Reading: a Vacation for your Brain

It breaks my heart hearing people make jokes about reading as if it’s a chore. It can be many things. I think it’s a tragedy that schools teach kids that books are merely educational tools. It’s the reason you hear people joke, “I’d rather just see the movie.” or my favorite, “I’m a visual learner.” Of course you are! If the only time you’ve used your arms was in gym class and after graduating you never used them again, think how pitiful your physique would be.

I’ve been binge reading everything I can as of lately. Mostly because I want to be an excellent writer. Also because there’s no comment section filled with mindless chimps slinging half ass political debates. Nor when you turn a page does your favorite character stop to tell you how much they love Coca Cola for no reason other then the author is being paid a million dollars for the advertisement in they’re book like in movies.

In that regard it feels as though it’s the purest form of story telling we have left. It’s just what the author has created and your own imagination. A complete escape from the outside world.

The author paints a picture with words that makes you feel as though you’re sharing the same space with these characters. But vague enough that you can add to the painting with your own interpretations expanding the painting.

Dialogue that sounds like music to the ears is incredibly rewarding. When the words effortlessly flow and you find yourself in a trance. Especially if it sounds authentic to the characters. Their dialect matches to those who you’ve actually met from a certain walk of life. Say the characters are from a part of the world with a distinct accent and you can’t help but read their dialogue with that accent. Maybe the character has a job that has a specific terminology, like a nurse. The author uses the proper terms for the medical conditions. That’s part of the trance.

When introduced to characters with dialogue that’s cliche or melodramatic it feels an awful lot like Hollywood just stole my $12. You know this situation? cliche #1 is dangling off a cliff. Cliche #2 has their hand out screaming. “Take my hand!” Cliche #1 panics and is holding on with dear life suddenly makes eye contact with #2. Cliche #2 gently say’s, “Do you trust me.” Then they pull something miraculous off and the audience is relieved. Call me a cynic but I personally kind of wished they couldn’t pull the stunt off and died. I know that seems cold but Hollywood has a million and one more cliches they can use. Why not make the list a little shorter?

Another great thing with books is the author can have a lot more fun with the story. Keeping the plot somewhat looser then a film. Quentin Tarantino said while making Reservoir Dogs. He didn’t want characters constantly focused on plot. Because that’s not how it is in real life. Which is true. Mechanics don’t just talk about cars on the job. They talk about spouses, kids, friends things they’ve seen on TV etc. With novels you gotta fill anywhere from a 120 to a thousand pages with description, thoughts, Dialogue, action, etc. Which let’s the author play a little more with the world that they’re building.

You start reading from the very first page. Then after a while you start to notice your half way through and think nothing of it. Your just enjoying the ride. Continuing further into the trance, now there’s only 20 pages left. You get that… not necessarily sad feeling but similar to the feeling you get when an acquaintance at work tells you he put in his two weeks because they found a job with better benefits. Your happy for them while selfishly mourning all the good times you won’t have any more. Everything comes to a close in magnificent fashion. You shut the book. Your Co-workers gone. Now you have to talk to Dave. He’s talking about the new crackers they have in the vending machine. Which he would do. Not realizing that’s why he’ll always be… “Dave.” 

A friend gives you a recommendation on a book that blew him away. You take a trip to the book store to check it out. The next day your boss introduces you to the new guy. Who you seem to click with. chapter one… a new journey unfolds.

 

 

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