Believe it or not this was said to me today in a general conversation. Needless to say that the person who spoke these particular words did not know I was an author; I did not enlighten them either!
However, for my part these simple few words started a chain of thought that, as the day progressed, continued to reoccur in various forms. This post is the result of some of the fleeting impressions these musings have left me.
By the way I am solely writing with regards to reading fictional books, as this was the original topic of discussion this morning.
For those techno-loving geeky types, I am not separating e-books from their paper counterparts as they were not distinguished as separate entities during the debate.
So on with the post…….Firstly, why read a book when we are surrounded by a plethora of various media platforms, allowing access to just about every form of entertainment available by a simple click of a mouse, a push of a button, or a touch of a screen?
My answer to this is that all forms of moving picture media leaves very little exercise for the mind.
Once again I will say ALL forms, whether it is a chick-flick or shoot-um-up film, a drama, play, soap opera, or another genre.
Each and every one spoon feeds the viewer the information required and therefore leaves very little, if anything for the imagination to create.
However involved the viewer may become in the plot of the programme he or she is watching, their mind is purely focused on the screen, watching antics and listening to the words of the actors alone.
Do not get me wrong, I enjoy a good film as much as the next man; I love watching plays and intriguing dramas, and yet no matter how well directed, produced, or acted they may be, such simply cannot begin to compete with a well written book.
A book can give your mind a ruddy good workout, a neuron enhancing, cognitive improving gym session like no other.
Allow me to explain……When you watch something on a screen you are seeing a story through the eyes of the director, via a screen writers interpretation of a story that has most probably been adapted from another medium, possibly that well written book I mentioned a short while ago.
Therefore what you are seeing is actually a director’s vision, of a third of fourth hand edited version of an original work. Doesn’t seem so good now does it?
Another downside to watching a screenplay is when one of the characters, (which will be the actors portrayal of the watered down interpretation of the directors version of that original piece of work), walks across the car park and drives away in a dark shiny car, you will see exactly from which direction the actor enters the car park, see how the parking lot is lit, know what model car he climbs into, and just how fast he drives away.
That is okay, but it is hardly fascinating, is it?
However, within those magic pages of a book all that action is yours, and yours alone. No one else will ever see the same man walk through the same car park and slide behind the wheel of that car. Only you know how the parking lot smells, which lights were dim and flickering. Only you can sense the suppleness of the leather seats and watch through the windshield as he drives, tyres squealing, up the ramp and out into the….daylight / darkness of a rainy night?
Now you are beginning to see why I love reading.
Everything conjured up by the words on the page are designed to stimulate your mind, not only by guiding you through the storyline, the plot, sub-plots and twists to bring you to a conclusion, but to excite every cerebral nerve in your mind to create entire worlds where you can escape to for hours on end.
It is your personal world, an exclusive world, where every drop of rain, each blade of grass, the people who inhabit it, the scents, the very texture of material are all yours, and yours alone. A semi-mystical fantasy world where love, hate, lust, passion, jealousy and forgiveness can be experienced without fear.
There is no other form of entertainment that can even come anywhere close to that which can be delivered by a good book.
As I have said above, I love reading, I enjoy the escapism it provides. Which is also why I enjoy writing; when I write I hope to give my readers the same experience, the same satisfaction that I get when I’m deeply lost, in my own netherworld, following the storyline of a Novel.
Even if you do not read one of my books, please buy one, even two of somebody else’s and start reading straight away. I know you will enjoy.
Thanks for reading this!