Sunday, August 16, 2009

Reading is Fun!

Okay, so maybe that headline was a little corny, but I wanted to take the opportunity to talk about reading. I know so many people that hate to read and absolutely despise to pick up a book. I know other people who don't exactly despise reading, but would rather spend their time watching television or surfing the web over picking up a good book. Lastly, I know a sparse few people who love to read and enjoy the new world they have discovered when they begin reading a new book.

These facts interest me. I have always found reading, as cliche as it sounds, like a new adventure the moment that I flip to the first page. So here's the question: why is it that people chose to forgo this adventure? A novel is the same as a movie or as a television. They both tell a story. The only difference is that they are told in different ways - one with moving pictures and sound while the other with countless words that describe the moving pictures and sounds. The stories they tell must be similiar as well. Why else would we be watching a movie on the big screen that is an adaptation of a popular novel?

So that would mean that visual stimulation is preferable to the ages old pastime of reading. Yet, novels and stories contain countless worlds and countless stories for one to become completely enraptured by the words that play across the pages.

Now, for the 1, 2, 3's of reading...

Reading a book...

1. ... As I said earlier, is like a movie. It tells a story, one that can be picked based on your personal preference. Unlike a movie, however, the lack of pictures allows you to create your own moving pictures in your mind. While the words can be extremely descriptive, it does allow for greater creativity asyour mind is free to wander and draw whatever it feels is perfectly describes the actions in the book. The storyline exists, but you are in charge of your own pictures.

2. ... Is mobile! A book is so compact, it can be put in a small purse or bag. This allows for greater convenience, so when you're sitting in the waiting room at the doctor's or dentist's office, driving on a long road trip, or relaxing on the beach, you can whip out your book (whereas the portable DVD player would probably not be so convenient) and keep your mind occupied as you fill the gap waiting for the doctor to come and visit you.

3. ... can be free! When you're reading a paperbook in daylight, there is no electricity required - just find the sun and you're ready to go! Even at night, the electricity of a desk lamp is all that's required to continue reading that book. Furthermore, you can check out the books from your local library, leaving this option of entertainment free or close-to free.

Watching a movie or a television show can be fun, but reading can be just as fun as that! So now, as I finish writing this, a book is waiting for you. It is waiting for you to find it, pick it up, and read it.

So what are you waiting for? Get on out there and read!!

Alyssa Montgomery
http://www.alyssamontgomery.com/
Author of Where Are You?, Mr. Mysterious, Mysterious No More, and 9:53 PM (from the Heat of the Moment Anthology).

2 comments:

Pam Ripling said...

This is a well thought out reminder of why we like books. There's a place for movies, too, but I truly believe that people who do not read are missing out. As you pointed out, books give our minds a chance to expand and be creative with what we read and "see" in our heads. Once it's on the big screen, you are only allowed the point of view and visions that producer/director wants you to see.

Pam
http://beaconstreetbooks.com

Nick Valentino said...

Good points Alyssa and Pam.
Really I have to say people are lazy. We might argue that reading is not work, I know people that would say that. After a hard day at the office, many people just want to come home and forget about their lives and watch others without having to use much of their brain. It sounds like I'm being mean, but I promise I'm not. People just like to "switch off" without having to process any more information (words). It's our job to covert these people.