Yesterday, I asked one of my friends to read The Kite Runner since it is one of my top favourite reads of all times.
Isn’t there a movie based on that book? I’d much rather watch that instead.
This felt like a personal attack against me, leaving me utterly speechless (as well as making me question our friendship). It got me thinking on why I always prefer a paperback instead of just watching the screenplay, and while there are several reasons that come to mind, these are the ones I believe stand out the most.
1. The characters in the story emerge just the way you want them to; be it looks, sounds, actions or even the costumes. In movies you aren’t given much of an option – the image is already there and you have to deal with it even if it doesn’t make sense.
2. You are constantly aware of what is going inside your main character’s head and hence there are no missing chunks of the story (unless it’s very poor writing) that leave you second guessing about what just happened.
3. In books, your story slowly and gradually builds. You grow up right along your characters and when the story is exceptionally good, you start building a connection with them. Most movies only last an hour or two and so the story has to be confined in a very limited time, giving the audience very little chance to relate to the characters.
4. Even though movies too play a big role in improving your language skills, it is actually the books that create a major impact. By reading books written by various authors, you are able to learn the best bits from them and develop amazing writing skills.
5. Watching movies means increased screen time and research has shown that artificial light from your computer screens has a negative effect on your sleep cycle. Reading paperbacks in broad daylight or under a lamp creates no such problems.
6. For some people, following dialogues during a movie proves to be a bit challenging especially when English (if they are watching an English movie) is not their first language. Books, however, let you re-read the same paragraph infinite times.
7. Paperbacks, hard cover, ebooks – whatever the shape or form of your book, you get to keep it with you; maybe even pass it down to the next generation. The very unique smell of books and the worn out edges from countless turning of pages gives it its very own distinctiveness.
8. You don’t have to worry about things such as charging your device or poor Internet connection when reading a book.
9. Whether you are travelling, waiting for your bus, putting your child to sleep or even just curling around on the sofa – books can be your constant companion.
10. Books let you LIVE everything.
There is a quote by George R.R. Martin that I think explains a reader’s life, really well:
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.”