An atheist friend has told me that he gets no pleasure at all from music, never has, and cannot see what all the fuss is about. He also never reads fiction and does not understand why anyone would want to read something made up since it cannot give you a true picture of anything.

This is a well educated individual with a degree from the University of California in psychology and someone who has performed well in his job.

I've never known anyone quite so literal minded. And i can only remember one other person who did not like some kind of music, an old woman who said it made her want to howl like a dog, He is a life long depressive and has a hard time empathizing with people, yet he seems quite normal.

Have any of you run into this kind of personality?

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I don't listen to music.

Growing up, I lived with a stepmother who made no pretense of loving me. In fact, I recognize now that her inventive cruelties, which she made no bones about enjoying, bordered on the psychotic.

I grew up determined to be the opposite of who and what she was. She smoked, so I would never smoke. She used crude language -- the like I've yet to hear again, and I'm a sailor! -- so I was determined to never speak to others that way.

She was mean and cruel, so I was determined to always be a gentleman, and to be a kind person.

And, she avidly listened to popular music. Constantly. So much so, that I associated it with her, and avoided listening to it, whenever possible. I felt an avulsion to it.

Later in life, I tried to cultivate a taste in music she *hadn't* listened to, namely classical and jazz. Didn't really take.

I do enjoy fiction; very much so. I felt so trapped as a young child, and fiction -- particularly sci fi -- permitted me to briefly escape the terror and fear of the world I actually lived in. I have a huge personal library, and can *easily* spend hundreds of dollars in a single visit to a bookstore. But, I also have multitudes of books on science, history, archeology, anthropology, and psychology. Because I so much wanted to see how the world *really* worked. Both now, and in past eras. Still do.

I'm sorry you had such a cruel stepmother Bud.  My stepfather was a jerk, but not like that.  It's awesome you became the opposite of what and who she was.  You sound like a really neat person.

Thank you, B.L.  So do you :-)

How I understand! Escaping into books is still a powerful attraction to me, even if I don't have to escape anymore.

Indeed. Reading is the best escape there is. I have a house with books in every room. (Yes even the three bathrooms are stocked with books and the garage as well. There must be somewhere in the neighborhood of 5,000 now and I go on buying them.

After some difficult times, I formed a habit of going to the London book shows every year. Getting on a comfortable flight with a book or two in hand and a glass of wine, away from the telephone and troubles, was an incomparable delight. It saved me.

I don't know about forming one's identity by reaction, Bud.  My father brought us up with a huge emphasis on math and science.  He taught us at home in addition to school.  His homeschooling sessions involved him screaming at us a lot that we were idiots.  His face would be purple with rage, the veins in his neck swollen.  Once he threw a pencil at the wall in his rage. 

I was good at math, but he managed to poison it a good deal for me, and he poisoned intellectual pursuits in general for me, a good deal.  But "rebelling" by becoming disinterested in math and science didn't seem like a good answer, because it would also have been reactive. 

I have also been into dreamy fantasy stories, to get into another world.  Megan Lindholm.  I have a lot of problems with being sick now though, which interfere with a rich fantasy life. 

I consider myself fortunate that my parents raised me with music. It is still one of the great joys of my life, an addiction if you like. I can't imagine life without music and books and a dog. Reading has been a major occupation and books a principal interest my whole life. My parents were not great readers and we had few books at home, but as soon as I discovered libraries and bookstores, I was  deep into reading.

A really good book or a great musical performance provides immense pleasure. As Somerset Maugham said, "To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all of the miseries of life." Maugham himself was addicted to reading as many authors are. He had the knack for telling stories as almost no one else in the first part of the twentieth century.

Reading is something I've done since I learned how to. The very small grade school l attended had a limited library. As a result l have read a good deal of books that are considered classics. Lots of greek mythology included n that ssmall place.
At this age if I can't find something in large print l usually can't see well enough to read it. This makes me sad.

With the reference to someone who is "quite so literal minded" along with some of the other comments sounds like possibly they may be on the autistic spectrum.

I don't pay much attention to music anymore; most just seems like noise.  I'm more likely to read history, science, and philosophy these days.


I don't pay any attention to current popular music, but classical music is something I can't do without. It takes careful listening, but the reward is great.

Could be, but how do you tell? What does it mean to be on the spectrum?


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