Sunday, August 16, 2015

Why read a book when you have Netflix? πŸ“Ί

I sat in a dentist chair when I decided to sign up for Netflix. My hygienist swept me in after talking to me about her love affair with the (then) relatively new website. Having already noticed advertisements for it, my curiosity was peaked and it only took some mild convincing from her to encourage me to go home and sign up.

And it was fantastic! I had the opportunity to watch various series from episode one, explore new movies and it was all at a price I could afford.
I was in love.

So with this in mind, why are people still reading books? Even more so, what do they have to offer in the world of Netflix, the Internet and five billion television channels? 

I've been asked these questions more than once, almost as people were challenging why I even bothered with this writing thing at all. What could I possibly offer them that other forms of entertainment - entertainment that takes far less effort than reading a book - couldn't surpass? 

Fair enough.

Movies are easy. Television is easy. You just flick them on and off you go. But they do have limits.

I recently read a book that blew my mind. The ending wasn't anything I could've anticipated. I was stunned; yet very impressed by the fact that the author had managed to surprise me. Knowing that
this particular book was also made into a movie, I didn't hesitate to check it out.

I hated it. I was actually pissed off by the movie version of the book. It was terrible. It managed to cut
some major parts of the book out, then completely change and 'Hollywoodize' the ending. It was typical. It was predictable. It was boring and terrible. Had I bought, not borrowed the DVD, I would've returned it. I was actually horrified that the writer allowed her book to be butchered. 

Anyway, you get the point and we've all seen great books completely annihilated by soulless Hollywood producers but that isn't always the case. I can also think of a great television show based on a series of books that I found very lackluster.

The point is that movies and television are a different monster. It's hard to beat the visual aspect of an action filled car chase or the beauty of a sunrise in a far-off land. 

On the other side, movies and television have limits. The average length of a movie is a 130 minutes, therefore audiences have to be pulled in fast and told a story that makes sense, with all the key points at a pretty accelerated pace. Studio exes, directors, producers and actions may have an issue with certain scenes, causing them to never see the light of day because they may be too graphic, violent or for fears of offending a certain community of people or a more sensitive audience.

Books are really the wild west of the entertainment world. There are no limits. You can write a 200 or 1000 page book, it's really up to you. Details and descriptions can be never ending or limited. Not to suggest that editors don't try to jump in and suggest you cut down the length or make some scenes less graphic (I know because this has happened to me) but I feel that a writer has a little more room to breathe and can choose to work with publishers that share their vision.

Plus there is the connection with the characters. It is a little difficult to connect with the people on screen in just under two hours. Not to suggest it can't be done, but most movies concentrate more on the story itself, rather than the roles being played. It is difficult to show all three dimensions in a role when the storyline is moving at a fast pace. Television series are another story because you learn about the characters each week and they have the room to grow over a period of time. 

It might be just a personal thing, but I find that there's something peaceful about grabbing a book and spending time alone, getting absorbed in the pages and doing so at your own pace. You can read quickly, finishing a book in a night or you can slowly absorb each line, each paragraph at a relaxed pace that allows you to not miss a single detail. You can see yourself in each character or envision a famous celebrity in the role. To a certain degree, the story is as much yours as the authors because you can envision the scenes, the characters and every detail in just the way you wish.

Canadian author Mima is known for her complicated and diverse characters, a dark style and for never shying away from controversial topics. To request an interview or if you are interested in doing a book review, please send requests here

Mima is the author of Fire and the prequel, A Spark before the Fire, as well as The Rock Star of Vampires  Her Name is Mariah and Different Shades of the Same Color. Join Mima on Facebook, TwitterG+ and Goodreads also, check out her Amazon Author Page

For some reading, check out her blogs – personal or writing

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