Solely In Black and White: Did I Read that Correctly the First Time?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Did I Read that Correctly the First Time?

Book Chaos
Gobbling Yummy Books?

I was always fascinated by diehard fans. I don’t know why. I suspect I am in awe of their devotion to whatever they’re a fan of. I’ll admit that some diehard fans are essentially crazy, but perhaps we can chalk that up to their passion for whatever it is they do or follow. There is one genre or perhaps demographic of fans that have recently been pondering about: the voracious reader.  

For what it’s worth I know a few of these creatures. They devour books by the stack and radiate happiness in well stocked libraries and/or bookstores. While it may be true that I have an appreciation for the written word and attain some pleasure from well written prose, in my mind, I do not fit into that category. I suspect that the term voracious reader in general can be subjective and far from definitive. On the flipside, I was intrigued to find that there is a classification called “reading addicts,” although I am unsure if that is just a joke, a term of endearment created by bibliophiles, or a serious medical malady.Regardless, there is something I found strange about diehard fans (particularly those who are readers); they tend to reread their favorite books. If said book becomes a movie, they become very motivated to see it as well. In some cases I can understand that. I was curious to see the first Harry Potter movie since I wanted to see if they producers and directors envisioned J.K. Rowling’s world in the same way I did. Also, I can understand why someone would want to see a movie; the change in medium substitutes a character’s thoughts for visual cues, subtext, and acting. But that would only suffice for one movie. Would I go so far as to reread an entire series and watch all the subsequent movies? I think not.

Reel Neon
For Real... :-)
Perhaps you can make the argument that rereading a dramatic or romantic book or watching its film adaptation enables the reader/viewer to glean a deeper connection and understanding of the characters. But what then of the other genres? I think this argument is even more vexing for stories with twists. I personally enjoy a good twist, but if I know it’s coming and where it goes, then what’s the point? That’s not a twist, that’s a laid track that’s already been crossed. In conclusion, you don’t need to reread my blog, although I completely understand if you do. However, if I do make a movie, I expect you to watch it! ;-) :-P So on that note, do you reread books or movies that were made from books? If so, perhaps you can explain to me why... :-/ 


  1. I am a self professed bibliophile- and while certain movies from books I have gone to see (and reread the book again afterwards) I usually hate the movie, so I stop going to see it. (Exception: Tolkien). Why do I hate it? It usually ruins my thoughts about the book, and sometimes they truly don't do it properly (not that they can in a short movie time).
    Other times I have seen a movie- like The Devil wears Prada- and headed back to read the book (once I knew it was based on a book) which was just as awesome as the movie. So I guess it goes both ways sometimes.

  2. It's funny that you brought this topic up, b/c I was in middle of writing a post about re-reading books. I guess I fall under the title of "voracious reader". It's hard to explain to someone who is not a book fanatic exactly why reading (and re-reading) is such an amazing experience. There are no words to describe the feeling that you can get when you finish a book that is just so good...
    As for re-reading- I wrote about it here

  3. Another voracious reader here. Movies very often ruin the tone of the books by throwing in a Disney-esque ending (such as the "The Devil Wears Prada" or "The Nanny Diaries.")

    Reading an amazing book (not all books are created equal) transports the reader to another plane, to another world, to another reality. Re-reading it is like visiting a favorite vacations spot more than once (yet being infinitely cheaper).

  4. I agree with PL. I wouldn't consider myself an "avid reader" though by your definition, I guess I am one?

    I love to re-read classics, specially during finals (they are my "treat" if I study hard). Aside from it being like "visiting a favorite vacation spot", you always see something new in the book. It also becomes, I would say, more of an intellectual reading because since you have already read the book many times before, you are dissecting it and really looking deeply (or at least that is what I do).

    I probably enjoyed HP7 more the last time I read it than the other six or seven times.

  5. iTripped , I know exactly what you mean. Reading a great book with a great ending is a fantastic feeling. Unfortunately I find that be a fleeting reality. It’s hard to constantly find amazing books. Additionally, there are no words to describe the feeling you get when you read a great book that concludes with a lousy ending… ;-)

    Okay, so I understand where you’re all coming from and what you’re saying; I know the feeling you are describing. However, books take time to read. Even quick-read thrillers take a few hours to leaf through. I understand the idea of submerging oneself into fiction (or any media) for the sake of relaxation, but where do you find the time for this? Typically, I do most of my book reading on Shabbos, but Shabbos is only so long. With limited amount of reading time at my disposal, why exactly would I reread a book?

  6. I love reading, but these days there's little time for it except some evenings and Shabbos. Back when I commuted by subway, I had much more time. That's what I miss most about New York: subway commuting. A half-hour on the train each way means you can go through two or three books a week at least.

    I used to reread books more when I was younger, but never books that depended on twists and suspense to keep your interest. I loved Sherlock Holmes, for example, but never reread a single story. On the other hand, I can reread Deep Secret any time, because it's a really fun book even once you know who everyone is.

    When people obsess over a book and a movie it's not because they're a big reader It means they're a big fan. People who are fans of Twilight or Harry Potter to the point where they're on line at midnight of the premiere are usually not the same people who curl up with the classics on a weekend.

    Rather, they're people who identify deeply with something in the story or characters that creates their affinity or loyalty.


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