Why Books?

Why do I choose to spend my time reading and writing with everything else in this world that competes for my attention?

Television. Movies. Games. Twitter. Facebook.

Whatever is your choice of diversion. But I’ve chosen books. Why?

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For one, I read romance novels, fantasy, and then Sci Fi. I dislike most romantic comedies, so once you exclude those, you’re really not left with much to choose from in the romance category. I can only watch Pride & Prejudice so many times.

Only recently has fantasy and sci fi really gotten any Hollywood love. Even then, there’s only a handful of movies and unless they have huge budgets, they look awful.

At least compared to my imagination.

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Looks like these astronauts are on Triton. There’s a story here…

And then there are the characters. Books, good books, do characters right. I am ecstatic when the bad guy goes down, and I love it when the hero wins because I’m invested in them. It’s much easier to invest me in a character via a book than a movie. That’s just the nature of the genres. I can actually see what the character is thinking and feeling. A good actor can get some of that across, but not like a good author.

TV shows,far more than movies, have a lot of potential for character development, but oftentimes, networks beat their shows to death rather than giving them a graceful ending. I can think of several right now, but X-Files always comes to mind first.

While I love an immersive video game RPGs, so many of them do wrong by the characters. *cough* Danse in Fallout 4 *cough* I feel like video games could be so much more, but they’re not there yet. Maybe they’ll never be. But I can hope. They feel like the closest to books to me, and I love the interactive aspect.

My favorite past time other than reading and writing is playing table top RPGs run by a competent DM. For those not familiar, this means games likes Dungeons & Dragons. Sure, they’ve gotten a bad rap, but our group of friends are all quite respectable and many hold very highly-paid day jobs. No basement dwellers among us, and no one lives at home.

But tabletop RPGsĀ gets back to characters again. A good DM sets up the world and then turns the characters you’ve made loose in it. Yes, they keep the story going, but they never railroad you or force you to do dumb things to keep their plot going. They improvise to keep the players happy and interested. To keep them focused on what’s going on and engaged in the world.

Characters are what keeps me reading and writing.

How about you? What makes you read when you could be doing something else?

 

8 thoughts on “Why Books?

  1. The real world? Nothing has ever been as much of an escape as reading. Movies are good. It not as immersive to me. But a book? Lost. In a world far away and with structure and rules.

  2. Compelling, proactive characters do it for me every time. What’s your RPG of choice? I was always a fan of Rifts myself. Honestly though, we never really played by any rules. We just picked a world we wanted to play in (usually Rifts or Star Wars) and then had at it. That’s pretty much my day. Reading, Netflixing Superhero series and football.

    1. My RPG of choice is D&D, but then, that’s really the only RPG I’ve been exposed to. I came to it rather late in life (after I met DH, in fact, as he introduced to me to fantasy, RPGs, and all of that!).

      I even tried my hand at DMing for a time, before children. I was “okay” at it. Needed more practice. A lot more, but it was fun to spin the world for the characters.

  3. I love to read. It allows me to retreat to a place of my own design and interpretation. No one can tell me that I’m right or wrong, because, for those few moments, I’m in my own world. One of my favorite novelists is Robin Parrish. I remember the last time I read one of his books, it took me less than three days to devour a few hundred pages. RPGs and video games are how we use our imagination as adults. We create our own stories, build our own castles, rise to the top of our kingdoms and conquer the world. In the world of imagination the only boundaries are set by “What if…” Keep on living the good life!

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