Tuesday, June 29, 2010

It's an addiction

I love books. I'm reading the book "Inkheart" right now, and the main characters love books as much as I do. Every time the author goes into a description of why they love books, it's like I'm reading my own thoughts. It's the idea that there are so many stories out there to be told, and in a book, you get to be a part of them for a while. In a book, you can travel the world and beyond, you can fight dragons and fly with fairies. You can escape to a world beyond your own for a little while. What I love so much about books is that the characters, the people, come alive in my head however I want them to. Reading is an exercise in creativity, something that is sorely lacking in other areas of life.

I will read books about just about anything. I enjoy mysteries, trying to solve them along with the characters. I enjoy fantasy, where worlds are spun from words that create new perceptions and expectations. I love stories about love, all kinds of love, friendships, romance, family love. I love stories written in first person, where the reader is privvy to every thought in the main character's mind, and ones where the point of view hops from person to person, making the reader feel like some omniscient being watching from above as the story plays out. Books bring out crazy emotions in me, I cry along with the characters, feel anger and frustration, and even fall in love a little with each book I read. I love going into libraries and old bookstores. The smell of books is intoxicating. If they made a perfume called "Old Book," I would definitly buy it, just to spray on my new books ;)

I have watched several movies based on books lately. "Inkheart," of course. Also "Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief," and the first two "Twilight" movies. (The third comes out tonight at midnight! I'm going tomorrow night, and I'm super excited!) It's fun to see your favorite characters on the screen, to see beloved stories come to life. There are several problems though. I mean, what happens when the characters are a far cry from how you picture them? I don't mind Robert Pattinson, but he is definitely not how I pictured Edward from Twilight. And if you only see the movies and don't read the books, you miss out on so much! Since you can't have a five hour movie (at least not one people would sit through), it's necessary to cut characters and plot from the book. There are all these layers that are missing, and much of the richness and creativity are lost. Another problem is the need for movies to add so much action. I remember being super upset with the fourth Harry Potter movie, when they cut an entire important storyline and put in a five minute dragon chase sequence. But I suppose that's what people want. Which is why I'm glad I can always go back to my books.

I will read books several times over. I have read the Twilight and Harry Potter series (I don't know how to make that plural) several times each. I am planning to read the Percy Jackson series again soon. Each time I discover something new about the characters. Some people think it's weird that I read books over, especially so many times, since I clearly know what is going to happen. But for me it's like going to visit old friends. I miss them. Weird, I know, but true.

I could care less if a book is considered "literary." It drives me nuts when people write these depressing books with big words and are given higher praise than those who write in a more relateable way. In my creative writing course in college, most of the stories turned in were depressing and dark. The first one I turned in wasn't. I write for teens/young adults. I got the most ridiculous comments because of it. Stephenie Meyer is often ridiculed for not being "literary" enough, and for having a poor writing style. Guess what. She has several best sellers and a movie series based on her books. I don't think she cares!

I have started working on my novel again. Hopefully I can finish it out, and who knows, maybe I will get lucky and get published someday. It would be my dream to be able to write for a living. I know it probably won't happen, but it's fun to dream. There are so many stories in my head just waiting to be told. They won't be "literary." I write like I talk pretty much. I want my books to be something people can read and really get into the story, rather than stumbling over difficult words and odd phrasing. It may not always be grammatically correct. I often end sentences with prepositions. And I giggle every time ;)

So. The point is, nothing can compare to books. I am completely addicted to them. If I'm in the middle of a good book, I will go on very little sleep in order to read just one more chapter (or five). If I had to choose between only reading or only watching TV and movies, reading would win. Every time. No contest. Gosh I'm a nerd.

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