Initially, I wanted to mention this in just a short Twitter post. But I realised I had more words to say than the words allotted to me by Twitter. I just wanted to say that it’s been a while since I realised how powerful and amazing reading is. And how amazing a book is. It’s been a while since I’d actually read books the way I do now, again. And I kind of wondered why.
I used to read books when I was a teenager to put a wall between myself and the world. ‘Cause I felt like I could never relate to the world … And I actually don’t think I want to get into this long conversation about it. Hmm. Backspace.
What I want to say is that I had gotten so out of touch with reading that all the quotes that have been surfacing, from books I’ve never read, but movies I may have watched – they just didn’t feel like something I could claim as my own. I felt like a fraud, if you want to put it simply. And I wondered why. ‘Cause surely after watching a movie of something and knowing the plot, you could at least claim that you understood the story, right? That you could at least quote the same words that were written on a page and then spoke by the character in the film, right?
But it really was not the same. Maybe it is the same for a television show, but not the same for a movie. I felt like there was something missing. Like I was crossing the wide expanse of a river without knowing what lay beneath the surface of that river. (Was that an appropriate enough metaphor?)
And then I sort of realised why, after reading Mockingjay and then the Divergent series, I felt that way. And I realised one honest truth about the way I felt between films and books. They are not, in any respect, the same.
Because the words on paper are a personal experience that you cannot replicate in a movie, as much as you try. And the attachment you feel for a character in a book is far more intimate than that of a character in a film.
You can spend two hours watching someone play out on screen, but there is always a wall between the two of you; you are never in that person’s head, you are never attempting to feel the way they do: it is not the same.
But when it comes to a book, when it comes to carefully thought out words on a page, you are reading something private. You are dedicating some sort of effort, emotion and time to get to know a person. And it can take so much time and not a lot, but the time spent is fully engaged in another person’s life, events and feelings.
And I guess that’s just what I wanted to say – in lesser words, but so many different tangents.
I realise that books create this amazing relationship between the reader and the author. And once you’ve gone through that experience in a book, you feel like you can finally claim a quote from the book, or the friendship of the character. And it’s just amazing how you can feel like the quote is no longer just words in empty space but words that you can claim as your own and you can relate to them as part of your own experience.
So today is not me writing a poem, it’s about my reading experience. And it’s amazing.
Till next time,