While doing signings, every now and then someone will proclaim they don’t know how to read. I always figure it is a snotty way of brushing me aside. I can kind of understand. Even when I walk through malls, I find myself averting the gazes of the people standing next to their designated carts. I don’t want something pushed on me, no matter how “wonderful” their deal is. I think some people view authors at book signings in the same way. They don’t want the work pushed on them.
But, I got to thinking. What if this were true? What if they really couldn’t read…or wouldn’t read? It saddens me. They are missing out on so much. Maybe it is not real experiences, but I know books enrich my life. I guess one could argue they don’t need to read a book because if it’s any good then someone will make a movie. In fact, just this week, someone asked where the movies would be without books. I would venture to say most movies are adaptations on books. I’m sure a book club could devote their entire reading to books that are being turned into movies. Just now, I can quickly come up with a nice list: Hunger Games, Water for Elephants, Time Traveler’s Wife, Harry Potter, practically all the Nicholas Sparks books, Twilight, Carrie, Les Miserables, Emma, Pride and Prejudice, The Bourne series, Percy Jackson, Tuck Everlasting, The Horse Whisperer, One Shot, many Grisham novels. I could go on and on. Yet, rarely encountered someone who has experienced both movie and book chooses the movie over the book. I like to think it’s because movies scratch the surface while books really dig into the meat of character and story.
Books can bring someone into the depths of another universe and walk them through a character’s personality. Intricacies of a story are explored in books in a way movies can’t grasp. Don’t get me wrong, I love going to the movies. I guess I have to wonder where the movies would be without books to inspire them. What stories would Hollywood come up with? Something would blow up, a car chase would ensue, and someone would fall in love. But would there be any more depth than that? I must admit that most of my ideas come from other books. They capture me in a way no movie ever has. Maybe that’s why I write. But I think that’s also why many read.
So, this year take time to experience new authors. Maybe don’t duck away if you find them sitting at a table in your local bookstore. After all, they might be the next big movie hit.