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Reading vs. Movies

Thoughts from somebody who loves both

The world of entertainment and media has evolved so much in my lifetime. I still remember when I spent most of my time reading picture books and watching Barney on the television.

Now that I’m in my 20s, my choices for entertainment are through the roof. There’s YouTube for short-form video content. Netflix for great binge watching. Snapchat for watching my friends. Instagram for beautiful images. The good ole’ movie theater for a great date night. And then, of course, the book.

My Content Habits: Both Books And Movies

Today, I love both reading and movies/videos. There’s often so much content that I don’t have the time to consume everything I like.

Books

I read about 26 books a year (mostly in audiobook format). 20 of these are non-fiction (typically psychology, history, or business books). The book I’m reading/listening to right now is a biography of Benjamin Franklin. I listen at 2x speed and take notes down when I hear something interesting. Most of my listening happens when cooking and exercising.

Other Reading

As you may know, I’m the co-founder of a storytelling site called Commaful. I read stories every night before I sleep and right after I wake up. Been getting into a lot of fanfiction on the site. Our community never fails to amaze me with their creativity. If you’re looking into getting fanfiction, Joanna’s article about fanfiction is fantastic and gives us a great shoutout.

Other Listening

I usually listen to podcasts when I’m between books. I do a quick binge at 2x speed and then go back to books.

Movies

Movies are the biggest investment of time for me. I absolutely love movies (I used to make short films in high school as well) and use movies to relax. I recently went to watch The Last Jedi on its opening weekend. I watch roughly 1-2 movies a month with my girlfriend.

I Love Both Books And Movies

So many people tell me that movies and videos will end books and text. I completely disagree. So much so that my company is all about the written word.

Movies are magical, but tell you everything

Have you ever read a book and watched a movie and then found yourself saying “the book was better”? Even if you haven’t, I have. Books leave so much room for imagination and allow cues for subtle details that are hard to catch in a movie. Books allow you go into the heads of the characters, imagine the most subtle details, and even gives you partial ownership of the characters. You get to imagine what they look like and how they say things. Movies do all of this lifting for you. Your imagination doesn’t get to play.

Writing is possible for more people

On Commaful, I’ve read probably 10k+ stories at this point. The stories are incredibly creative. Try telling one of those writers to make a movie or video out of it. Without a budget and a ton of experience, it’s unlikely that somebody will be able to create a video of the Hulk rampaging San Francisco. But with writing, it’s possible.

I don’t even need to outline why movies are amazing. They are truly magical. Watching Star Wars the other day made me feel things that I never felt before. The magic of the screen is as close to magic as I have experienced.

However, to me, reading is a different type of magic. A magic that will never go away.

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