I’m in the middle of re-reading Jane Austen’s classic, Pride and Prejudice, and I’m struck by how much insight we can gain through the written word.
For instance, did any viewers of the movie-length television series realise how much Elizabeth rebuked herself upon the discovery of the true character of Mister Wickham? Without question, readers of the original text are made very aware of her uneasiness as she perceived her own interpretation of the character of both Darcy and Wickham to be seriously flawed; that her own prejudices had caused her errors of judgement. However, viewers are, probably by necessity, far less aware of her internal turmoil on this issue.
Therein, a critical advantage of books is illustrated. Reading enables us to be vividly aware of the thoughts and motivations of characters, which enriches our appreciation of both the people and the plot. Surely, this scores more than a point for books?
Nothing could ever replace books in my life, as a source of knowledge and pleasure.
Books are my old friends; being brought up in the age before computers were in vogue, they were my most respected source of interest and information. What did I want for Christmas? Always, books figured high on the list, irrespective of whether I was six, sixteen or an adult.
The great thing about books is that you can take them almost anywhere, and re-read them at your leisure. Sure, you can do this pretty much with computers, too, but somehow the look of the words and pictures on paper holds a special appeal. Easier on the eyes, too!
I also love the way you can read a book, and then see the film, or series, of it through a different perspective. Jane Austin’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’ is a good example of this. Having read this book many times, and visualized the appearance of the characters, it became quite enthralling to see what the makers of this production had done with it. My feeling is that the series as shown on television is an absolute masterpiece, and that Miss Austen would be thoroughly delighted to see it.
Another great thing about books is the way it helps in the bonding of kids and parents, grandparents, and so on. One of life’s simple yet profound delights must surely be to read to a child, and to see their happy faces as the story unfolds.