Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Importance of the Novel

Kevin Martini
As technology continues to boom why does the written word stick around? Why when movies, television, and you-tube videos are so accessible do we still read novels? After all, many of our favorite books like Twilight and The Hunger Games (at least those are among my favorites) are made into movies, and it takes far less time to watch a movie then read a book. Why spend more time to read a book when we can watch a show?

I believe the reason is that the written word conveys something that visual and audio media simply can’t grasp. A novel expresses a character, their thoughts, sensations, experiences, and emotions in a way that looks at the character from every angle. Our understanding of that character is complete and well-rounded where to watch that character on TV we only get one angle. We can only see them on the outside in movies and television, but in a book we get into their head.  Some may argue that a movie offers you the visual stimuli to actually see what’s going on; but I think a well written book shows me more visually then any movie.
There is something special about the feelings words can create.  Something beautiful about finding that prefect phrase that encompasses everything the author is trying to express. For example, here are a couple sentences I wrote in one of my unpublished pieces.
The fan clicks spinning and creaking like a door with a rusty hinge. Incessantly, eternally, round and round rotating on an uneven axis; an involuntary metronome keeping the tempo of my silence in key.
I don’t think any video of a fan could capture the essence of my silence as the words written on this page do. Technology may continue to grow but I don’t think it’ll ever replace the written word. We may use technology to help spread the written word, such as e-book readers like the Kindle and Nook. But, the written word will never be eliminated. Proof of this is seen every time someone says the phrase “the book was so much better,” I’ve yet to find a movie that I liked more than the book because they can never include all the details that the author did.
So, let’s celebrate the novel, the written word, and never forget how important reading is.

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