Reading proves difficult, but can be rewarding

I love books.

When I was younger I used to read all the time. Now that I’m in college, I don’t read nearly as much as I used to, but I still enjoy it.

At first some might object to this experience. Most books don’t have pictures, and they take a long time to read.

The primary difference between a book and a movie is that a movie requires great acting, great direction, great cinematography, great writing and great casting in order to be an enjoyable experience. The only thing a book needs is great writing. Your imagination fills in the rest.

This is also why the phrase “the book was better than the movie” is so common. When you read a book everything is exactly the way you want it in your head. Different people want different things, so a movie can bring quite mixed reactions from people, whereas a book, if well written, can be enjoyed by quite a few people, because each person will end up with a different experience depending on their imagination.

I never have time to read anymore. Well, that’s not true. I have plenty of time to read, I just don’t. I’m either watching TV, playing video games or listening to music.

Yes, even though I explained to you why reading a book is better than watching TV, I still usually end up watching TV instead of reading.

The real difference is laziness. Despite all the things that have to be right for a movie or TV show to be a great experience, that is all work that has to be done by someone else. All you have to do is turn on the TV and then oftentimes turn your brain off.

A book requires your mind to be constantly engaged. You are given the sole responsibility of creating the world. If the author is a good writer, then it is easier to picture in your mind, but you still must use your brain to create the world, to create what the characters look and sound like.

That’s why I most often watch TV instead of reading a book. It’s easy to watch TV, it can be work to read a book. The difficulty of reading a book can also vary depending on whether or not it is fiction or non-fiction.

In a fictional story the author creates a world for you and then lets you see it.

With non-fiction, you are given information, and your brain must be even more active in order to understand the raw data that is being entered into your brain.

Then, there are audiobooks —  what I like to think of as the bridge between books and movies. Now, instead of doing the work of attempting to process words on a page and translate that into the intended story, you can sit back and let someone else do that work for you.

I tend to feel that audiobooks can be too much work for me as well, as they still require concentration. Also with an audiobook, you can’t instantly jump back three pages or chapters if you missed something. You can skip through chapters, but then you have to fast forward through them to find a specific place.

This is by no means a sermon on the superiority of books, but simply a statement of regret about the fact that I don’t read more books. (I say as I prepare to watch Flash vs. Arrow.)

Of course the hard part is finding a good book. This is why I often pick books that have been made into movies, I figure if they were enough to inspire a film being made out of them, they must be fairly decent.

The last series of books I read for fun was the Game of Thrones series, which I ended up reading around the time the 4th season was on the air.

Many times when there is a film or TV show based on a book or series of books, I try to read the book first. On something which is becoming increasingly difficult to do, as it seems more and more movies are based on books.

While it may be true that I don’t read as many books as I’d like to, every time I do read a new book, it always makes me wish I read more.

Mike Rauser is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected].