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I am always completely floored when people tell me they don’t read books. I own over 400 books and have read at least that many in my lifetime. Probably double that. I can’t comprehend living in a world where books are not read, and it makes me sad. There is a whole realm of the imagination that you are missing if you don’t read books. I can escape for hours to a different world, to Narnia, or Middle Earth, or Hogwarts, or Camazotz, or 1819, or 300 BC, or … I can be somewhere else, someone else, part of a different story.

A movie can introduce you to this; show you, but never really take you. You might touch it with your finger, but you will never set down your feet. I love movies, I do. I am a movie junkie. I love when books are made into movies, I get so excited that I am about to see places and people with whom I am so very familiar, but more often than not, I end up disappointed.

Here’s how I imagined Haymitch from The Hunger Games.  

Fat and gross like Friar Tuck from Robin Hood. But in the movie, he looked like this…

I imagined Ginny as much more of a person than she was portrayed in the Harry Potter movies, I imagined Frodo as much less of a whimpering Hobbit than he was in the movies. That portion of the book where Merry and Pippin live with the Ents is one of the most beautiful sections of a book that I have ever read. Treebeard sang to the hobbits and took them to his home which was beautiful and had a magic waterfall and he made them magic drinks and it was serene and woodland-ish and beautiful. And Treebeard sang to them some more. I was there. Engulfed by the beauty and completely believing that trees could talk and walk around. It didn’t seem strange at all. The Two Tower movie mostly skipped over the Ent world. This was a huge disappointment to me.

I will read the Narnia books over and over again until the day I die. I love the movies, but those books capture my heart. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a hilarious book and way better than either movie that has been made. Peter Pan astounded me. After seeing so many different versions of the movie, I thought I knew him. But the book is magnificent and showed me so many things I had missed in the Neverland of TV. Same with The Princess Bride, A Wrinkle in Time, Little Women, The Three Musketeers, all of Anne of Green Gables… the list could go on and on.

Madeline L’Engle said:
“If a reader cannot create a book along with the writer, the book will never come to life. Creative involvement; that’s the basic difference between reading a book and watching TV. In watching TV we are passive; sponges; we do nothing. In reading we must become creators…imagining the setting of the story, visualizing the characters, seeing facial expressions, hearing the inflection of voice. The author and the reader “know” each other; they meet on the bridge of words.”

I guess this is just something I have been thinking about lately. Discussing with people. How odd it is when you read a book and picture something one way but the producers of the movie portray it completely differently. Does it disappoint you? Make you go back and read the book over again to see if you somehow imagined it wrong? Or does the movie change your mental picture of that place or person? Do you prefer the book or the movie? But at the end of the day, my biggest question to you is this:

Do. You. Read?

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