Why Movies Are Better Then Books: The Limitation of Imagination


Books always seem to get the nod over movies when it comes to the debate regarding which of the two art forms is more adept at telling a story to the audience that is consuming it. The main point argued, which always seems to give the upper hand to books, is the wonderful sense of imagination a book can make you conjure up while reading.

Most people are more comfortable with their own imaginations in order to visualize the progression of the book’s narrative. The physical appearance of the characters, the various settings and the atmosphere of the events portrayed in the book all originate from our personal creative vision, and that vision breeds endless possibilities of the depiction of a single scenario in a book, which avid readers would claim is the factor that ultimately makes reading a book more special compared to watching a movie.

And in truth, reading does provide a more novel acuity of the narrative at hand as a whole in comparison to watching a movie. Yet you can’t argue that the inventiveness that stems from the depths of our mental corridors, as unique as they are, will always be predictable to our own selves. There is no denying it. Thus, as wildly fantastical and detailed your cognitive ingenuity may be in describing the state of affairs garnered from reading a book, it would never reach the heights of being truly surprising because when we read a book, our imagination limits ourselves from truly grasping a sense of pure wonder and awe of the tale being experienced.

The pure art of storytelling is not to adapt to your comfort zone or to flow smoothly to your ideals and thoughts.

It is meant to enrapture you, to electrify your sense of perception and fascination on everything that you thought you knew and predicted about the story being told. Thus, the best stories are the ones where we would have never have imagined the look, sound and feel of the narrative events. This notion is what I feel makes movies ultimately more engaging than books, as it’s unpredictability in telling a narrative always keeps the audience on edge, thus priming their minds for a more natural acquisition of the feelings, beliefs and ideals that is contained in a movie scene on a moment-to-moment basis.

When we read a book or watch a movie, we are escaping from the reality that plagues our minds and diving into a world beyond reality. Reading a book, your own mind predictably imagines the story’s events, and since your mind is creating these mental images, there is still a fine thread between the reality you thought you left behind and your imaginations. Watching a movie, however allows you to explore the narrative being told without any predictability of its events, allowing your body, mind and soul to be fully possessed with the pure sensation and amazement that the art of storytelling is meant to achieve. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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