By Levi Jiorle
Assistant Managing Editor
I enjoy movies as much as any film lover.
Sitting down with friends, choosing a movie and being taken away for two hours is something that everyone should cherish.
One would be hard-pressed to find someone who hates movies. They are a very accessible form of entertainment.
As much as I love movies, shows and documentaries, books are a different medium of expression that I happen to enjoy more.
Finding somebody to talk about movies with is easy.
Someone could mention the newest superhero, and chances are, there will be plenty of people who will be able to discuss.
Finding somebody to talk about books with, however, is quite the challenge.
I’ve tried to talk to my nonbookish friends about writers like Richard Yates, Truman Capote and Carson McCullers, but they often come up empty-handed with any sort of discussion.
I don’t mention this to say that people who don’t read books are less intelligent.
There are plenty of people who don’t read books who have interests in other challenging subjects.
Math is a subject that is hated by many, but it would be unfair to say that if someone hates math, they are unintelligent.
Some people just aren’t interested in literary ideas like imagery and characterization, and that is totally fine.
I think the reason why most people prefer movies over books is because movies are more instantly gratifying.
It’s not hard to sit down for two hours and watch a film that has a minimal amount of dialogue, as opposed to reading a book that has long stream-of-consciousness sections.
Sure, there are many films that are though-provoking and dense with their subject matter.
They also have an advantage over books in that it is a visual art form.
Filmmakers like David Lynch and Wes Anderson are known for the specific “lenses” in which their films are portrayed.
Books, though, have advantages in other avenues that films just cannot replicate. What I really enjoy about novels is how well someone gets to know the characters over time.
Prose writers have an advantage over screenwriters in a couple of ways.
Prose writers are able to reveal the consciences of each character to whatever extent they find appropriate.
This creates something interesting in the way that someone gets to know the characters through prose. Inner thoughts simply can’t be revealed in movies.
Actors and actresses are the placeholders for character in movies.
Cinematic performances are fun to watch, and acting is such a difficult artistic medium to begin with, but there is something interesting about the way writing reveals character.
As mentioned before, movies are a form of instant gratification compared to books. Reading a book is long and at times laborious, but that’s what makes it different.
“IT,” Stephen King’s masterpiece, is a book, but was also made as a movie (I know this is common knowledge).
Someone is going to learn a lot more and gain a richer experience by reading the book.
Someone simply just can’t get the same experience from watching a three-hour movie.
Prose writers essentially have to rely on themselves to make a quality product, too.
Of course, editors come in to play eventually.
Screenwriters can rely on actors and actresses much more than a writer can rely on anyone else, though.
If someone gave Daniel Day-Lewis a mediocre script, there are a lot of techniques he could use as an actor to make up for the lackluster dialogue (plus, he’s just a phenomenal actor).
If the dialogue in a book is sub-par, the writer cannot rely on anybody to make this better. What’s great about art is that it comes in many different mediums.
Don’t be afraid to read a book, though.
It gives one a different perspective with art and life.
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