 2009, 8:22pm
                                Who hugs in the Reading Room? N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Mar 14 2009, 9:33pm
                                    hugs?? I'm on the case. // a.s. Send a private message to a.s. Mar 14 2009, 10:47pm
                                    "Thinking hard or hardly thinking?" sador Send a private message to sador Mar 15 2009, 7:02am
                                I obviously have *not* read all the posts, have I? a.s. Send a private message to a.s. Mar 14 2009, 11:15pm
                                    And I want to say Peredhil lover Send a private message to Peredhil lover Mar 15 2009, 6:48am
                                    Both earlier this thread, and in the one in Feedback sador Send a private message to sador Mar 15 2009, 8:07am
                                        I don't see anything wrong with your posts. Elizabeth Send a private message to Elizabeth Mar 15 2009, 8:42am
                                            yep Darkstone Send a private message to Darkstone Mar 17 2009, 5:33pm
                                        I expressed myself at the time. Curious Send a private message to Curious Mar 15 2009, 9:00am
                                        my take a.s. Send a private message to a.s. Mar 15 2009, 2:26pm
                                            quoting myself: Magpie Send a private message to Magpie Mar 15 2009, 2:44pm
                                            Thank you! sador Send a private message to sador Mar 15 2009, 3:07pm
                                                I like the word opulence Magpie Send a private message to Magpie Mar 15 2009, 4:07pm
                                                    4% Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Mar 15 2009, 10:19pm
                                                Wanted to address a couple of your questions entmaiden Send a private message to entmaiden Mar 15 2009, 4:28pm
                                                If you want specific suggestions... Elizabeth Send a private message to Elizabeth Mar 15 2009, 6:30pm
                                                    The quest for blank lines Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Mar 15 2009, 10:26pm
                                                        The biggest culprit for this is... Magpie Send a private message to Magpie Mar 16 2009, 1:16am
                                                            Answering Quotes Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Mar 16 2009, 1:20am
                                                                probably a better way, but a.s. Send a private message to a.s. Mar 16 2009, 2:07am
                                                                I'll PM you with pointers. / Ataahua Send a private message to Ataahua Mar 16 2009, 2:26am
                                                                    Thank you all very much! Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Mar 16 2009, 4:28am
                                                                Stick with the basic editor. Elizabeth Send a private message to Elizabeth Mar 16 2009, 3:23am
                                                This previous debate of ours was brought to the attention of TORNsibs by me simplyaven Send a private message to simplyaven Mar 15 2009, 8:14pm
                                                    Is 'Smith' squire's surname? sador Send a private message to sador Mar 16 2009, 3:18pm
                                                        I've read little of Henry James, but Curious Send a private message to Curious Mar 16 2009, 5:10pm
                                                        Comma Queen, here. Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Mar 16 2009, 6:25pm
                                                        Neither squire's nor simplyaven's simplyaven Send a private message to simplyaven Mar 16 2009, 8:14pm
                                                            Are quotes really bad? Elizabeth Send a private message to Elizabeth Mar 16 2009, 9:00pm
                                                                No. simplyaven Send a private message to simplyaven Mar 17 2009, 1:00pm
                                                What are we to do now? Peredhil lover Send a private message to Peredhil lover Mar 17 2009, 7:49am
                                                    Sure! Elizabeth Send a private message to Elizabeth Mar 17 2009, 7:58am
                                                        Yes Peredhil lover Send a private message to Peredhil lover Mar 17 2009, 8:30am
                                                            We used to have a lot more entmaiden Send a private message to entmaiden Mar 17 2009, 1:22pm
                                            Thanks, a.s. // N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Mar 15 2009, 3:45pm
                                            Of course, you're right, thank you! simplyaven Send a private message to simplyaven Mar 15 2009, 8:05pm
                                                The thing is, discussion leaders vary a lot. Elizabeth Send a private message to Elizabeth Mar 16 2009, 3:39am
                                                    Right. We all agree it's a two way street :) // simplyaven Send a private message to simplyaven Mar 16 2009, 8:16pm
                                            Honestly Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Mar 15 2009, 10:12pm
                                        Nothing wrong that I can see. Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Mar 15 2009, 9:45pm
                                Ummm... Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Mar 15 2009, 1:04am
                    Welcome, but not necessarily comfortable Voronwë_the_Faithful Send a private message to Voronwë_the_Faithful Mar 14 2009, 4:44pm
    Cookies? Hugs? Morthoron Send a private message to Morthoron Mar 14 2009, 11:28pm
    *slowly creeps into the room* Morrowdim Send a private message to Morrowdim Mar 16 2009, 10:49pm
        Thank you for contributing all you can! // Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Mar 17 2009, 3:27am
    Drop in participation Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Mar 17 2009, 3:45am
        Take care, Dreamdeer. // N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Mar 17 2009, 3:53am
        I'm sorry to hear that Voronwë_the_Faithful Send a private message to Voronwë_the_Faithful Mar 17 2009, 4:31am
        Nice to let us know! Peredhil lover Send a private message to Peredhil lover Mar 17 2009, 6:12am
        Thanks for letting us know Kelvarhin Send a private message to Kelvarhin Mar 17 2009, 6:16am
        Heartfelt wishes for her speedy recovery \\ sador Send a private message to sador Mar 17 2009, 6:50am
        Courage... Elizabeth Send a private message to Elizabeth Mar 17 2009, 8:35am
        Best wishes to your grandma, Dreamdeer! // simplyaven Send a private message to simplyaven Mar 17 2009, 1:01pm
        Oh, gosh... dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Mar 17 2009, 3:20pm
    Coming late to this thread... Idril Celebrindal Send a private message to Idril Celebrindal Mar 19 2009, 9:38pm

 
 
 

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