Part R of the April A-Z Blogging Challenge, where every day this month except Sundays, I'll be talking about things I love - one thing for each letter of the alphabet.
To me, the written word is a dear friend whose relationship I neglect. Nothing can open your mind and challenge you creatively like a book or an essay. But with the amount of time it takes to consume a book, I just never get around to it. The best I can do is cram in a chapter or two at night in bed while I'm trying in vain to stay awake. If I'm really, really into the book, I might be able to keep myself awake to hours that I shouldn't, but this is a rare occurrence.
One of the best things about books is that they have no limits. As opposed to a movie where one is limited by a budget and screen size, a book can take you to as far-distant a place as the author likes, the imagination of the author being the only variable. Books are also where you'd find the most original ideas. It's a big peeve of mine at the moment that all the movies that are coming out at the moment are remakes of or sequels to previous films or adaptions of comics and books. With the one exception being the studios of Disney/Pixar, the only place to find a new story to be told is on a page.
My love of reading is also a part of an even bigger love of mine - pop culture. I always feel the need to be across all the things that take root in the mindset of society. This is more than just books - it spreads from Harry Potter to The Simpsons, to Elvis and to Hitchcock. Anything that all of society is aware of to some degree. So there are a lot of books that I not only want to read, but feel I need to - Pride and Prejudice, Catch 22, Lord of the Flies, Brave New World, Wuthering Heights, War and Peace, Breakfast at Tiffany's, The Adventures of Huckleberry Fin, A Tale of Two Cities and Lolita to name a small few. Fairly recently I read Animal Farm and it became my favourite book. I didn't know that stories could be that beautiful and sad. Then I read 1984 and my mind exploded. It took the same social commentary as Animal Farm, took out the simplicity and ramped up the bitterness. It created ideas that were entirely original but so realistic that they made perfect sense. That for me confirms the idea that these books are in the zeitgeist for a reason.
Luckily we read some classics in high school. I read To Kill a Mockingbird in year 10 and Of Mice and Men in year 9. We also studied some of Shakespeare's classics - Romeo & Juliet, Macbeth and Much Ado About Nothing. But there were also some really obscure stinkers on the curriculum - I doubt the names "A Wizard of Earthsea" or "Galaxarena" would mean anything to you and I wish they didn't to me. In all cases, the teachers had to explain the significance of certain moments. I'm not very good with metaphor.
One other thing - I haven't seen any of those teenage dystopia films such as The Hunger Games, Divergent or Mazerunner, because I want to read the books first.
And everyone knows the books are always better.