Jul 17, 2010

Got Books? Or, too much of a good thing

I like to read. Blame my mother. While I say this in jest, the truth of it is that my love of reading is one of the fundamental things about me. It's a foundation and a starting point for much of how I view the world. So much so that when I meet or talk to people who claim not to be "readers" I have an almost visceral reaction, a physical recoiling. It's as if I can't be friends with someone who doesn't read. That may not necessarily be true, but I have on more than one occasion cut conversations with people short once they told me they don't read.

As much as I love reading, it can also be a burden. I'll read anything. I mean that. If someone suggests a book to me, I'll try to find it and read it. Feel free to suggest books in the comment space... My most recent way of finding new books to read is through movies. Many movies, these days, are based off of books or graphic novels. I enjoy finding the source material for the movie, reading it, and then seeing the movie to do a comparison. With the exception of one book and movie combo, The Ruins, by Scott Smith, every book I've read has been better than the movie.

I recently saw Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief and in true form I went out and bought the five-book set series on which the movie was based. This brings me to an issue I seem to be developing. My ability to suspend my disbelief is so genuine that I get frustrated when the characters I'm reading about balk at the crazy situations they find themselves in. I understand getting sucked into a story, but this may be too much. Still, I can't help myself.

Percy, you're 12-years-old, weird stuff has been happening to you all your life, you find out you're half human, half god and then you have the nerve to affect surprise and shock when your true nature is explained to you? Come on!You need to be more like Harry Potter. Sure, he's older and has had a few more years experiencing the weird, at some point, you have to be like him and just "go with it."

I tried to explain this to my sister. She just laughed at me and shook her head. I recognize that I'm complaining about a fictional character, but if I'm going to follow their exploits, I shouldn't be more on board with all the insanity than them. I'm just third party viewer, living vicariously through them. If I'm going to believe, they need to believe too!

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