Read a book instead

I was recently having this conversation with my bestie at work, Jessica about how we don’t see as many people with books as we did before the digital era. I maybe old school but some things in life should just stay the way they are like the feel and smell of paper, the satisfaction derived from turning a physical page is no match to scrolling with your finger on the cold glass of the smart devices. 

I have always loved the idea of having my favorite novel in one hand and coffee in another. As a teenager it was mostly the M&Bs (Mills and Boons) …oooh the innocent romance and steamy encounters, how I loved them. This was soon after I grew out of Enid Blyton’s Wishing Chair  at 8 followed by Nancy Drew’s genius mystery solving. So glad my friend Jess and I were exactly on the same page with this. So here’s what she said to me: 

“You know what I’m really proud of doing lately? Reading a book. Ok I know it’s not something huge of a deal but for me it kind of is.”

With the lifestyle she had the only time she could actually get some reading done had to be when she travelled to and from work. But since she lived just 15 minutes from work (lucky gal) by the time she could get the book out and turn to her page it would be time to get off the train. Having moved recently she’s  35 minutes from work so perfect time to read a book. Makes more sense since she also got rid of her Facebook account 6 months ago. She goes to me, “You see these people on the train scrolling mindlessly on their smartphones not even reading the posts or even worse stalking other people they don’t know. But Jess was that brave girl who deleted her Facebook account for her own good and I can promise you it’s one thing of two that she will never regret; the second one becoming a vegan. 

I know a few people who love the idea of being an avid reader but haven’t really found the kind of book they can fall in love with. To them I’d say, just read whatever, you know. Just have that unquenchable thirst for wonder and be ready to explore. Not all books I read are great. Once in a while you come across a mediocre one and you say ‘hmm ok’ and move on to the next adventure. And once you start doing that the books will come to you. It’s how I believe the universe works. It conspires to bring to you what you are really looking for. 

This is what I’m currently reading by the way. Dan Brown needless to mention is a genius at his work and his Best sellers are the absolute bests. Such deep intellect!

Don’t you think that when you read a book you are transported to this magical world where the characters come to life. And you can’t help but wonder what their actual lives would be like. We create this mental picture of these imaginary people in our heads. At times it feels like we are so much part of the story that the characters become part of your own life as if you’ve known them forever. I, for one (if I find that un-put downable book would forget to eat or drink or sleep or…*cough cough….till I get to the last chapter). And how depressed we feel for days on finishing a book. It’s like the guests who visited your place are now gone leaving you lonely and aimless. I know I go around feeling a bit lost for a while after I’ve finished a book. Doesn’t it always leave you longing for more? It’s also a bit hard to start the new one till the new plot and story gets on you. The characters in the new book are still strangers and it takes a while for them to warm up to you. 

I can understand when, a book is turned into a movie, why people say it’s not quite like the book, that they enjoyed the book a lot more than the movie. I guess it’s just because when you read a book you are the one directing the story. You can make it whatever you please. It’s your imagination that creates the place, surroundings and I guess the overall setting of the story. If the story is based in (say) New York then you create a mental picture of the New York you always pictured in your head, even if you haven’t been there. It’s up to you how far you can take your fantasy. How many of you enjoyed Fifty Shades of Grey as a book more than the actual movie (wink wink)? See what I mean by imagination (runs wilder in your head than what the director can show, bound by the censor board et al) ? while you are not restricted at all. 

But when you watch the movie it doesn’t look anything like the place you imagined; even the characters look different and you don’t like it. The director of the movie is someone else. It becomes someone else’s story not yours. So ya. 

Not sure if you observe other people but it really amuses me when I see people fully engrossed in reading their books. Occasionally you even see their expressions change from a blush to a frown and you can’t help but wonder what in the book caused the sudden change of emotions …hmm.