On Movies vs Books and Emotionally Rewarding Activities.

the way of kings drawn image

Imagine you’re watching a fantastic movie. One of your favorites or one you’ve never seen before; imagine that surge of expectation, the feeling of elation as you wait for something to happen, as you slowly understand the plot the movie has been trying to build, that moment when understanding washes over you and you feel as if everything makes sense!

Or imagine a surprising moment in a movie, when something that just happened dazed you and your mind needs a few seconds to process the event. Once understood it makes you feel excitement and a want for more! “Wow, I didn’t expect that! What now?!”.

These are emotions good movie makers and story-tellers want to produce on their audience. That moment when Snape strikes Dumbledore dead. When the spinning top slightly tumbles in Inception. The moment you understand what was happening in The Shining.

We love good movies because they make us feel emotions we don’t feel on our daily lives. And we love books for the same reason.

I find myself drawn to the topic of writing about books and my love and attraction to them. I’ve written about this previously, perhaps because I’m surprised by it myself sometimes, or because I want to show others the joy they can bring us. I do believe books have the potential to improve our lives and make the world a better place. </cheesy>

Did you ever experience those emotions I mentioned above? Did you imagine watching one of those movies, or remembered the feeling you got at a certain time in a remarkable movie? Books offer the same type of thrill but extended 10 fold. The Thrill doesn’t last a moment, it lasts minutes, hours, sometimes days! It gives you just enough to keep the excitement alive and make you want to keep reading.

I’m talking about good movies and good books. We all search and crave these reactions in ourselves by seeking to consume good content. It’s one of the reasons we go to see movies in the cinema at an incredible expensive rate in the first place, the elements of surprise, expectation, and the chance of being awed.

It’s not often that we find ourselves awed at a movie. I can count with my fingers the movies that have created a long-lasting impact. Avatar, Inception, The Last Samurai, Avengers: Infinity War, I can come up with a few others probably. What makes me remember them it’s not the movie itself, the actors, the plot, or any related to the movie itself, what makes good movies memorable are the emotions they inspire within us.

We remember what we feel. Memory is strongly tied to emotions. How many times have you reached a conclusion through the sheer power of logic, just to forget your arguments the day after, and having to go through a similar process to reach the same conclusion? Logic doesn’t create memories as well as emotions do.

In comparison to the number of awe-inspiring movies I’ve seen, I’ve easily read more than twice the amount of awe-inspiring books. This is even more disproportionate given the fact that I’ve seen hundreds of movies, but only read a handful of books. I can remember the good books because they had an emotional impact on me.

Dune, the Harry Potter series, Game of Thrones series, Sapiens, The Selfish Gene, Stormight Archive series. The list goes on and on.

Books offer so much more potential than the cinematic medium. In movies, there are so many things in play: actors, directors, budget, cameras, storyline, stakeholders, money(!), and dozens of other things. With books, you have an author and her vision. The author pours her soul into the books and wishes for the best, hopefully, her masterpiece will reach critical mass and become known.

Anyone that has read all of the Harry Potter knows the kind of thrill caused by such books. It’s indescribable. It’s almost hard to believe readers don’t become addicts to such powerful emotions.

Video games and gambling can be addictive because they have the promise of the easily given yet random thrill. If you want to get high on a book’s story, you got to pay in advance by reading the non-emotionally-intense parts of it.

This post was inspired by The Stormlight Archive’s first book: The Way Of Kings. A behemoth of 1000+ pages. The last 15% of the book was, for me, a torrent of emotions. I was excited, worried, and expectant. At some point I was jumping (quite literally jumping) of excitement after reading a fighting scene, (spoilers), in which one of the main characters was discovering ancient powers given to him, struggling for his life and that of other main characters. Damn that book was good.

As always the book ends. I’m now reading part two of the series, hoping it will be anywhere as good as the first. This one will eventually finish, and I will start the third, and so on until I land upon my next Dune, my next golden goose.

And then I’ll find myself yet again writing about how great books are. Because I’m always surprised of it myself.

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