Musings From A Bookmammal

Booking Through Thursday

18 Comments

Click to play along!

Click to play along!

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme that asks a bookish question each week. You can join in by clicking the link above! This week’s question is:

How much do you visualize when you read? Do you imagine faces for the characters? Can you see the locations in your mind’s eye? Or do you just plunge ahead with the story, letting the imagery fall to the wayside?

We-read-five-words-onIf I am LOVING a book–especially a novel–I have a whole movie running inside my head as I’m reading. I know what the characters look like and I even know what they sound like. This is especially true of books that I re-read–each time I revisit the story, the images in my head get more and more pronounced. And I think this is the mark of a truly gifted writer–someone I’ve never met who can paint a picture inside the head of a complete stranger. It’s really very magical when you think about it!

This is why I am so reluctant to see the movie versions of books that I love. I ALREADY have the movie in my mind, so nothing is going to measure up to what I’ve already so vividly imagined. I’ll often go ahead and see the movie anyway because I’m curious as to how the director visualized the characters, but I nearly always come away saying, “Well, XXX doesn’t look like that at all!”

This especially true of two books that I read for the first time in elementary school. Charlotte’s Web and Harriet the Spy are two of my all-time favorite books. In fact, I go back and re-read each of them every couple of years. I have never seen the movie versions of either of these books. Trust me–I KNOW exactly what all of those characters look like, sound like, and act like. I like Rosie ODonnell, but the character of Ole Golly does NOT look anything like her! Any Debbie Reynolds as the animated voice of Charlotte? Sorry–that is NOT Charlotte’s voice!

And, to me, this is one of the greatest things about reading–having the freedom to create your very own movie in your head anytime you read!

How about you? Are there any particular authors who can paint a picture inside your mind? Please share!

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Author: bookmammal

I love books, reading, writing, cooking, eating, reading while eating, and sharing thoughts about all of the above–plus a bit more! I usually post about topics relating to books and literacy during the week, and then participate in a variety of non-bookish memes on the weekend. Please feel free to join in! Some random things about me– –I have multiple bookshelves in every room of my home except the bathroom. They’re all filled to bursting. They help to make my house my home. –I have two cats who I love dearly, but who I definitely do NOT dress in human clothing. Ever. –I’ve never had a cavity. –I make a mean spaghetti sauce. –I’m a newcomer to yoga and I love it. –My day is not complete without a little chocolate.

18 thoughts on “Booking Through Thursday

  1. I like to read the book before I see the movie. 10 times out of 10, the book is much better! So much is left out of the movie and, like you said, the actor/actress/ voice is just not right for the character. The only movies I have seen that are true to their characters are the Harry Potter movies. They hit the nail/nails on the head/heads.

  2. I’m the same except I really like book adaptations. I’m always curious to see how a director and a team of writers change or even in some rare cases improve upon what I’ve visualized in my head.

    My BTT

  3. I am the same way while reading! Yes, I feel the same about watching a movie after I have read the book. It never quite measures up to my own minds eye. Love the John Gardner quote!

  4. Yes! This is exactly how a great reading experience is for me as well, although said in a much better way!

  5. An example for me was Gone with the Wind…in which the movie version did not measure up. Scarlett did not look like Vivien Leigh, in my mind…but nowadays, I am not bothered by the mismatch between my vision and the film maker’s. Here’s MY BTT POST

    • Gone With The Wind is actually one movie that I enjoyed more than the book–possibly because I read the book when I was pretty young, and may not have been ready for it when I read it for the first time. That doesn’t happen very often, though . . .

  6. Good answer, stop and see mine.

  7. I create images in my head from the books I read too, but there is a difference depending on how much detail the author provides. Actually I was contemplating this just hours before I opened and read the BTT-question this week!
    http://dawntreader-island2.blogspot.se/2013/09/booking-through-thursday-imagery.html

  8. I’m with you! I cringe when I know a favorite book is going to be made into a movie. MY version is just so much better that some director can’t measure up! 🙂 And yes, I’ve never seen the Charlotte’s Web movie (s?)… one of my favorites as a kid and I can’t ruin it. Sort of like Anne of Green Gables… I like the first two movies okay but when I knew the director was veering so far from the books with the 3rd movie I never bothered to see it (and still haven’t!).

    • The only recent exception I can think of to the whole book/movie thing is the movie version of the nonfiction book “Friday Night Lights”, which is about one Texas high school football team’s season. I LOVED that book, I went to see the movie cautiously–and I LOVED the movie, too! Somehow, in that case, the director came really close to the movie in my head on that one. Maybe it had something to do with being nonfiction–but there were still actors portraying the “real life” characters, so I don’t know–I just know that it’s one of my few favorite book/movie combinations!

  9. You’re right – if I’m having a good time with a story, I slow down and soak up every description so I can see it in my head, but if I’m not, I skim skim skim!

  10. I agree with you. A good book transports me to a world of it own. I start to live amongst the characters….living through their sadness & happiness along with them and often feel sad when the story comes to an end.

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